<![CDATA[Ranker: Recent Lists]]> http://www.ranker.com?source=rss http://www.ranker.com/img/skin2/logo.gif Most Viewed Lists on Ranker http://www.ranker.com?source=rss <![CDATA[Meet Karen Overhill, The Woman Who Has 17 People Living Inside Her Head]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-karen-overhill-and-her-17-personalities/justin-andress?source=rss

At the age of 29, a young woman who came to be called Karen Overhill (a pseudonym) went to a therapist in the hopes of finding the source of her lifelong memory lapses. After an examination and several visits, the diagnosis came back. Karen Overhill had one of the weirdest mental disorders: multiple personality disorder, complete with 17 distinct personalities rumbling around inside her head. In the decades since she began treatment, the woman with 17 personalities has become one of modern medicine’s most fascinating cases.

The Karen Overhill biography is filled with tragedy, terror, and - perhaps most importantly of all - hope. She’s a case for the argument that abuse leads to mental illness, but she’s also a testament to the amazing ability of the human brain. Even if you’ve looked through an article on this case, you may not know the full story. There’s more to Overhill’s tale of abuse and recovery than you know. Read on to find out more about Karen Overhill, the woman with 17 personalities.


Meet Karen Overhill, The Woman Who Has 17 People Living Inside Her Head, other, mental illness, people trivia,

Overhill’s Mental Protector Provided The Answer Through ‘Integration’

In 1996, Dr Baer received a memo from Holden, one of Overhill’s many personalities. Holden was a 34-year-old man who was charged with protecting the group. He had a daring plan that he referred to as "integration."

During a therapy session, Overhill underwent hypnosis in order to meet one of her personalities, a 13-year-old girl named Julie. During the integration process, Julie “stepped into” Overhill’s body, a process that triggered a painful rush of forgotten memories and skills that had been previously locked away. 


She Doesn’t Remember Marrying Her Husband

Overhill’s life has been marred by several gaping holes in her memory that she simply doesn’t remember. Sometimes, it would be something small, like forgetting a chapter she’d read in a book. Other times, she’d “wake” up in strange places. There were even times when Overhill’s slide into another personality robbed her of some universally precious moments. According to Overhill, she doesn’t remember marrying her husband. She’s also been deprived of any memories of her life between the ages of six and ten. 


Her Different Personalities Were Able To Shield Her From Physical Pain

While she was suffering from her multiple personality disorder, Karen Overhill possessed a skill that was sometimes beneficial and sometimes life-threatening. Overhill’s mind was so neatly divided that physical pain attacking one personality wasn’t felt by the other personalities. In her words:

“If I had a bad headache it would just go away without medication. But this caused problems, too, because pain is protective. Once I stayed at work till the end of the day when I needed an appendectomy.”


Overhill’s Personalities Were Wildly Different From One Another

As she began to catalogue the individual personalities that dwelled within her, Overhill initially found 11 personalities living inside of her. In addition to Jensen and Claire, there were three more children under ten:

“Two teenage girls (Julie and Sandy), a 21-year-old woman, [Overhill herself], a man and a woman aged 34 (Holdon and Katherine) and another very angry man.”

It took several more years of therapy to find the remaining six personalities. As they bubbled to the surface, each personality revealed strikingly different characters. They spanned races and ages. Some were left-handed while others were right-handed. Each one even had their own distinct mannerisms and gait.


Karen’s Inner Child Sent A Letter To Baer, Asking For Help

Once Dr. Baer suspected what was wrong with Karen, the pair began to investigate her disorder. At first, Overhill was unsure, but a few months into treatment, she arrived at her weekly session to discover that Baer had received a letter in the mail. It read:

“Dear Doctor Baer, My name is Claire. I am 7 years old. I live inside Karen. I listen to you all the time. I want to talk to you but I don't know how.”

Karen says that she knew instinctively that she’d written the note, despite the fact that the penmanship was completely different from hers (and appropriate for a seven year old).


She Was Subjected To Disturbing Forms Of Abuse, Like Needles In Her Abdomen

Overhill’s memories of her abuse were incredibly bizarre, like something out of a horror movie. Over the years, her stories never changed. According to Baer, “she was completely consistent in all her memories, in all the alters, over ten years... And the other thing that convinced me was that she was never melodramatic about it."

These assurances make Overhill’s tales particularly gut-wrenching. In one story, she was taken to a funeral home after hours and placed on an embalming table. Her father jabbed her in the abdomen with needles while she was “caressed” by strangers. In other stories, Overhill recounted several instances of horrifying torture, such as "being pierced with coat hangers and fish-hooks, carved with knives, and beaten with hammers and baseball bats." 


Overhill’s Father and Grandfather Led A Cult That Raped and Tortured Children

According to Overhill, she was just one of the victims of a sadistic cult that was started by Overhill’s father and grandfather. According to her, throughout the 1960s, her father collected a variety of men - including a police officer, a teacher, and a priest - who actively participated in the violent abuse of young children.

Dr. Baer explained to reporters that playing detective wasn’t the way to cure Overhill, but when he researched the claims years after Overhill’s treatment, he discovered several stories that seemed to corroborate her story. What’s more, in 1993, her father was convicted of 19 counts of sexual abuse for assaulting Overhill’s niece.


Overhill’s Personalities Formed As A Coping Mechanism For Traumatic Events

As a child, Karen Overhill was raped at the age of twelve by an elderly relative. As a result of that abuse, Jensen was born. One of Overhill’s earliest incarnations, Jensen was an 11-year-old boy who “fought back against the abuse and tried to bind [Overhill’s] breasts flat to help [her] appear more masculine.” Jensen was one of 17 distinct personalities who sprang up to help keep Overhill’s fractured mind in tact while she was abused by adult men in her family as well as a variety of others. 


It Took Close To Three Years For Overhill And Baer To Identify Her Multiple Personality Disorder

Baer’s belief that Overhill was simply a depressed mom in need of some medication was slowly changed as she began to reveal several “little tidbits of things that were odd.” For example, she told Baer that she fainted three times during her wedding ceremony. There were also several instances in which Overhill was unable to respond when he asked what she did the day before.

Even still, Baer was extremely slow to diagnose her condition - not because of incompetence. He wanted to be completely sure that she was afflicted with multiple personality disorder before moving forward. 


Initially, Baer Thought Karen Overhill Was Just A Run-Of-The-Mill Depressed Woman

When Overhill first showed up at the psychotherapy practice where Dr. Richard Baer was getting his feet wet right out of medical school, he thought that her problems were nothing out of the ordinary. He told Chicago magazine

“She had chronic pain resulting from surgery, from delivering her daughter by cesarean section. People who have chronic pain often have depression. I knew from her manner that her depression was serious and had to be dealt with before anything else. [...] With this patient, I thought she was just a depressed woman who needed medication. Obviously, I was wrong.”



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Mon, 08 May 2017 09:05:38 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-karen-overhill-and-her-17-personalities/justin-andress
<![CDATA[Here's Why Lorde Is Even Cooler Than You Already Thought She Is]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-lorde/carly-silver?source=rss

Maybe you know alt-pop singer Lorde from her smash hit "Royals." Or maybe you're such a hardcore fan that you have lyrics from "The Louvre" tattooed on your body, and you consider Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor your BFF. Either way, you know there are tons of interesting facts about Lorde that make her more than just another female singer.

Lorde's the definition of an unconventional star. No Lorde biography is complete without a mention of her kooky, super-smart family and her upbringing in New Zealand. She ascended to pop stardom as a teen, and she doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Lorde keeps focused thanks to the support of famous friends, like Taylor Swift - Lorde memorably got onstage during the 1989 tour. But even though Lorde is part of Swift's "girl squad," she isn't crazy about the label. Other cool stories about Lorde range from how she got her stage name to her obsession with a particular fried food.

Snap on those headphones, turn up the volume, and settle in. The things you didn't know about Lorde will make you love her even more.


Here's Why Lorde Is Even Cooler Than You Already Thought She Is,

She's Not Crazy About Getting Lumped In With Taylor Swift's Squad

Taylor Swift is one of Lorde's BFFs and threw her a giant birthday party in 2016, but Lorde isn't keen on calling herself part of Swift's "girl squad." She joked that being close with someone famous was "like having a friend with very specific allergies. There are certain places you can't go together. Certain things you can't do. There are these different sets of considerations within the friendship. It's like having a friend with an autoimmune disease."

Later, Lorde clarified her remarks, praising Swift but downplaying the squad:

"I've always found people's perception of this 'squad' idea frustrating in the past; it was never some exclusive club or secret society but a wide circle of people, some of whom I know and some of [whom] I've never met, like most wide groups of friends. Forgive me for the mild eyeroll I popped when it was brought up as if we're all blood members of a secret cult."


She's Friends With Lena Dunham And Jack Antonoff

Lorde's 2017 album, Melodrama, was executive produced by her and musician Jack Antonoff, the boyfriend of writer/actress Lena Dunham. Lorde sort of moved in with the couple in their Brooklyn, NY, apartment, and crafted music with Antonoff in the living room. Lorde also co-wrote "Don't Take the Money" with Antonoff, a song about Dunham that Antonoff played with his band, Bleachers.


She Got Her First Record Deal At 13

Lorde was first signed to a development deal in 2009, when she was just 13 years old. She was first told to write songs for other artists, but she wound up finding her own voice and writing her own music.

As she developed her songwriting skills, Lorde started working with producer Joel Little. He was her collaborator until 2016.


She Has Synesthesia

Lorde has sound-to-color synesthesia, a neurological condition that allows her to see colors when particular musical notes are played. She told The New York Times, "From the moment I start something, I can see the finished song, even if it’s far-off and foggy."

She works to fix the colors and notes until everything comes into focus - and then the song is done.


Her Stage Name Comes From Her Obsession With Royalty

Her first single was the smash "Royals," but Lorde has always been fascinated by the aristocracy - it even inspired her stage name. She originally wanted the moniker "Lord," but added an "e" on it to make it more feminine.

She told Rolling Stone, "I'm really interested in the Ivy Leagues, the final clubs, all the really old-money families, the concept of old money."


She's The Daughter Of A Civil Engineer And An Award-Winning Poet

Lorde's dad, Vic O'Connor, is a civil engineer; he's been employed at the same firm for 30 years, and his daughter worked for him before she hit the big time. Her mom, Sonja Yelich, is an award-winning poet who encouraged Lorde to read a ton during her childhood:

"Mum always made sure there were lots of books around. For a long time we had a TV but no DVD player. Then Mum got one but she only allowed us to watch old stuff like Wonder Woman, The Partridge Family and Little House on the Prairie... Those shows are so cool."


She Had An Instagram Account About Onion Rings

Apparently Lorde is really into onion rings. In a 2017 appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, she revealed she ran an account on Instagram devoted to reviewing onion rings. Sadly, Lorde didn't keep up the account, but she did share that she prefers batter over breading and likes to pickle the onions before frying them.


She Has A Vagina Painting In Her Bedroom

Once she moved out of her parents' home in New Zealand, Lorde got her own home nearby, which she promptly decorated in an unusual way. She hung a painting in her bedroom that she described to Rolling Stone as "big, weird, very beautiful, quite saucy." Lorde thinks the piece by British artist Celia Hempton is "definitely a vagina."


She Sang Lead For Nirvana

When Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, its living members tapped Lorde to sing in place of the late Kurt Cobain. Dave Grohl said, "There's something about her that represented or resembled the Nirvana aesthetic. She has an incredible future ahead of her as a writer, performer and vocalist."

Randomly, Lorde got some criticism from Iggy Azalea, who didn't think the performance was "appropriate."


Her Musical Tastes Are Diverse

Lorde's musical preferences are all over the map. As you might imagine, she adores indie acts like Arcade Fire and rock groups ranging from Fleetwood Mac to The 1975. But her tastes also run to hip-hop and R&B. She's tweeted her fandom for R&B singer Kehlani, analyzed the artistry of rapper Travis Scott, and added dancehall star Vybz Kartel to her Spotify playlists.



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Wed, 12 Jul 2017 05:26:32 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-lorde/carly-silver
<![CDATA[Absolutely Insane Behind-The-Scenes Guns N' Roses Stories]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/wild-guns-n-roses-stories/brandon-michaels?source=rss

When you think "rock 'n' roll," wild Guns N' Roses stories probably spring to mind. The band seemed primed to be unstoppable after they formed in Los Angeles in 1985. They released their first album, Appetite for Destruction, in 1987, and it almost instantly smashed records: it sold 30 million copies worldwide, and became one of the best-selling debuts of all time. By 1988, GnR was basically the biggest band on the planet. Guns N' Roses songs are some of the most massive hits of the '80s, and a number of their albums are considered rock classics.

But early success doesn't always guarantee staying power. GnR's big hits came with big personalities, and clashes within the band led to countless lineup changes and prolonged breakups fans feared would be permanent. But Guns N' Roses couldn't keep off the stage - even though the guys performing under the name weren't the same.

Even GnR newbies can appreciate the gnarly tales from Guns n' Roses that have popped up over the years. Rumors tell of countless trashed dressing rooms, mountains of consumed drugs, and even a few brushes with death. The craziest things Guns N' Roses ever did are the stuff of rock legend - what other band dabbled in everything from fights with other musicians to petty theft from groupies?


Absolutely Insane Behind-The-Scenes Guns N' Roses Stories,

Axl Rose Slept With His Bandmate's Girlfriend And Recorded It For A Track

In the spring of 1987, GnR was recording "Rocket Queen," a charming little ditty about doing the nasty. Nineteen-year-old Adriana Smith was dating drummer Steven Adler, but he had recently cheated on her. For revenge, she decided to get drunk and have sex with Axl Rose - and to add insult to injury, they decided to record the audio and use it as a sample on the track. You can hear Smith's contributions at around 2:30 on the track.

Axl apparently had notes on her vocal performance, though, telling her, "Come on, Adriana, make it real. Stop faking!" Smith later said she regretted the stunt.


Axl Rose's Missing Contact Lens Almost Cost GnR A Record Deal

On March 26, 1986, Guns N' Roses was set to sign their first deal with Geffen Records - but Axl Rose almost blew the whole thing by throwing a tantrum. Apparently, he couldn't find his contact lenses, and after accusing his bandmates of stealing them, told them to "go [to the signing] without him."

The other GnR members "eventually found him sitting on top of the Whisky A Go Go." Slash told Axl they had found his contacts, and convinced him to come down. They showed up to the Geffen meeting several hours late and penned the deal.


Izzy Stradlin Was Arrested For Urinating On A Plane

On August 27, 1989, GnR rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin was on a flight from Los Angeles to Indianapolis. Apparently, he had been drinking pretty excessively, and had to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, none were available:

"I was drunk in the middle of this bunch of senior citizen types. I was smoking, and the stewardess came over. I told her to f*ck herself. I was drinking so much I had to take a piss. The people in the bathroom... man, it seemed like I waited an hour. So I pissed in the trash can instead... Next thing I know we've landed, I'm walking out and I see 10 policemen... And I remember thinking: 'Uh-oh! I think I f*cked up again.'"

On a layover in Pheonix, police met Stradlin at the gate and charged him with "public disturbance for smoking in a non-smoking section, making obscene gestures to passengers and verbally abusing a stewardess."


Slash Had A Bad Trip And Ran Naked Through A Golf Course

After their 1989 world tour, Guns N' Roses took a break from the road. Apparently, the routine of touring was all that was keeping Slash's addiction problems from spiraling out of control. As he wrote in his memoirs, "It turned out to be the start of a long and nightmarish obsession with heroin that lasted from 1989 through 1991."

After one particularly gnarly binge on heroin/cocaine cocktails, Slash started tripping pretty hard at an Arizona golf course. He remembers "Predators with rubbery-looking dreadlocks chasing after him with machine guns and harpoons."

Fearing for his life, Slash punched through a glass door to escape. The totally nude musician even grabbed a maid as an impromptu "human shield." He recalled the story to the police in great detail: "I was still high enough that I told the story without a shred of self-consciousness."


Steven Adler Saved Nikki Sixx's Life

Just two days before Christmas in 1987, Guns N' Roses was out on the road with Alice Cooper and Mötley Crüe. GnR guitarist Slash and drummer Steven Adler were snorting fistfuls of cocaine with Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe that night. According to Adler, he stepped out of the room to shoot up, and when he returned the door was blocked by Sixx's unconscious body.

Adler tried to revive Sixx with cold water, and when that didn't work, he "started smashing the him in the face with his cast" (he had broken his hand punching a streetlight). The blows eventually resuscitated Sixx.

The next day, when Adler stopped by the hospital to see Sixx, he asked, "Stevie, what the f*ck happened to me last night? My face is killing me!"


Slash Brought A Mountain Lion To A Hotel

Slash apparently developed a fondness for exotic pets. By the early '90s, he had collected a number of venomous snakes and lizards in his Los Angeles home, as well as a mountain lion he named Curtis. But when the Northridge earthquake hit in January of 1994, Slash's house was damaged. He temporarily moved to a Four Seasons hotel in Marina del Rey - and Curtis came too.


They Robbed Girls Their Bandmates Were Having Sex With, And Dabbled In Drug Dealing

Even Guns N' Roses' pad developed a reputation. Former rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin recalls the debauchery the band got up to in the summer of 1985, while they were crashing in a spot called "The Hell House." The band was so strapped for cash that they resorted to desperate measures:

"We sold girls. If one of the guys was f*cking a girl in our sleeping loft, we'd ransack the girl's purse while he was doing her."

They were apparently selling drugs as well. Soon, that behavior caught up with them; the LAPD caught wind of the illegal activity, and the GnR guys had to hide out from the authorities for a while.


They Almost Died In A Car Crash

When GnR returned to Los Angeles from their first tour in June of 1985, they got into a nasty car accident. The guys were in bassist Duff McKagan's car, and another vehicle broadsided them at an intersection going 60 miles per hour. Miraculously, the band walked away with minimal injuries, though drummer Steven Adler broke his ankle.

Slash wrote about the incident in his autobiography: "Duff's car was totaled and we could have been too. That would have been a sick twist of fate: the band dying together after we'd just gotten together."


They Got Mad At Axl Rose And Trashed A Dressing Room

Guns N' Roses had a rough night on October 23, 1986. They were scheduled to open for Alice Cooper at the Arlington Theater, but Axl Rose didn't make it. He showed up late and security turned him away, so the band had to improvise. Guitarists Izzy Stradlin and Slash made up lyrics and asked audience members to come up and sing to cover for their missing frontman. Out of frustration, "the band trashed the dressing room and broke all the mirrors."


Axl Rose Punched David Bowie

It's rare to find someone who had beef with David Bowie, but Axl Rose managed it. In 1989, Bowie dropped by the set where Guns N' Roses was filming the music video for "It's So Easy." Axl didn't like the way Bowie was talking to his girlfriend, Erin Everly, and hit Bowie and threw him out.

Ever the class act, Bowie apologized, and the two made up with a long night of clubbing.



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Wed, 28 Jun 2017 09:12:58 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/wild-guns-n-roses-stories/brandon-michaels
<![CDATA[11 Creepy Crawlers That Govern Our Bodies]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/organisms-in-our-bodies/kara-maddox?source=rss

If you've ever seen Michael Bay's action-packed flick, Transformers, then you have a pretty good sense of how the microbes in our bodies control us. Think of them as these little nuggets of wisdom - whole cities of them - coming together to ensure that they (and we) have the nutrients and environment needed to survive.

They drive our most basic instincts by manipulating our bodies, our feelings, and our minds. Why? Because they've been here a lot longer than we have and they want to live, too. In fact, "certain intercellular associations are up to 270 million years old!" And the sooner we learn to listen to these little guys, the better off we'll feel, smell, and look. 

What are microbes, anyway? You guessed it! "Microbe" is just a shortened term for microorganism, and these little guys can take the shape of different types of bacteria and fungi - just to name a few. The little creatures living inside us are so tiny that most of them are invisible to the naked eye, and some bug cities are even unique to you and you only.

Bottom line - these little guys outnumber us 10 to 1; the average person's body has 100 trillion microbial cells and only 10 trillion human cells, which can only mean one thing: you're not really all that human at all.


11 Creepy Crawlers That Govern Our Bodies,

Poo Tea Helps Us More Than You'd Think

Veterinarians have been studying the connections between microbes and the guts of their patients for years. And luckily the regulations on animals allow vets to try some seemingly off-the-wall tactics to help restore inflamed colons in animals like cows, for example.

Poo tea is one of those tactics, and for some cows, it has helped them restore their gut equilibrium. By taking excrement from healthy cows, vets can concoct a nice heady brew full of microbes to help boost the immune systems of sick cows. After a few rounds of antibiotics to wipe the slate clean, this mixture is administered with the hope that the new, happy microbes will help alleviate digestive symptoms.

In fact, this practice originally started in 4th century China, but they had a better name for it then - yellow soup.

Ingesting poo tea has its drawbacks, though, beyond the obvious gross factor. When the healthy microbes enter the stomach through ingestion, some of the natural acids needed to breakdown nutrients also end up killing the microbes. So, in 2013, the FDA approved more successful treatments involving the brown boom-boom to help treat humans suffering from the no-joking-matter infection, C-diff, which plagues nearly half a million Americans each year.

Fecal transplants allow doctors to take digestive juices from healthy individuals and place them into people suffering from antibiotic-resistant intestinal pathogens.


Good Ground Cover Keeps The Weeds At Bay

Think of it this way: when you were born, whether naturally or by c-section, your little body became the hottest real estate on the market, and the microbes that colonized you first have had a lasting impact on your health.

Microbes are like good ground cover, explains Jonathan Eisen in his Ted Talk, and "ground cover around your house can prevent weeds from taking over.” By taking up the best locations (greatest access to food, for example), these microbes not only help your body distinguish between friend and foe, but also help hold down the fort by preventing nasties from moving in.

You want diversity - diversity in your gut microbiota gives your body the best chance to fight off those intruders because "bad bacteria is unavoidable...having good bacteria in our bodies helps stop the bad bacteria from growing and causing disease," says Dr. David Samadi in his article "1 Percent Human, 99 Percent Bacteria." "Our bodies are the homeland, and the good bacteria are the soldiers fighting to protect it."

Without this balance, inflammation can occur; and if you'd like to discover the root of all evil, look no further: inflammation is the body's way of telling you something is wrong. And if this state is constant, it can lead to advanced auto-immune diseases and even cancer.


Some Bugs Cause Your Body To Absorb More Calories

Ever wonder why your friend can eat the same foods as you, but never seems to gain weight? A difference in metabolism may be one thing, but different gut microbes are a whole other ball game.

Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, lead cardiology professor at UCLA, talks about this phenomenon in her book Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health. Within our microbiomes, we have two dominant groups of bacteria: the Firmicutes and the Bacteroidetes, and she found that "obese humans have a higher proportion of Firmicutes in their intestines."

Why is this microbial difference significant? Well, Natterson-Horowitz explains, "a booming Firmicute colony might help harvest, say, one hundred calories from one person's apple. That person's friend may have a dominant Bacteroidetes population that would extract only seventy calories from the same apple." 

In other words, you and your buddy can eat the same exact foods, but the difference is your gut bugs are absorbing more energy. This could be the reason your friend can eat twice as much and never gain a pound. What's more, these bugs can also trigger cravings, so the next time you pick up that whole wheel of cheese, ask yourself - do you want this or is it your bugs talking? 


Your Dog Can Help Too

Pets are another great source of excellent microbes, and if introduced at the proper time in life, they can help ward off pesky allergies.

Pets introduced at a young age help train children's immune systems. In fact, Alexandra Carmichael notes, "UCSF scientists who conducted a study in 2013 suggested that living with a dog in infancy may lower a child’s risk of developing asthma and allergies, largely as a result of exposure to what they call 'dog-associated house-dust.'"

Pets are a type of probiotic in this way, and can help introduce new, good microbes to your family. What's more, Rob Knight's 2013 study at the University of Colorado, Boulder found that "children who have had a lack of exposure to bacteria and microorganisms might be more prone to getting sick because many microbes have co-evolved with people to be beneficial."

These bugs have learned over millions of years that it's better to co-exist in a symbiotic relationship. So, take care of your bugs, and they'll help take care of you. 


Foreplay Has More Benefits Than You Think

The vagina is home to many different kinds of healthy microbes which, when ingested, can help take the place of less-than-ideal microbes and fight off allergies, weight-gain, and depression. "Many people supplement their diets with probiotics," says Lucy Tiven, "but you can also find this type of 'good bacteria' in the human body — specifically in a woman's vagina."

In fact, "most vaginal communities in healthy women are dominated by the lactobacillus species" reports Robinson, Bohannan, and Young in their 2010 study. "Bacteria play important roles...in the production of vitamins and essential amino acids in humans."

When your body comes in contact with these good guys, do the happy dance! They help boost your immune system and fight off the not-so-good bacteria. And without these good guys, you are prone to a host of problems - like asthma, allergies, and other immune system-related diseases.

For example, babies who are born via c-section miss out on the great microbes found in the birth canal. The microbes that colonize c-section children are a mixture of nasty bacteria typically found on the skin and in hospitals, a 2010 study shows, while babies born vaginally reap the benefits of lactobacillus, which aids in milk digestion.

Rob Knight and his wife even inoculated their baby, who was delivered by c-section, by rubbing his wife's vaginal secretions over his child's skin. Formal trials of this practice are currently underway.


Bad Microbes Can Give Us The Blues

Many of the findings involving the benefits of gut bugs are brand-spanking new, so scientists are still working out how to ethically conduct human trials. It'd be hard to convince an ethical review board, for example, that it's okay to place microbes we associate with depression into the guts of healthy individuals - especially when we're not certain about all the explosive side effects.

What we do know from studying mice is that certain microbes can make their host more adventurous or more anxious depending on the kind of microbe they are.

In a 2011 study, the McMaster group transplanted the gut microbes of easy going, adventurous mice into the stomachs of anxious, timid mice and vise versa. They found the shy mice began to exhibit more "exploratory behavior" after the transplant, while the adventurous mice exhibited "reduced exploratory behavior." 

What does this mean? Well, our little microbes eat what we give them, and depending on the sort of microbe they are, they emit certain chemicals back into our bodies.

Our gut bacteria affect the manufacturing of neurotransmitters (including serotonin) according to Michael Pollan of the New York Times. And in the last few years, scientists have discovered a relationship between a particular strain of bacteria, Oscillibacter, and its link to depression in humans. 

Although this 2014 study suggests correlation and not causation, it is worth noting that our microbes talk to our bodies. 

So, if you're tempted to run for the hills and stock up on all the newly banned antibacterial soaps, think again. These little guys do a lot more than we give them credit for - in fact, they're probably the reason you're alive right now.


You Have An Entire Tennis Court In Your Belly

Your epithelium, which is the uber important lining of your intestines, plays a critical role in protecting your body from infection and inflammation. And guess who keeps your epithelium in tip-top shape? You guessed it - your microbes.

The surface area of your epithelium "is large enough to cover a tennis court," explains Michael Pollan. It "mediates our relationship to the world outside our bodies." And if this tennis court is damaged or undernourished, your protective barrier can't do its job. If this happens, the bacteria and endotoxins (toxic byproducts of certain bacteria) seep into your blood stream and trigger an immune response by causing inflammation. 

This is not good since chronic low-grade inflammation may overtime lead to metabolic syndrome and predispose you to very serious diseases like cardiovascular disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer, a 2007 study finds.  

How do microbes keep your oh-so-important barrier healthy, you ask? Well, epithelial cells like to eat short-chain fatty acids that good gut bacteria produce when they eat their favorite food - plant fiber.


The More Fiber You Eat, The Sexier You Become

Physical attraction is directly associated with the robustness of your immune system - and we all know how to build up our immune systems: by feeding those microbes the fiber they deserve. 

A person's "magic scent is not some romantic elixir," explains F. Bryant Furlow, "but the aromatic effluence of our immune system." More specifically, "a man's allure depends in part on how many immune system genes he shares with a potential mate." And this actually makes a lot of sense.

Biologically speaking, babies born with more diverse genes have a greater chance of overcoming the obstacles of life - and gene diversity is insurance for the human race. 

What's more, low levels of the stress hormone cortisol paired with high testosterone and high immune response levels significantly correlate with physical attractiveness. In other words, the healthier your immune system, the less stress you experience and the more attractive you become. 

In fact, this 2015 study shows that stress does a lot more damage than we think. Changes in our gut microbiota "have been implicated in stress-related disorders such as depression and anxiety, in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, and in cognitive functioning."

If you feed your bugs, you'll ward off a whole list of issues by reducing the stress your body endures. And, to top it all off, you'll look that much more attractive to a potential mate. 


How Human Are You Really?

"You might only share 10 percent similarity with the person sitting next to you in terms of your gut microbes," explained Rob Knight, professor of pediatrics and computer engineering at the University of California, San Diego. "Although there's just three pounds of those microbes in our gut, they really outnumber us."

So, our essence is essentially non-human?  

Yep, despite the fact that we are 99% identical to the average Joe in terms of human DNA, we are all highly unique based on the vast differences in our microbes. "There are an estimated 3.3 million genes in the total bacteria DNA," reports Science Daily, "which is 160 times the number of human genes."

Could our personalities, quirks, or habits be linked to these little guys? 

Perhaps; and scientists around the world are working to find out more. One way to determine who else is calling your body home is by analyzing what comes out your back end - through your poop. Thanks to cheaper DNA sequencing, curious individuals can donate $99 to the American Gut Project and find out exactly what sorts of microbes are roaming around their GI tracts.

Sound like a weird way to spend a hundred bucks? Maybe, but you'll find out more about why you feel the way you do, which to some, is well worth the dough.


Joe Rogan's Hulk Loads Feeds Your Microbes And Prevents Food Poisoning

Joe Rogan - stand-up comedian, retired martial arts fighter, and podcaster - raves about his Hulk Loads Smoothie that's full of fiber your microbes will love. In this lean, green, fighting-machine, you'll find a salad-sized bunch of kale, three stalks of celery, one cucumber, a chunk of ginger (the size of a key fob), four cloves of garlic, and one apple.

If this all sounds bonkers, don't worry. You can always adjust these ingredients, and even cut the spicy drink with freshly squeezed lemon juice, or substitute the apple for some berries and make it a bit more bearable. And don't worry, your microbes will still love you. 

This smoothie contains prebiotics, not to be confused with probiotics, which feed the good bacteria already in your body. Probiotics found in yogurt, sourdough bread, and Sauerkraut, for example, introduce new bacteria into your body that can colonize your prime-time real estate before the bad bugs do. 

How does this all help you? Well, it means you can enjoy that sketchy 2 am hotdog just a little bit more. "The robustness of an individual's gut community," notes Pollan, "might explain why some people fall victim to food poisoning while others can blithely eat the same meal with non ill effects."



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Mon, 05 Jun 2017 03:02:55 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/organisms-in-our-bodies/kara-maddox
<![CDATA[15 Good Reasons Every Parent Should Have Their Kids Watch Anime]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/reasons-parents-should-have-their-kids-watch-anime/anna-lindwasser?source=rss

While you may think of anime as just fancy, adult cartoons, there are actually plenty of reasons anime is great for kids. Aside from being just plain fun, anime imparts many lessons other kids' shows remain incapable of addressing. So what are the reasons parents should let kids watch anime, other than just giving themselves some peace and quiet? Firstly, a a cultural export from Japan, anime introduces kids to many parts of Asian society, and historical anime provide a history lesson without cracking open a textbook. Thanks to its complexity and depth, anime can also teach critical thinking, along with imparting advice on heavier subject matters like relationships and mortality.

All of these lessons can be amplified when combined with discussion, a reason why parents should watch anime with their children instead of just parking them in front of the computer by themselves. Many lessons parents can teach children from anime apply even to their own lives, making this a family activity that benefits, and entertains, everybody involved.


15 Good Reasons Every Parent Should Have Their Kids Watch Anime,

Watching Anime Encourages Kids To Read

You might not think watching TV would encourage much reading, but when it comes to anime, it is. First of all, anime is originally produced in Japanese, so unless you speak the language, you will likely watch it with subtitles. This means kids practice their reading skills every time they watch an episode; since anime continues to grow in popularity, subtitles now exist in multiple languages too.

But should you choose to show your kids dubbed anime, don't despair - there are still opportunities to practice reading. Many anime series are based on manga or light novels, and these novels can differ greatly from their TV counterparts. So if your child wants to know how Fruits Basket ends, they will turn to the manga.


It Helps Kids Build Empathy

Kids aren't naturally empathetic, and it takes practice and exposure to build that skill. So what makes anime a prime tool to build empathy? Unless your child is a Japanese person living in Japan, watching anime automatically requires them to try and understand a person from a different culture than their own. Depending on the series, kids not only learn aspects about Japanese culture, they also realize these characters experience the same struggles and feelings as they do. This applies to more than just cultural differences - anime asks you to feel empathy for everyone from teenagers with emotional regulation issues in My Little Monster to ghouls who eat human flesh in Tokyo Ghoul.


Anime Offers A Gateway To Creativity

If you think nothing creative comes from watching anime, you may need to anime-inspo of your own. While possible to passively absorb it, anime, like most media, sticks with kids long after the screen turns off. If a kid enjoys a show, they find some way to express that love, whether it's drawing pictures and comics, writing fanfiction, or dressing up like their favorite characters. Not only can kids do this on their own, but there's also a thriving community of other fans who they can share their work with. Writing a story about yourself adventuring in the world of Pokémon is cool, but when you put those stories online for other people to read and experience, you inadvertently workshop your own writing. Anime not only encourages creative expression, it also encourages creative improvement


Anime Teaches Perseverance

Perseverance, or the ability to stick to a task until it's finished, is a critical skill for accomplishing just about anything in life. Plenty of anime center around characters trying to accomplish goals and navigating around certain obstacles to achieve said goals. Whether trying to convince an irresponsible god to reunite your soul with your body like in Noragami, or trying to get into My Hero Academia's UA High, anime characters constantly chase difficult goals and putting in the hard work to achieve them. Since series typically follow a linear storyline, anime shows a character's own development more so than shows like Dora the Explorer where each episode stands alone with little-to-no changes.

Furthermore, the sheer act of following anime storylines teaches children patience and perseverance. While many shows come in bite-sized packages of 12 episodes, others balloon into the hundreds. Bleach, for example, is 366 episodes long. 366 episodes. That's a lot of watching, but it's not a waste of time. Though some of those episodes are filler, if you get through the whole thing, you train yourself to endure things that maybe aren't so pleasant for the payoff of a seriously awesome story. If you can't do that, you're not going to be able to read Anna Karenina, a fantastic book with a lot of boring bits. 


If You Watch It Together, Even The Bad Parts Are Educational

Like all other forms of media, a lot of anime can get kind of messed up. That said, anime offers an easy way to introduce kids to more adult topics and issues. Say you and your child are watching Gintama together. Yes, Gintama is hysterically funny, but some plot points are questionable, such as the whole episode where the main character rags on a side character for being fat, or the transphobic "man in a dress" jokes that populated the earlier episodes. By watching alongside your child, you can teach them why these types of things aren't socially or morally acceptable.


It Teaches You About Failure

Learning to fail gracefully remains a universal struggle of growing up, and anime characters make great teachers on this subject. As often as anime characters succeed at their goals, they also fail. But most importantly, they never give up - they pull back, come up with a new strategy, and try again. In Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Kikuhiko goes from novice to expert at rakugo (a form of Japanese storytelling) through a combination of practice and soul-searching. In Shirobako, protagonist Shizuka takes forever to land a voice acting gig - but her constant failure keeps the series engaging.

Anime also shows the consequences of too much success. In One Punch Man, the main character, Saitama, defeats enemies with a single punch, and as such constantly finds himself bored. In Yuri!!! on ICEJJ Leroy becomes so accustomed to success at professional figure skating that when he stumbles, he panics. Mistakes never come easily to anybody, especially kids, but anime teaches you accept them with poise and resolution.


Anime Introduces Them To Japanese Culture

Anime acts as an excellent gateway to learn about Japanese culture. Whether depicting Japanese culinary delights or cultural traditions like karuta in Chihayafuru, anime can provide a window into Japanese culture easily consumable for children. Some anime titles even offer views into Japan's history, ranging from the samurai (Rurouni Kenshin) to WWII (Grave of the Fireflies).

Keep in mind anime is not the be-all end-all of Japanese culture, and plenty of tropes actually cause misconception. For example, anime often depicts teenagers living alone, an unlikely situation for most Japanese adolescents. Still, these discrepancies are a great way to teach kids another lesson - you can't judge a culture solely by the media it produces.


Anime Teaches Strategy And Logical Thinking

While most kids' shows keep it light on critical thinking, a great deal of anime rely heavily on strategy and logical thought. Two good examples of this are Death Note and No Game No Lifeseries that are better enjoyed by teenagers rather than young children. In Death Note, viewers watch two strategic geniuses, L and Light, try and outsmart each other in a mind-bending battle of wits. In No Game No Life, partners Sora and Shiro play strategic games with incredible skill, and clue the audience in as to how they're doing it. Both titles, in addition to honing a child's critical thinking skills, also introduce children to forms of entertainment more complex than just the usual problem/solution formula that most mediums tend to follow.


Anime Shows Kids How To Be A Good Friend

Forming and maintaining friendships is a vital part of growing up, and anime friendships can help foster such growth. Watching anime easily acts as a social activity - there's nothing like binge-watching your favorite show with a group of friends. That said, kids can learn much about friendship by watching anime on their own. In Fairy Tail, the protagonist's friendship keeps them fighting their enemies even when all seems lost. In Anohanaa tight-knit group of friends is torn apart by tragedy when Menma, a member of the group, dies in an accident. The show deals with each member's struggle to grieve their loss, and the ultimate reconciliation of their friendships. These shows, among many others, depict characters being there for each other during hard times, enjoying each other's company during good times, and working through conflict as necessary - which is exactly what you have to do in the real world.


Kids Have Power In Anime

Many children grow up feeling completely powerless to do anything about the problems of the world or their own lives. If they're not dogged down by the countless societal and cultural problems that plague humanity, kids must also face challenging personal issues like moving homes, puberty, and/or the death of a loved one. If kids don't believe that they can change anything, they won't try, which means that they won't succeed. The real world doesn't always provide relatable examples of people - and more importantly kids - making an impact. That's where anime comes in. 

In anime, kids and teenagers are often made to be the savior of the series. Whether it's the kids from Digimon saving both their world and the Digital World or the teenagers in Neon Genesis Evangelion fighting off invading aliens, anime presents numerous examples of kids changing the world for the better. On a more personal scale, Spirited Away follows the quest of 10-year-old Chihiro to save her parents and herself from the spirit world.



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Thu, 25 May 2017 08:37:48 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/reasons-parents-should-have-their-kids-watch-anime/anna-lindwasser
<![CDATA[This Newly Discovered Photo Suggests Amelia Earhart Survived Her Plane Crash]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/did-amelia-earhart-actually-survive-her-plane-crash-/kellie-kreiss?source=rss

In a wondrous feat of historic oversight, an old photograph has resurfaced from the depths of the US National Archives and experts believe that it is an image of none other than Amelia Earhart. The photo suggests that the famed pilot, who for the past 80 years has been deemed the victim of a tragic plane crash, may have actually survived the accident along with her navigator, Fred Noonan. You read that right – this recently discovered picture means Amelia Earhart might have actually survived a crash landing in the Marshall Islands.

Earhart took off from a runway in Oakland, CA, on the morning of June 1, 1937, with the intent of making aviation history. However, hardly one month into her journey, on July 2, 1937, Earhart's plane seemingly disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean during her attempt to become the first woman to pilot a plane around the world.

It was originally believed that the Kansas-born pilot, with numerous flying records and awards under her belt, had somehow miscalculated and run out of gas at the worst possible time and met her end just short of the next fueling station on Howland Island. And since her body and the plane itself were never seen again, the mystery surrounding her untimely end has confounded historians ever since.

However, the mystery doesn't end there – evidence found within the photograph shows that the individuals identified as Earhart and Noonan may have actually been under the custody of the Japanese, and, considering the relationship that the US had with the Japanese in 1937, it can be assumed that they weren't the most welcome of guests. Did Amelia Earhart survive her trip around the world only to fall into the hands of hostile Japanese? This photograph suggests that may have been the case.

UPDATE 7/12/17: A military history blogger based in Tokyo, Japan, Kota Yamano, debunked the photograph with a short 30-minute dive into the origins of the photograph. According to Yamano's archival research, the image had been published in a travelogue about the South Seas in 1935 – two years before Earhart's crash and disappearance. The mystery of Amelia Earhart lives on.


This Newly Discovered Photo Suggests Amelia Earhart Survived Her Plane Crash,

In A Letter To President Roosevelt, Earhart Expressed Her Concerns About Having Enough Fuel To Make The Trip Back To The US

Unfortunately, The Photograph Was Debunked In Short Order

Kota Yamano, a military history blogger from Tokyo, Japan, was skeptical about the veracity of the photo at the center of the History special. So, he decided to do a little digging of his own into its origins. Within 30 minutes of starting his archival research, Yamano had discredited the claims about the image, which was actually taken in 1935. Noonan and Earhart didn't disappear until 1937. In reality, it's just a photo of spectators at a boat race, not the long sought-after evidence that Amelia Earhart survived what many believe to have been a fatal crash.


The Photo Was Taken By A US Spy

The answer to the question of where this photo came from and why it has taken so long for it to come to the attention of historians may hold the key to Earhart's true fate. The photograph, which was stamped with the official seal from the Office of Naval Intelligence, is believed to have been taken by a US spy employed with the task of gathering intelligence on Japanese military efforts in the Pacific.

Assuming this to be the case, any photographs or evidence acquired would be deemed top secret, and their public release could have put both the spy and Earhart herself in immediate danger. If this is true, it would explain why the photograph remained a secret for so long and why Earhart's survival was never announced to the public. The Japanese, however, deny ever having had Earhart in their custody.


She Was Held Prisoner By The Japanese On Saipan

If the analysis of the newly recovered photograph is correct, it suggests that Earhart, after miraculously surviving her crash landing, was then apprehended by the Japanese military and imprisoned. As Gary Tarpinian, the executive producer of the History Channel special that is blowing the lid off of this mystery, "Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence," explained: "We believe that the Koshu took her to Saipan [in the Mariana Islands], and that she died there under the custody of the Japanese."

Adding further credence to the validity of this possibility, locals who were living on the Marshall Islands during the time of Earhart's crash recall seeing her in the custody of Japanese officials and even claim to have seen the plane itself crash.


Earhart Challenged Gender Stereotypes Early On, Playing Basketball, Taking Auto-Repair Classes, And Even Deep-Sea Diving

The Photo Suggests Earhart Survived Her Crash Landing And Made It To The Marshall Islands

It has long been believed that Earhart's plane ran out of fuel somewhere near Howland Island and crash landed into the ocean on July 2, 1937; however, no evidence of her or her plane was ever found on any of the nearby Marshall Islands. Could this be because she was actually picked up by the Japanese?

According to expert analysis of the photograph, not only were Earhart and Noonan identified as two of the individuals standing on the loading dock, but Earhart's plane – a Lockheed Model 10-E Electra – is also believed to be the large object seen on the Japanese military barge, the Koshu Maru, in the background. Making this evidence all the more convincing is the writing found on the photograph that reads "Marshall Islands, Jaluit Atoll, Jaluit Island, Jaluit Harbor," which is a reasonable distance from where Earhart was believed to have crashed.

Yet, this raises the question – what were the Japanese doing with Earhart and her plane, and why wouldn't they have alerted the US to her arrival?


Earhart Set Numerous Records In Her Career, Including Being The First Woman To Fly Above 14,000 Feet


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Wed, 05 Jul 2017 04:02:40 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/did-amelia-earhart-actually-survive-her-plane-crash-/kellie-kreiss
<![CDATA[Unexpectedly Disturbing Imagery Hidden In Disney Movies]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/loaded-dark-disney-imagery/rebecca-shortall?source=rss

Disney films have become a fixture of many kids’ childhood memories. They’re movies people love to rewatch - even after outgrowing them. However, the older you get and the more you re-watch them, the more likely you are to start noticing that something is a little bit off about certain aspects of these beloved Disney classics.

Some scenes might make you want to pause and rewind to see whatever the hell that was again, just to make sure you’re not imagining things. And boom – there it is – something that reminds you of World War II or a visual that is unbearably racist. Many of your favorite kid’s classics are peppered with dark Disney imagery that passed right by you in childhood, but has since come back to haunt your dreams.

There’s a lot of loaded imagery in Disney movies that ranges from creepy to sexual to straight-up mind-boggling. Sometimes these visuals are a little kinkier than you would have expected from a family-friendly animated classic. Other times these disturbing Disney images may evoke some connotations of dictatorships or religious hellscapes. Take a look at the images below and see just how creepy they can get.


Unexpectedly Disturbing Imagery Hidden In Disney Movies,

101 Dalmatians

This one would only be noticeable to those with an eagle eye for Nazi imagery. But there it is: Dalmatian mother, Perdy, has the misfortune of having been marked with a swastika, formed subtly by the spots on her coat. Maybe Cruella Deville would have thought twice about trying to take this fur if she knew she’d be communicating fascist symbols - then again, maybe not. 


Aladdin

A lot like Frollo’s psycho-sexual obsession with Esmeralda, we’ve got another Disney movie that has some weird, overtly sexual dynamics swirling around in a scene where a woman is in a dangerous situation orchestrated by a pervy, older guy.

In Disney's Aladdin, Jasmine is imprisoned by Jafar, and the visuals take on a very BDSM-tinged element. Jasmine is chained to Jafar’s snake sceptre, feeding him apples. And Jafar swapped out her green outfit for a more, Princess-Leia-in-Return-of-the-Jedi red number. All this imagery reads a lot kinkier than you would expect.


Der Fuehrer's Face

This particular image comes from a 1943 anti-Nazi propaganda film called Der Fuehrer's Face. This Disney joint was conceived as a way of selling war bonds and depicted Donald Duck in the midst of a nightmare where he slaves away in a factory in Nazi Germany. Of course, it’s all a dream and Donald wakes up back in the United States, thankful to be in good old ‘Merica.


Dumbo

The film wants us to believe that Dumbo’s only drinking alcohol, but whatever it is has to be laced with some seriously hard stuff because the imagery here has more in common with some classic Hunter S. Thompson drug tripping than with any drunken movie scene.

The visuals are terrifying with the black, dead eye holes of the elephants swirling around the screen like they’re the ghosts of elephants past. One elephant even becomes a belly dancer as a disembodied eye blinks into the middle of the screen. Elephant noses turn into clarinets and they begin to play trippy jazz music. This whole sequence probably made you feel distinctly uncomfortable as a kid, if not outright terrified. Why is it there? Why are we being punished? No one deserves to endure this nightmare in pink.


Fantasia

Disney has had a long history of tone-deaf, insensitive, and downright racist movies in its catalog. And it's pretty easy to forget that Fantasia was actually one of them because Disney tried to deny the existence of its racist, dehumanizing caricature, Sunflower, when they rereleased the film in 1960. Disney attempted to scrub all evidence of Sunflower, the centaur handmaid to an Aryan-looking horse-woman, and pretended that the whole scene never made it to the screen.


Peter Pan

As numerous shrewd bloggers have pointed out, Tinker Bell seems to exist as a object of subservience to male sexual fantasies of domination and violence in Peter Pan. In one scene, Peter grabs her by the wings and spanks a bunch of glitter out of Tinker Bell as she grimaces and rattles. It's basically a kid's version of a male fantasy in which a powerful man spanks a woman as she squirts, her face betraying equal parts pleasure and pain. 

In another scene, Tinker Bell gets trapped in keyhole that looks like a combination of pillory and glory hole. Seen from the front, her face is a mixture of pain and wide-mouthed surprise, as if she is experiencing ecstasy through punishment, on all fours, locked in a bondage device. From behind, she is all ass, her dress hiked up, underwear exposed, butt writhing. Gifs taken from this scene make it seem as though she's either twerking or, pardon the French, getting hammered from behind by an invisible man. 

Throughout Peter Pan, Tinker Bell appears as an subservient object to male desires of the perfect woman. Her clothes are revealing, she wants you to think she's adorable, she pouts when she doesn't get what she wants, she finds herself in very domestic situations, all for the benefit of male viewers, and to reinforce female perceptions of sex and gender roles. 


Pinocchio

At first, we see our puppet protagonist and some other young boys being lured to Pleasure Island, a place where they’re free to drink, smoke cigars, and play pool. But things get dark really quickly when each of these badly behaving boys suddenly sprout donkey ears and begin their horrifying, Cronenberg-esque donkey-transformations after which they are sold off as slaves to go work in the salt mines.

Pinocchio manages to fit the topics of child abduction, slave trafficking, and even creepy loss-of-childhood-innocence metaphors all into one horrifying sequence that surely left a lot of kids traumatized. (Remember the scene where the coachman who wants the boys transported to Pleasure Island says "they never come back as boys"? It is all kinds of creepy.)


Pocahontas

When John Smith first meets the titular Powhatan noble woman in Pocahontashe is 28 and she 11. The movie fudges this and passes her off at 18, but the alluring face, soft eyes, big smile, and gentile hand Smith offers her calls to mind the deceptive charm of a pedophile with this in mind. 

What's more, while Smith looks to be charming Pocahontas on account of an immediate attraction for her, he is in fact attracted to her land, and ensnaring her as a means of taking that land for himself. Time and again throughout the film, Pocahontas is portrayed as analogous with the physical territory of the United States, an ageless, totemic being. In this context, her partnership with Smith, in which he (as you know, being an adult) penetrates her and sews his seed, is a metaphor for the European seizure of territory from indigenous people. 

In turning Pocahontas into a metaphor for the United States, the film erases the history of genocide and conflict, by making it seem as though a harmonious relationship led to the establishment of the colonies, not warfare, skepticism, lies, and brutality. 


The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is chock-full of some pretty dark subject matter for a musical animated film made for children. So it comes as no surprise that this movie is rife with terrifying imagery, the implications of which may go over the heads of its intended audience.

The movie’s villain, Frollo, is obsessed with leading lady Esmeralda in that if-I-can’t-have-you-no-one-can kind of way. He gives her an ultimatum: she can choose to be with him or be condemned to the fiery pits of hell. Then he sings a song with such sunny, cheerful lyrics as, "Don't let this siren cast her spell/Don't let her fire sear my flesh and bone/Destroy Esmeralda/And let her taste the fires of hell/Or else let her be mine and mine alone," into a fireplace while he watches a tiny, naked Esmeralda made of fire dance around. There are definitely a lot of visual stand-ins for sexual repression and religious guilt to unpack there.


The Lion King

If you thought the montage "Be Prepared" from The Lion King was giving you some serious Hitler-rally vibes, then you’re pretty spot on. Certain shots in this number are meant to echo Nazi propaganda films, specifically Triumph of the Will. Shots of Scar standing on a platform while his hyena army goose-step down below are almost exact replicas of scenes from Hitler's puff-piece except with, you know, cartoon lions and hyenas instead of an evil dictator's army.



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Wed, 07 Jun 2017 04:59:08 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/loaded-dark-disney-imagery/rebecca-shortall
<![CDATA[Star Wars Cast And Crew Tell Their Behind The Scenes Stories Of Carrie Fisher]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/star-wars-stories-about-carrie-fisher/tamar-altebarmakian?source=rss

What was Carrie Fisher like? Along with other Star Wars characters, Princess Leia has become one of the most recognizable film characters in the world. As inspiring a figure as she is, she was portrayed by a woman who was every bit as strong and resilient as the space princess. On the similarities between herself and her famous alter ego, Fisher said, "I liked being Princess Leia. Or Princess Leia’s being me. Over time I thought that we’d melded into one. I don’t think you could think of Leia without my lurking in that thought somewhere."

When asked about what it was like to work with Carrie Fisher, most of her colleagues spoke of her tremendous spirit and her unparalleled sense of humor. In a touching post about his co-star and close friend, Mark Hamill described the actress as a "gorgeous, fiercely independent and ferociously funny, take-charge woman who took our collective breath away." A quick glance at some of the footage of Carrie Fisher on the Star Wars set shows these traits in action. Despite her small stature and only being 19 when she began filming A New Hope, she dominated each of her scenes, commanding a great deal of respect during a time in cinema when women weren’t given many opportunities to take on the role of a strong, independent leader.

Read these hilarious and heartwarming behind the scenes stories about Carrie Fisher during her time as the beloved Princess and General Leia Organa.


Star Wars Cast And Crew Tell Their Behind The Scenes Stories Of Carrie Fisher,

She Helped John Boyega Cheat On His Diet

John Boyega had a strict diet and workout routine while filming The Last Jedi, so whenever he needed a cheat day, he would visit Fisher's trailer to satiate his junk food cravings. He shared the story with People magazine:

"I’d been eating really healthy and clean, working out all the time, and I just wanted a chocolate bar. I went to Carrie’s trailer because that was the place to go to. I said, 'I’m really hungry and I’m sick of eating chicken breasts and salad' and she goes, 'Oh! Go to my fridge and get something.'"

After he opened her fridge to discover her trove of junk food, the actress told Boyega, "I was waiting for you to fail!"


She And Harrison Ford Got Drunk With The Rolling Stones

While filming The Empire Strikes Back, Fisher rented Eric Idle’s house. The Monty Python actor was still hanging out at the property while he was renting it out, and one night he invited The Rolling Stones over. Fisher asked Harrison Ford to join, too, and the two actors drank and partied with the band. The only problem was that they were due on set in a few hours.

"We weren’t hung over," Fisher said about filming the scene. "We were still in our cups. And if you watch the movie you can see that: Harrison and I are smiling as we arrived in Cloud City. Doesn’t that sound like a euphemism?"


She Enjoyed Slapping Oscar Isaac

For an intense scene in the The Last Jedi, General Organa was scripted to slap Poe Dameron. According to Oscar Isaac, who plays the dashing Resistance pilot, Fisher slapped Isaac 27 times. She appeared to "relish the physicality of it."


She Made Mark Hamill Wear Ridiculous Costumes On Set

While filming The Empire Strikes Back, Fisher asked her space brother Mark Hamill to try on her Hoth space jumpsuit. During the 2017 Star Wars Celebration, Hamill told the audience how Fisher then accessorized the outfit with clown nose glasses and bozo hair. After Hamill was dressed, Fisher took him by the hand and paraded him around the entire studio. He also wore Fisher's floral robe around set, simply because she asked him to.

After sharing the story, Hamill said, "I don’t think I would have done that for anybody but her... nothing pleased me more than making her laugh."


She Chased Her Co-Stars Around The Set With A Squirt Gun

On a particularly hot day while filming the original trilogy, someone brought squirt guns to set. Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca, remembers Fisher grabbing one of the squirt guns and running around in costume, soaking Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and anyone else who got in her way. Eventually, someone had to take the gun away from her, because she was having too much fun.


She Joked About Going Braless

George Lucas instructed Fisher not to wear a bra beneath her A New Hope costume because, according to Lucas, "there’s no underwear in space." He reasoned that, in space, you become weightless, so your flesh expands while your bra doesn’t. The end result? You get strangled by your bra - but apparently, you don’t get crushed by helmets and tight-fitting body armor. This is why Fisher requested that, when she passed, her obituary should read that she "drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra."

While there’s no underwear in space, there is gaffer tape, which apparently is what the crew used to tape down Fisher’s breasts.


She Looked After Warwick Davis

Warwick Davis, the actor who played the Ewok Wicket, was 11 years old and had never been on a film set before he snagged a role in Return of the Jedi. According to Davis, Fisher made the experience fun for him, and took on a mothering role during his time on set. She would frequently check on him to make sure he was okay, and would even have chocolate milk and cookies for him.


She And Mark Hamill Made Out Once

Fisher and Mark Hamill locked lips off-camera, too. During filming for A New Hope, the two actors bantered about who was the better kisser. "Cut to us making out on the couch like a couple of horny teenagers," Hamill said of their full blown make-out session. However, their romance was short-lived, as they both erupted in a fit of laughter. "I thought we dodged a bullet there," said Hamill, "because we had the fun without the responsibility."


She Read Philosophy Books On Set And Tabloids In Her Trailer

According to Mark Hamill, during breaks while filming Return of the Jedi, Fisher would pull out volumes of philosophy from authors like Nietzsche and Kierkegaard and highlight excerpts from the texts. This bothered Hamill, because she wasn’t spending time with him between scenes like they did in previous films. Hamill, in true space-brother form, ratted Fisher out, asking her why she didn’t read all the trashy tabloids she had in her trailer when she was on set. In response, Fisher snapped, "Because I want people to think I’m smart!"


She And Daisy Ridley Sang And Danced On Set

In addition to giving Daisy Ridley some sage advice on fighting against being dressed up in a slave outfit, Fisher would also sing and dance with Ridley during filming. Ridley told People magazine, "I love to sing and Carrie loves to sing so we would just sit there and sing together. There’s some behind-the-scene footage of us dancing as well, it was a bit like that but with singing."



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Wed, 10 May 2017 08:27:21 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/star-wars-stories-about-carrie-fisher/tamar-altebarmakian
<![CDATA[12 Epic '90s Soundtracks That Are Better Than The Actual Movie]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/90s-soundtracks-better-than-their-movies/harrison-tenpas?source=rss

The '90s was by no means the worst decade in cinematic history, though some duds definitely made it to the screen. Waves of nostalgia glamorizing an era of Beanie Babies and bootcut jeans can be deceiving, but in reality, even some of the highest grossing movies of the '90s were pretty bad.

But even the worst '90s movies had one thing going for them: the now-almost-obsolete soundtrack. If you're old enough to have cognitive memories of the '90s, chances are you can remember soundtracks as physical albums - CDs or tapes that had a smattering of contemporary hits featured in a major motion picture. And a lot of these soundtracks from the '90s were better than the films themselves; in fact, some of the best '90s albums might just be compilations pulled together for films. After all, the sheer volume of great music from the decade made it easy to put together a decent mix.

Bad '90s movies with great soundtracks span genres. Remember Batman Forever? You might not, but you've definitely sung along to Seal's "Kiss From a Rose." And what about Spiceworld, and its bubbly pop score? These good soundtracks for bad movies prove that even the worst film has a redeemable quality - even if you have to close your eyes to find it.


12 Epic '90s Soundtracks That Are Better Than The Actual Movie,

Batman Forever
  • "Kiss From a Rose" by Seal
  • "Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me" by U2
  • "Where Are You Now" by Brandy

Batman movies were pretty bad in the 1990s, and the worst might just be Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever. An otherwise solid cast is pretty much torpedoed by Val Kilmer's version of Bruce Wayne, and critics resoundingly panned the film. Luckily, all is not lost, as the soundtrack for this movie is way better than it has any right to be.


Cruel Intentions
  • "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by The Verve
  • "Praise You" by Fatboy Slim
  • "Coffee & TV" by Blur

From a casting standpoint alone, Cruel Intentions might be the most '90s movie ever conceived. Unfortunately, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Ryan Phillippe can't save this laboring snoozefest about rich kid problems. Rick Groen of the Globe and Mail called Cruel Intentions, "The filmic answer to a pack of Spice Girl cards." 

Cruel Intentions' saving grace, so much as there is one, is a well put together soundtrack. Placebo, Blur, Aimee Mann, Marcy Playground - these are all artists that deserve better than this movie. The focal point here, however, is the Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony," a very '90s song for a very '90s movie. 


Empire Records
  • "Liar" by The Cranberries
  • "Til I Hear It From You" by Gin Blossoms
  • "Crazy Life" by Toad The Wet Sprocket

Variety's Ken Eisner put it best when he called Empire Records "A soundtrack in search of a movie." With a barely-there story about the goings-on in a record store, this 1995 film wasn't exactly watchable. However, time has been kind to it: Rotten Tomatoes notes a great disparity between the critics (23%) and audience (84%) ratings. That could be attributed to the fact that, despite its faults on screen, Empire Records has a pretty good soundtrack.  

A cavalcade of '90s alternative greats appear on this LP, from the Gin Blossoms, to the Cranberries, to Better than Ezra.


Grosse Pointe Blank
  • "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen
  • "Blister in the Sun" by Violent Femmes
  • "Live & Let Die" by Guns N' Roses

1997's Grosse Pointe Blank has a really great cast: both Cusacks, Dan Aykroyd, Minnie Driver, and the excellent Alan Arkin. What is does not have is a coherent plotline. Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader politely called the film an "Unholy mess," and it's hard to disagree. 

The soundtrack to Grosse Pointe Blank, however, is pretty great. With songs from the Clash, the Specials, David Bowie, and the Violent Femmes, it's incredibly short on filler - a quality it sadly does not share the film.


Reality Bites
  • "All I Want Is You" by U2
  • "Turnip Farm" by Dinosaur Jr.
  • "Tempted (94)" by Squeeze

1993's Reality Bites, directed by Ben Stiller, was described by the Chicago Tribune's Michael Wilmington as, "Another piece of self-congratulatory formula wish-fulfillment masquerading as hip."

While Stiller's take on twenty-something slacker culture may have significantly missed the mark, the film's accompanying soundtrack made up some of its shortcomings. With tracks from Dinosaur Jr., Squeeze, and U2's "All I Want Is You," it's an album that decidedly does not bite.


Romeo + Juliet
  • "Lovefool" by The Cardigans
  • "#1 Crush" by Garbage
  • "Local God" by Everclear

Baz Lurhmann's films aren't for everybody, but 1996's Romeo + Juliet might not have been for anybody. A retelling of Shakespeare's classic tale set in a post-modern Verona, Romeo + Juliet finds megastars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes inexplicable trapped in a terrible movie. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle faintly praised the film as, "A monumental disaster."

But in the ashes of this theatrical tire fire lies a soundtrack that is remarkably good, which is not uncommon of Luhrmann films. Radiohead, Everclear, and Garbage all show up, plus the classic '90s track "Lovefool" from the Cardigans is front and center.


Scream 2
  • "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • "Your Lucky Day In Hell" by The Eels
  • "Rivers" by Sugar Ray

1996's Scream was an effective, scary film that represented a return to form for director and horror icon Wes Craven. 1997's Scream 2 was none of those things. While still helmed by Craven, Scream 2 felt like a rushed cash-grab spurred on by the success of the previous film, with some critics calling it "limp" and "disappointing."

The Scream 2 soundtrack, on the other hand, was a much more spirited work. Not many albums can pull off appearances by both Master P and Nick Cave, but this one does. D'Angelo, Tonic, and Collective Soul also make appearances, providing a sort of off-kilter snapshot of '90s pop.


Singles
  • "Breath" by Pearl Jam
  • "Birth Ritual" by Soundgarden
  • "Waiting for Somebody" by Paul Westerberg

Cameron Crowe's 1992 film Singles, a cartoonish portrayal of the Seattle grunge scene, was big on interviews as obvious plot devices, and light on just about everything else. Described by the Baltimore Sun's Stephen Hunter as "infernally precious," Singles was not, however, without value - it had a great soundtrack. 

All the big bands of the Pacific Northwest are here: Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, and even a solo Chris Cornell. It also gets bonus points for having two tracks from a post-Replacements Paul Westerberg.


Spice World
  • "Spice Up Your Life" by Spice Girls
  • "Viva Forever" by Spice Girls
  • "Stop" by Spice Girls

Spice World, to its credit, is barely considered a soundtrack - it's more correctly a studio album that just happened to drop at the same time as a movie by the same name. Spice World, the film, is pretty much just a promotional ploy barely attempting to be anything else. This is a movie that could generously be considered a nod to the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, to which the late Roger Ebert said, "They should have ripped off more - everything they could get their hands on." Nonetheless, this album went five-times platinum.


The Faculty
  • "Stay Young" by Oasis
  • "Medication" by Garbage
  • "The Kids Aren't Alright" by The Offspring

The Faculty is definitely the best horror film released in 1998 that featured both Jon Stewart and Usher. Aside from that, this is a movie by Robert Rodriguez that's pretty unremarkable. Tom Meek of the Boston Phoenix called this film "An arduous borefest," which sounds about right.

The Faculty does redeem itself a bit with a decent soundtrack. Soul Asylum, Sheryl Crow, Garbage, and Stabbing Westward all contribute some classic '90s fare. What makes this soundtrack, though, is the inclusion of "Stay Young" by Oasis.



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Wed, 10 May 2017 09:27:47 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/90s-soundtracks-better-than-their-movies/harrison-tenpas
<![CDATA[14 Facts About The D-Day Invasion Most People Don't Know About]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/operation-overlord-normandy-d-day-invasion-facts/philgibbons?source=rss

On June 6, 1944, the D-Day invasion by Allied forces began in the French region of Normandy. What happened on D-Day, one of the largest military undertakings in world history, remains among the most remarkable stories of WWII. Facts about this endeavor, code named Operation Overlord, continue to amaze the public over 70 years after this momentous event. Here are some remarkable and surprising details about the D-Day invasion, the attack that was the beginning of the end of the Nazi Reich and ground zero for the onset of the struggle for the liberation of Europe. From leading men you had no idea landed on D-Day to sleeping Nazi leadership, the invasion that began the end of WWII is full of surprising, heroic, and heart-wrenching moments.


14 Facts About The D-Day Invasion Most People Don't Know About,

Omaha Beach Could Have Been Worse

Throughout 1944, a philosophical struggle took place between General Rommel and other members of the German general staff. Rommel firmly believed that the Allies should be prevented from landing and establishing a beachhead anywhere on the coast of France. Other officers believed that troops should be held in reserve and quickly rushed in to counterattack and wipe out any invasion. Despite Rommel's specific orders to the 352nd Infantry Division to move its 5 artillery and 10 infantry battalions of the division to the vicinity of the Omaha beachhead, Rommel's subordinates ignored these commands and placed all but two infantry and one artillery battalions in reserve, more in line with German high command strategy. While the Omaha Beach landing was the most difficult and costly of the five invasion points, it could have been much worse – and might have even jeopardized the entire invasion – had the entire German capability at Omaha Beach been utilized to prevent a linkup of the Allies in the early days of the invasion. 


Faced With The Impossible, Rangers At Pointe-Du-Hoc Were The First to Complete Their Mission On D-Day

One of the toughest objectives handed out on D-Day was the mission to knock out the German 155mm batteries on the promontory of Pointe-Du-Hoc. American airborne Rangers would be given the task of scaling the cliff-side location almost 100 feet into a nest of heavily fortified bunkers and pillboxes protecting the German artillery, which was a threat to both the men on the beaches and the ships at sea. Only half of the designated Ranger attack force reached the base of the cliffs. Late and disorganized, they were never able to signal the secondary group, which was then diverted to Omaha Beach, possibly saving that effort. Despite the loss of manpower, the Rangers began the process of ascending the seawall, accompanied by artillery shelling from Allied destroyers that provided cover. The Rangers quickly got to the top, subdued or repelled any defenders, and were shocked to find that the gun emplacements contained only telephone poles, placed there to fool Allied reconnaissance.

Fortunately, tire tracks lead to the new German artillery position, and the Rangers quickly disabled the 155mm guns with grenades. By 9 am, they were able to signal that they had reached their objective, the first Allied unit to successfully complete their mission. Unfortunately, the Germans would furiously counterattack for the next two days, the Rangers isolated and unable to be resupplied from the water and trapped against the cliffs by German units. The only reinforcements were three American paratroopers who landed off target and somehow made it through German lines to the Rangers' position. The Rangers would hold their position until the morning of June 8, when other Ranger units and armored infantry drove the Germans from the vicinity. By then, two thirds of the initial Ranger group that had climbed the cliffs had either been captured, wounded, or killed.       


The Allies Were Greatly Helped By Hitler Sleeping In

By mid-1944, Adolf Hitler's doctor was treating him with medications that included amphetamines and possibly even cocaine. Consequently, Hitler would remain awake into the wee early morning hours and sleep until the early afternoon. Even the most superior members of the German high command were aware of this behavior and knew that he would become angry if disturbed. Hitler had also forbidden commanders in the field from adjusting troop positions without his specific permission. When several generals in the Normandy area wanted to immediately deploy two German panzer divisions to attack the tenuous Allied toehold as quickly as possible, they had to wait until late morning before disturbing Hitler. By that time, the clouds preventing Allied air attacks had broken, and Nazi reinforcements could only proceed by night, greatly reducing German ability to counterattack and ensuring the success of the landing.


Erwin Rommel Was At Home In Germany, Celebrating His Wife's Birthday

One of the individuals who might have played a major role in successfully repelling the Allied invasion was Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. A brilliant tactician nicknamed "The Desert Fox" for his exploits during the Nazi campaign in North Africa, Rommel was reassigned to supervise the defense of the "Atlantic Wall," the defense system implemented by Germany to defend against any invasion. Rommel had spent most of the previous five years away from his wife and son and wanted to briefly return home to celebrate his wife's 50th birthday. He even purchased a pair of shoes in Paris for the occasion. When his staff, based on optimistically incorrect weather reports, assured him that the Allies couldn't possibly attack anywhere on the French coast, he took the opportunity to return to Germany. Other senior officers were ordered to participate in a war game exercise that also took them away from the immediate field of battle. Informed of the attack in the early morning of June 6, Rommel rushed back to the front and managed to arrive that evening. By then, the Allies had secured the beachhead at Normandy, and Rommel was powerless to stop the invasion.   


The Weather Forecast Played A Decisive Role In D-Day's Success

Because D-Day relied so heavily on issues surrounding weather, tides, cloud cover, and moonlight, only certain days could be considered for the invasion. Initially, Allied meteorologists selected June 5, 1944, as the most advantageous day for the attack. However, rough seas, high waves, and extreme cloud cover could be enough on their own to ensure the failure of the operation. On June 4, British military meteorologist James Stagg overruled his staff and recommended a postponement of the invasion until June 6. He believed that a 12-hour window would open that would allow for the invasion to proceed but was certain that June 5 would be a disaster. Other forecasters believed that the invasion should be postponed until a date two weeks later in the hopes that the weather might improve. In 1944, there were none of the weather satellites or technology that exist today, only anecdotal evidence gathered from various vantage points in the British Isles and the Atlantic. 

The ultimate decision would be made by General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied forces. He gambled on the 12-hour window and hoped that Stagg was correct. While June 6 was not perfect, the invasion was able to proceed, and a window of slightly better weather prevented the climate from being a factor in the invasion. Unfortunately for the Germans, their chief Luftwaffe meteorologist did not have access to Stagg's wealth of information, and his forecast was for persistently bad weather that would prevent an invasion for at least several weeks. The German high command operated under this notion, one of the reasons that they were caught off guard when the invasion began. 


Secret Code Words From The Invasion Mysteriously Appeared In A Crossword Puzzle In Advance

In May of 1944, a member of Britain's intelligence service, MI5, was observant enough to spot the answer "Utah" in a crossword puzzle in a large circulation London newspaper, The Daily Telegraph. Initially dismissed as a coincidence, agents were stunned when, within several weeks and only days before the planned D-Day invasion, the words Omaha, Overlord, Mulberry, and Neptune all appeared as answers in the same Daily Telegraph crossword. All of these names were secret words closely associated with the impending invasion. Security services quickly hauled in the composer of the crossword puzzles, Leonard Dawe, who turned out to be a headmaster at a local private school, The Strand School. Despite an intense interrogation that Dawe refused to describe until decades later, eventually MI5 was satisfied that he was not an enemy agent.

But the mystery of how the words wound up in the puzzles remained. In 1984, one of Dawe's students at the time, Ronald French, wrote to the paper to explain that the headmaster would have his classes give him random words that he would then include in his puzzles. Because the students routinely socialized and were exposed to servicemen in their neighborhoods, they naturally picked up on some of the words that these soldiers regularly used. French thought it would be clever to include these words in the crossword and gave them to the unwitting headmaster. After his interrogation, Dawe supposedly confronted French, who admitted what he had done. Unfortunately, by the time French contacted the Telegraph, Dawe was long gone, and many are still skeptical of this explanation for the remarkable D-Day crossword puzzle coincidence.


Two Medics Risked Their Lives To Heroically Provide Care

One of the lesser known stories of D-Day involves two American medics who provided assistance to both Allied and German soldiers who were brought into their tiny church sanctuary. Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore were parachuted behind German lines in the early hours of the D-Day invasion. Landing with other paratroopers near Utah Beach, their unit's objective was a road junction near the French hamlet of Angoville-Au-Plain. Wright and Moore selected the most logical nearby structure to set up their medic station, the village church. For three days, they tended to many wounded – including French civilians and even Germans – injured in the fierce fighting around the church. German panzer counterattacks eventually pushed American troops away from Angoville-Au-Plain, but the medics decided to stay and continue to care for the many soldiers relying on them. Several times, German SS personnel angrily entered the church, intent on capturing the wounded Americans within but left when confronted with Wright and Moore also tending to seriously injured German soldiers. Eventually, a Red Cross banner was placed in front of the building, indicating to both sides that the makeshift hospital should be left alone. Even so, there were many anxious moments for Wright and Moore, including an unexploded mortar shell that landed in the center of the church and failed to explode. One of the medics quickly picked up the projectile, ran outside, and tossed it into a field, despite the possibility of the shell detonating at any moment.

Midway through the ordeal, two German snipers who were hidden in the steeple, realized that they were drawing fire to the church and surrendered to the astonished Wright and Moore. On June 8, the Germans were safely pushed out of the area, the medics having saved over 80 lives in the interim. Eventually, the destroyed stained glass windows were replaced with memorials to both the 101st Airborne and the medics themselves. The pews of the church remain bloodstained, and the cracked floor square where the mortar shell landed is still visible. Kenneth Moore and Robert Wright were both awarded the Silver Star. When he died, the townspeople of Angoville-Au-Plain honored Wright's request and buried him in the church graveyard.         


A Dress Rehearsal For D-Day Was A Complete Disaster

Five weeks before D-Day, on April 28, 1944, an Allied group of ships and amphibious vehicles were moving slowly in the English Channel to prepare for their participation in "Exercise Tiger," a dry run of the amphibious effort that would constitute a large part of the planned D-Day invasion. When a massive increase in radio traffic tipped off German naval assets in the vicinity that something major was occurring, Nazi torpedo patrol boats were dispatched to the area with lethal results. They began torpedoing the amphibious LST landing craft that were jammed with American soldiers, forcing survivors of the attack to abandon ship, many with improperly implemented life vests that all but ensured drowning. In all, 749 participants in the fiasco died, the costliest training exercise of the war. The disaster was covered up by the military, to minimize loss of morale and avoid further tipping off the Germans to the imminent invation. Additionally, both Dwight D. Eisenhower and Winston Churchill were so concerned by this failure that they had grave doubts about D-Day itself.      


The Theater Of Battle Was 50 Miles Wide

Subsequent films and dramatizations of D-Day tend to be limited in portraying the scope of the size of the D-Day invasion. Much of the focus of films like Saving Private Ryan is a small stretch of beach and a small number of individuals engaged in their own personal struggle. But D-Day involved an attack that consisted of close to 75,000 infantry, paratroopers, and support personnel that would land on or behind five separate beach locations designated by the Allies. These designated sites were code named "Juno," "Sword," "Gold," "Omaha," and "Utah." The beaches comprised an area that stretched for over 50 miles


Ted Roosevelt Jr. Was The Only General In The Initial Wave

Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of President Roosevelt, was initially told that, because of a heart condition and arthritis, he would not participate in the actual D-Day invasion. Roosevelt – armed with only a pistol and a cane – insisted and came ashore with the first wave of troops at Utah Beach, the only general to do so. Landing a mile away from his intended location, Roosevelt improvised a route inland after personally reconnoitering the area behind the beach. He would remain on the beach for the rest of the day, directing subsequent waves of troops to their improvised locations. Ignoring bullets and explosions that occurred in his vicinity, Roosevelt remained a calming influence on the apprehensive soldiers who came ashore. Asked later to single out the most heroic act he observed during his career, General Omar Bradley responded: "Ted Roosevelt at Utah Beach." Ted Roosevelt Jr. died of a heart attack one month after D-Day, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and is buried in the American cemetery near the Normandy beachhead    



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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 00:51:21 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/operation-overlord-normandy-d-day-invasion-facts/philgibbons
<![CDATA[28 Times Wonder Woman Was Way More Awesome Than Batman, And Superman, And You]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-wonder-woman-moments/zack-howe?source=rss

The game just changed for the DC Extended Universe. Wonder Woman is going to take your breath away. In every sense. This is the Wonder Woman film we've all been waiting for, and it was so worth the wait. Gal Gadot is a marvel to behold. She graces the screen with a godlike presence. It will give you some feelings.

It does not matter who you are, you’re going to fall in love with her character when you watch this movie. She’s truly a goddess. Man, woman, gay, straight—doesn’t matter. Even if you’re into dudes—when Chris Pine is next to her, she makes him look subhuman. Like a chimpanzee. And not even a chimpanzee with its sh*t together. 

And don't get it twisted - it's not her physical attractiveness that makes her shine. She exudes strength and grace. Pure power. She is truly awe-inspiring. And she just provides so much badassery that you may need to see a proctologist after this movie. So without further ado, here are all of the scenes in the Wonder Woman movie where Diana Prince shows us the true meaning of badass. Be warned, there are SPOILERS ahead!


28 Times Wonder Woman Was Way More Awesome Than Batman, And Superman, And You,

The Time Diana Trained Against ALL The Amazons

Against her mother's wishes, Diana was determined to become a warrior. Finally bending to her daughter's will, Queen Hippolyta allowed her daughter to train with the Amazons, who basically had to all take her on at once to make it a fair fight. Still, she pwned those fools. 


The Time Diana Discovered Her Power

As Diana's aunt, the (second) fiercest Amazonian warrior comes at Diana in straight up berserker mode, Diana clashes her bracelets together and creates a shockwave that blasts Aunt Antiope through the air. It's the moment that Diana begins to truly understand what she's capable of, and it's done so well.


The Time Diana Battled The Revolving Door

Diana is strong willed AF. After she finally chooses an outfit that she can fight in, she prepares to walk around London in her business suit, including sword and shield in hand. She faces off against a revolving door, and when Steve tries to assist her she simply rejects him and does it on her own. It's a very light and cute moment, but there's a lot more to it. It's a woman refusing the condescending help of a man, proving she can do something (anything, really) on her own.


The Time Diana Saved Steve Trevor

Steve Trevor is a world class spy, war hero, and helpless man-baby when he's next to Diana. When his plane crash lands in the waters around Themyscira, Diana plucks him from the ocean, saving his life for the first time.


The Time Diana Cliff-Dived Like A Boss

Cliff-dived? Cliff dove? Whatever. She did it like a mother flippin' boss! Diana sees a plane crash into the ocean off the coast of Themyscira and, despite having no idea what a plane is, she dives off a cliff to go investigate. It's just a super cool scene.


The Time Diana Laid The Smackdown On Men And Their Penchant For Taking Female Secretaries

Oh, you thought Diana was just brimming with physical strength? No no no no no. She is the strongest person on the planet in every damn way. When Steve Trevor's secretary explains what it is she does for him, Diana likens it to slavery. She bows to no man, and she empowers women to do the same.


The Time Diana Took A Stand

As Diana and Steve prepare to leave, her mother confronts her. Diana vows that it is her duty to go defend the defenseless, standing up to her mother before leaving Themyscira forever. Any child who has been told by a parent they cannot do something will feel the glory in this moment.


The Time Little Diana Plotted Her Future Glory

In the beginning of the movie, we get to see little Diana running around, training in secret, as she dreams of one day becoming a warrior. She's already more badass at this point than 99% of humanity. In this scene, she's eyeing the sword they call "The God Killer" that she wishes to one day wield. Three guesses on whether or not that wish ever comes to fruition.


The Time Diana Armed Herself For War

Diana's mother Queen Hippolyta forbids Diana from going off to war, but Diana won't take that lying down. She breaks into the Amazonian Armory by scaling a sheer wall, creating her own handholds by smashing the masonry, then drops into the room where the God Killer is stored, stealing it and all the other necessary armaments. It's another one of those scenes where you find yourself inexplicably brimming with pride.


The Time Diana Prioritized Practicality Over Fashion

Okay, so when you hear the word "prioritized," it doesn't immediately make you think "Badass!" But, in this case, it should. When Diana and Steve arrive in London, they need to help her blend in, so Steve's secretary assists her in picking out an outfit, all of which Diana correctly deems ridiculous as these frilly dresses totally lack practicality. What's the point?



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Wed, 31 May 2017 11:14:13 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-wonder-woman-moments/zack-howe
<![CDATA[32 Marvel Hip-Hop Variant Covers And The Album Covers They're Inspired By]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/marvel-variant-covers-based-on-hip-hop-albums/stephanroget?source=rss

Beginning in 2015, Marvel Comics' hip-hop-themed variant covers burst onto the scene like NWA bursting into the rap game in the '90s. Variant covers are a long-standing and semi-proud tradition in the comic book world, with both Marvel and DC putting out a few sets each year, but the hip-hop brand marks a moment of particularly smashing success. Meant to reward collectors, variant covers encourage the buying of multiple copies and the completion of sets. Marvel’s hip-hop covers are still being published semi-regularly, even though years have passed since their debut, showing that audiences have responded well to the theme. Fans of the comics enjoy the variety, and fans of the various hip-hop albums that inspired the Marvel covers love the homage.

In seeking inspiration for this run of album cover tributes, Marvel Comics covered the entire gamut of rap and hip-hop history, from the earliest days of the craft to modern talents like 50 Cent and Eminem. Dozens of comic artists lent their hand to the project, and now Marvel is releasing an art book filled of nothing but the covers themselves. Combining the worlds of Marvel superheroes and hip-hop music proves to be a powerful Venn diagram of interest for the publishing company, and the most popular covers don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.


32 Marvel Hip-Hop Variant Covers And The Album Covers They're Inspired By,

Deadpool Brings The Deep Pockets Of Wade Wilson To Ape Pimp C's The Naked Soul Of Sweet Jones

Miles Morales Pays Homage To Illmatic By Nas

The All-New, All-Different Avengers Visit Illadelph Halflife By The Roots

Doctor Strange Meets Doctor Dre And The Chronic

Amazing Spider-Man Puts A Spin On A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders

Drax Could Be The Man On The Moon II, Just Like Kid Cudi

Frank Castle Said Wipe Them Out Is A Remake Of LL Cool J's Mama Said Knock You Out

The Black Panther Meets The Black Album By Jay Z

The Astonishing Ant-Man Is Ready To Shrink, But The Notorious BIG Is Ready To Die

Old Man Logan Gets A Death Certificate Courtesy Of Ice Cube


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Thu, 25 May 2017 07:34:28 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/marvel-variant-covers-based-on-hip-hop-albums/stephanroget
<![CDATA[33 Pics of Old-Timey Swimsuits That Will Have You Dreaming of the Beach]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/vintage-swimsuit-photos/carly-kiel?source=rss

"Swimsuit season." Each summer, these words strike fear into the hearts of post-pubescent pool- and beach-goers around the world. But long days of sunshine didn't always mean showing as much skin as possible. These vintage photos of old-timey swimsuits show a simpler time, when cuts were plentiful and fabrics were sensibly black. The earliest photographs of swimwear, from the prude Victorian Era, depict "bathing costumes" that were the picture of modesty: a knee-length top, ankle-length drawers, all in shapeless wool or flannel. It wasn't until the 1910s that one-piece suits became acceptable for women - and even then, the form-fitting "swimming tights" had long arms, long legs, and, occasionally, a collar. Over time, necklines receded and arms were exposed. One summer, a glimpse of a knee. A few years later, a tanline as high as mid-thigh. Escándalo! 

Still, even under yards of sopping wet wool (body-hugging nylon wasn't in vogue until the 1930s), the subjects of these early swimsuit pics look to be having F-U-N. A century ago, families visited the beach together. Couples waded in the surf. Gal pals rode bikes and buried each other in the sand and played leapfrog on the pier. When the camera came out, everyone did silly poses. That's endearing, right? A good reminder that there is no such thing as a perfect beach body, but the beach is always a great place to be, no matter what you're wearing. Enjoy these pics of old swimsuits from the 1890s to the 1930s while eating whatever your little heart desires.


33 Pics of Old-Timey Swimsuits That Will Have You Dreaming of the Beach,

Young Flappers In Heels At The Beach, 1923

Ice-Covered Beach Near 14th Street Bridge, Washington D.C., Circa 1920

Mom And Brood Splash Around Massachusetts, 1910

Bathers At Margate, 1913

Pals With Parasols Ride A Bicycle Built For Two

A Woman Buries Her Friend On Coney Island, Circa 1900

French Men Being Zany, 1910

Beauty Contestants Weighing In, 1938

Girls Posing For A Mack Sennett Film, 1927

Lighting Up At Aldeburgh Beach, Suffolk, 1927


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Wed, 31 May 2017 07:33:48 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/vintage-swimsuit-photos/carly-kiel
<![CDATA[11 Extremely Weird Things You Never Knew About Sigmund Freud]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/surprising-facts-about-sigmund-freud/ella-talkin?source=rss

As a psychoanalyst, Freud was wrong about almost everything – there is no empirical evidence to substantiate Freudian theory. Yet, that somehow continues to not really matter. The man is embedded in our cultural consciousness. The legacy of Freudian analysis colors our everyday conversations and thought paradigms. Defense mechanisms, daddy issues, catharsis, arrested development, death wishes – all of these terms come straight from Freudian psychology. His understanding of gender was othering, deeply misogynist, and ignorant; his therapy sessions violated ethical codes; he manipulated data to fit his needs; but he brought the notion of the unconscious mind into the public consciousness. That's the thing that stuck. The man himself was an eccentric weirdo whose biography is just as strange as his beliefs.


11 Extremely Weird Things You Never Knew About Sigmund Freud,

Freud May Have Covered Up An Extramarital Abortion With His Wife's Sister

Although Freud initially abandoned his penniless career in science and became a doctor to earn enough to support his beloved Martha and their soon-to-be six children, that did not stop him from maybe (probably) having an affair with Martha's younger sister Minna Bernays. Minna moved into Freud and Martha’s house after her fiancé's death in the early 1890s. At this time, Carl Jung and Freud were frenemies, and Jung later claimed Minna confessed the affair to him. Some scholars even go so far as to say that Freud got Minna pregnant, which resulted in a secret abortion. In 2006, potential proof of the affair was uncovered in the form of an old hotel registry from a Swiss resort in 1898. It seems Freud and Minna had checked into a hotel together registered as a married couple; no doubt, they were there for some skiing and light reading.


Freud Died From Assisted Suicide

By the summer of 1939, Freud’s mouth cancer had become inoperable, and his research and writing had waned. However, he also refused to quit smoking, and he did not want to face another operation. With the help of physician Max Schur and his daughter Anna, Freud administered three lethal doses of morphine into his system and slipped into a deadly coma on September 21, 1939. His heart stopped beating two days later. There are biographical inconsistencies about who administered which doses of morphine when. As a result, some historians believe Freud’s suicide was all by his own hand.


Freud Argued Babies Had Sexuality, But His 18-Year-Old Daughter Didn’t

Freud was never one to let ethics get in the way of his practice. In fact, he treated his own daughter Anna most of her life. Anna herself became a pioneer in the psychiatric profession, mainly studying children in a manner deemed unethical today (daddy issues?). Freud is famous for his belief that every act is unconsciously sexual, even a child breastfeeding. There is a delightfully hypocritical anecdote in which Freud was discouraging one of Anna’s suitors (something he was known to do) when she was 18 by declaring that she was “still far away from sexual longings.”


Freud Believed The Root Of Anti-Semitism Was The Universal Fear Of Castration

Freud was forced to leave his Austrian homeland because of the Nazi regime, so, naturally, anti-Semitism was a topic he ruminated on frequently. Freud was also always in search of the subconscious roots of humanity’s phobias, and, more often than not, the answer involved fear of losing a phallus or fear of never having one at all. In a footnote to his paper "Analysis of Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy,” he remarks that he believed the universal fear of castration may be the origin of anti-Semitism, as the Jewish religion called for ceremonial circumcision.


Freud Once Turned Down Big Hollywood Bucks

In 1925, Freud’s name was known from the cobblestones of Vienna to the hills of Hollywood. That year, Hollywood mogul Samuel Goldwyn made the trek to Vienna to plead for Freud to write or consult on MGM's films, helping them decode – through Freudian analysis – the greatest love stories of history. With cold, hard Tinseltown cash in his pocket, Goldwyn did not think Freud would need a lot of convincing. Freud, however, refused to even see him.


Freud Smoked So Many Cigars He Needed A Prosthetic Jaw

From an early age up until his death at 83, Freud was a cigar man through and through – through to the development of leukoplakia cancer and through to when it ate through his jaw. Although he received multiple diagnoses and operations, Freud couldn't keep the tobacco log out of his mouth (oral fixation anyone?). Freud is said to have smoked up to 20 cigars a day. He believed addictions were just a common masturbatory habit, and he kept his cancer secret from his friends and family. However, when he began wearing a prosthetic device that kept his jaw from collapsing, he could hide it no longer.  


Freud’s Escape From Germany Was Aided by A Princess And A Nazi

In March of 1938, Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany, and the growing anti-Semitism there induced a wave of relocation for affluent refugees. Freud underestimated the danger of the growing fascist regime and waited to escape from Vienna until it was almost too late. Soon, the Nazis were in complete control of immigration, and Freud was unable to obtain a permit alone. Luckily for Freud, Marie Bonaparte, the Princess of Greece and Denmark, was a former patient, and she was able to get a permit for Freud and his immediate family. However, even with Bonaparte’s help, Freud may not have made it out in time if the process was not expedited by the sympathetic Nazi officer in charge of his assets, Anton Sauerwald. Sauerwald had studied chemistry at Vienna University under a friend of Freud’s, and this recommendation was strong enough to put anti-Semitism on hold and let Freud escape to London. Unfortunately, four of Freud’s sisters were not able to make it out in time, and they all perished in Nazi concentration camps.


Freud Was A Scarface-Level Cokehead

When one thinks of Freud, they often think of his well-kept white beard, not a messy collection of white powder residue beneath his nostrils. However, Freud was a big-time cokehead – a frequent user, recommender, and defender of hitting the slopes. When he was a young med student in Vienna, Freud studied cocaine’s effects on the mind and body, and, in his lifetime, he published several papers on its health benefits. Although he referred to himself as his favorite cocaine test subject, in the 1880s, he recommended cocaine to his friend and fellow physician Ernst von Fleischl-Marxow who had severe nerve pain after acquiring an infection from an autopsy he was performing. His symptoms were temporarily relieved, and Freud boasted his successful prescription. However, Fleischl-Marxow died in October of 1881 of cocaine overuse, and Freud ceased to publicly recommend it. Then, in the 1890s, Freud nearly killed a patient while under the influence and stopped using it himself.


Freud Spent A Month Exclusively Looking For Eel Penises

Freud would spent his professional life opening up his patients' psyches, but his initial experience with dissection came from an ill-fated search for the gonads of eels during his time studying zoology at the University of Vienna. The pursuit of male eels had eluded zoologists for centuries, but young Freud believed that with limited sleep and some rigorous experimentation he could locate them. Freud spent four weeks doing nothing but dissecting eels, all of which he declared were “the fairer sex,” as no phallus could be found. Now, scientists know that eels don’t have testicles unless they need them specifically in mating season. Clearly, the spectrum of eel sexuality was a bit out of Freud's grasp. 


Freud Hoarded Historical Artifacts

Like cocaine use, hoarding historical artifacts that belonged in museums was acceptable in the 1930s. Freud was fascinated with Greco-Roman artifacts and would often outbid museum curators so as to bring these treasures home. Patients recalled their sessions as taking place in more a museum than a doctor’s office, and Freud himself compared his collecting to his other addictions like cigar smoking. Many of the artifacts are still in his London home, which is now the Freud Museum



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Tue, 09 May 2017 06:50:37 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/surprising-facts-about-sigmund-freud/ella-talkin
<![CDATA[Surprising Photos Of Old School Visual Effects From Before The Heyday Of CGI]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/old-school-effects-that-would-be-cgi-now/jonathan-sherman?source=rss

Long before the invention of CGI, old school practical effects introduced movie-goers to worlds, characters, and feats of impossibility that still somehow came alive on-camera. Without computers, green screens, and motion capture technology, filmmakers relied upon practical effects that would be CGI today in order to bring their imagination to the big screen. The primitiveness of the tools at their disposal, in comparison to today's special effects, belies the amazing scenes and stunts old-school directors captured on film.

Today, when CGI can even replace people, it boggles the mind to look back on insane practical effects from movies and even consider how they finished production on time. Yet, many a classic film managed to create visual impossibilities using only practical effects, and some of the best are included below. Take a gander at these memorable cinematic moments, and imagine how a modern director might tackle these challenges today.


Surprising Photos Of Old School Visual Effects From Before The Heyday Of CGI,

Underwater Filming, 'Creature From The Black Lagoon'

That's One Giant Ape, 'King Kong: 1976'

Don't Feed The Gremlins, 'Gremlins 2: The New Batch'

Fire On Set, 'Alien'

The Real Tyrell Corporation, 'Blade Runner'

Minas Tirith Looks Small, 'Lord Of The Rings'

Small Version Of A Big Boat, 'Titanic'

E.T. Flies, 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'

Creating The Nightmare, 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'

Animatronic Chucky, 'Child's Play'


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Tue, 16 May 2017 07:07:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/old-school-effects-that-would-be-cgi-now/jonathan-sherman
<![CDATA[Innocent Books That Parents Tried To Ban For Stupid Reasons]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/innocent-books-parents-tried-to-ban/jacob-shelton?source=rss

Since the '80s, literary-minded troublemakers have been celebrating banned books. These pieces of literature dare to vaguely step outside the imaginary boundaries of good behavior. Thanks to the sensitive sensibilities of parents and authority figures, there are a lot of books banned for dumb reasons, especially children’s books that do nothing beyond ask readers to open their minds to new possibilities. Innocent books banned in schools usually have some similarities, like a disregard for authority or a character using language unbefitting of an upstanding imaginary character. If you thought the only classic books that deal with teenage angst or the atrocities of war  are subject to a ban, then you’re very wrong. Most of the books banned from schools are seminal stories for young people, which makes their censorship so much worse.

Parents banning books seems to go completely against everything that a parent should do. Stories are meant to challenge the reader, and allow you to take a vacation into another world. If you begin policing a book because its characters are “theologically impossible” or because a character doesn’t care for their principal, then you’re not allowing the reader to act out those fantasies in their head, and you’re tamping down on someone’s emotional growth. Keep reading to find out the craziest reasons a book was banned, and then stop by your local library -they miss you.


Innocent Books That Parents Tried To Ban For Stupid Reasons,

And Tango Makes Three

If you haven't read And Tango Makes Three, it's a short picture book about Roy and Silo, two male penguins who fall in love, adopt an egg, and raise the newborn chick which they name Tango. It's adorable, and it's based on the true story of two penguins who live in the Central Park Zoo. According to the ALA, this was one of the most challenged books from 2006 to 2010 thanks to the culture war surrounding homosexuality. Despite being one of the rare scientifically accurate children's books, And Tango Makes Three is still being consistently challenged and reshelved in order to make sure that precious conservative snowflakes don't have their ideas of gender and love challenged in the most harmless of ways.


Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

Judy Blume has a knack for writing seminal coming-of-age stories that capture the raw emotions of being a pre-teen, specifically a pre-teen girl, so it shouldn't be a shocker that snooty uptight people believe her Are You There God to be “iffy,” sexually explicit, and immoral. Why? Because it's a book for young people that talks about menstruation, the merits of Judaism and Christianity, and at one point Margaret disrespects authority figures. When discussing the censorship with The Guardian Blume commented, "My feeling in the beginning was wait, this is America: we don't have censorship, we have, you know, freedom to read, freedom to write, freedom of the press, we don't do this, we don't ban books. But then they did."


Bridge to Terabithia

This 1977 YA novel about two lonesome children creating an imaginary forest kingdom - and the loss of innocence brought on by death - has been the subject of censorship for the book's “profanity, disrespect for adults, and an elaborate fantasy world that might lead to confusion.” Also, squares don't seem to care for the fact that Jesse, one of the book's protagonists, uses the phrase "Oh Lord" out of religious context. Despite attempts to have the book erased from school libraries, it's been the subject of two film adaptations and a musical adaptation.


Captain Underpants

This collection of books by Dav Pilkey follows two fourth graders who accidentally manifest a superhero named Captain Underpants when they hypnotize their principal, Mr. Krupp. According to the American Library AssociationCaptain Underpants was one of the most banned books of 2012 because it encouraged children to disobey authority. For instance, in one of the chapters the two protagonists refer to their principal as "that old guy" and "Mean Old Mr. Krupp." What is Dav Pilkey teaching our children?! In the ALA's "State of Censorship" address from 2014, the series was referred to as "the gift that keeps on giving," so Pilkey, and Captain Underpants, is doing just fine. So fine it was adapted into a movie


Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy: a book about an enterprising and inquisitive young woman with a can-do attitude, or the story of a degenerate gossip who slanders and puts strangers through Hell without showing one iota of remorse for her actions? When the book was initially released, most parents and teachers felt the latter. They were worried that the book would teach their children "delinquent tendencies." Even though the book was mired in controversy when it was first released, it still manages to consistently chart on the Top 100 Children’s Novels list made by the School Library Journal.


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

L. Frank Baum is a timeless tale of a young woman coming into her own while befriending a motley crew of people who need each other to succeed, and standing toe-to-toe with wicked witches. It's also inspired readers of all ages and nationalities, but it's also faced a number of bans from bores who believe the book is full of godless messages. The largest case against the book comes from seven Fundamentalist Christian families from Tennessee who tried to have the book removed from a public school syllabus. They claimed “the novel’s depiction of benevolent witches and promoting the belief that essential human attributes were ‘individually developed rather than God given.’” On top of that, they said all witches were bad, and it was  “theologically impossible” for good witches to exist. Despite their attempts, the book is beloved across the world.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Despite being about a young boy who overcomes poverty to achieve his dream of studying and becoming a hard working member of (wizard) society, squares and religious groups hate these books. They believe that the portrayals of death, witchcraft, and evil are going to warp their children in some oblique way so the books haven't just been banned, they've been burned. One group in New Mexico burnt the books on a bonfire, accusing the fictional boy wizard of being the devil. Even though the books have faced extreme blowback, they still regularly top YA bestseller lists


Alice's adventures in Wonderland

Why would Alice's Adventures in Wonderland be banned in China? Is it because all of the characters take copious amounts of drugs in order to open their minds and get weird? Nope. In 1931, the book was banned in China because people felt the book put animals on the same level with people, and they shouldn't be allowed to speak. It was also banned from the Woodsville High School in Haverhill, NH, in 1900 for "derogatory characterizations of a teachers and of religious ceremonies." The multiple bans didn't hurt the book in the slightest, and it's been a part of the cultural lexicon ever since.


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

This book by Mark Twain is considered one of the greatest American novels ever written. Released less than 20 years after the end of the Civil War, the book challenges ideas of racism that are still prevalent in the U.S., and continues to provoke a debate about art reinforcing racial stereotypes. 

This 1884 novel nevertheless provokes ongoing debate over whether it reinforces racial stereotypes. The book has been referred to as the "most grotesque example of racism I’ve ever seen in my life" by one administrator, while being consistently held up as one of the most important books to ever be published.


Where's Waldo Allegedly Has One Naked Lady

When it comes to innocent literature, you can't get much more innocent than looking through a book for a guy who's just standing around in a sweater. Or can you? According to Chris Zammarelli - a writer on the now-defunct literary review website bookslut.com - one of the Where's Waldo books features a bare breast, and this was backed up by an Amazon reviewer who wrote: "I have looked into it, and it appears that the reason Where's Waldo was banned [was] because it features adult material such as 'topless sunbathers,' and other adult 'hidden pictures.'" That being said, no one has ever specifically pointed out illustrated skin in one of the books, so maybe this is all a horrible rumor started by Odlaw.



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Wed, 31 May 2017 02:49:13 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/innocent-books-parents-tried-to-ban/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[Great Movies In Which The Hero Doesn't Need To Be There At All]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/great-movies-that-dont-need-heroes/hannah-collins?source=rss

What would cinema be without instantly recognizable heroes like Indiana Jones, Cameron Poe, Harry Potter, and Luke Skywalker? Well, as far as their stories are concerned, apparently not too different. Of all the great screenwriting fails and narrative snafus, movie heroes who have no effect on the plot is among the most flagrant of sins, yet has produced a number of great movies that don't need heroes. 

The idea of the ineffective hero was made infamous by a film-ruining moment in The Big Bang Theory that shook fan boys and girls to their nerdy cores by torpedoing Raiders of the Lost Ark. Since then, film fans have been endlessly debating which other beloved favorites are led by useless movie heroes. Was Voldemort's bid for power destined to fail with or without Harry being there? Is Atticus Finch the most brilliantly pointless lawyer in fiction? Let's destroy some great movie characters! 


Great Movies In Which The Hero Doesn't Need To Be There At All,

Alien

By the end of Alien, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the only surviving member of the spacecraft Nostromo crew. Since she fails to save any other member of the crew (besides the cat) and destroys most of the Nostromo in her escape, it's safe to say the outcome of the film would've been basically no different without Ripley - everyone would've died and the ship would've been rendered useless. Sure, she saves the cat, but left to its own devices, the cat probably could've eluded the titular extraterrestrial and survived for some time on all the corpses littering the ship. 

The uselessness of Ripley is reiterated by the odd structure of the film, by which the ship's captain, Dallas, is essentially the protagonist until he dies, at which point Ripley, second in command, emerges as the hero. If she weren't there, some other crew member would've taken over, and all the same stuff would've happened. Thanks for nothing, Ripley. 


Skyfall

Guess what, kids? Mischievous, maniacal Raoul Silva is the protagonist of Skyfall. Why? Well, for one, he has a more active goal than Bond. Silva wants something, he puts a plan in action to get it, and spends the whole movie getting closer to achieving his goal. Bond is kind of like a dog, directed this way and that by various parties, reacting and existing rather than taking action. 

Skyfall would be more or less the same without Bond. The only thing 007 does to impact the plot is find Silva at his crumbling island chateau, which gets Silva captured. But, product of lazy 2010s screenwriting as he is, Silva's plan includes getting captured. And surely a man as devious as Silva could've conceived some other way to get caught. 

What happens in the end? Bond tries to protect M, fails, and Silva kills her. Which he could've done just as well without destroying Bond's childhood estate in Scotland in the process. Sorry, Jimmy, you're useless. 


Chinatown

"That's Chinatown, Jake."

After being hired by a Evelyn to investigate an affair her supposed husband might be having, private detective Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy. Over the course of Chinatown, he uncovers deep-seated corruption and deception surrounding a mysterious family. Gittes plunges deeper and deeper into the darkness and eventually realizes the real, ugly truth, but it's too late. Terrible events have been set in motion long before he could ever hope to undo them, and he realizes at the same time we do that all of his efforts were destined to be for nothing.

Jake is less a hero leading a story than he is a proxy for an audience living in a world in which the machinations of power exist far beyond the grasp of the average citizen. More to the point, does this story need Jake, other than to reveal information to viewers? No. Because his findings never become public, and he effects no change on the status quo. If you take him out, Evelyn could just as well serve as a protagonist. 


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

The Boy Who Lived. And made no difference to the outcome of this film.

Think about it. Although the titular wizard in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone goes through a lot of personal growth in the first installment of this epic seven movie saga, he has very little significant impact on the plot. As with most of the Potter films to come, Professor Snape does most of the work and gets none of the credit; he keeps Harry safe from Professor Quirrell/Voldemort and does his best to foil the evil plot before Harry and the gang even start to suspect him/them.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione also needlessly go through all those deadly traps to get the Philosopher's Stone, despite it being perfectly protected already - it can only be obtained by someone who wants it without wanting to use it, meaning conniving Quirrell never stood a chance. In fact, the only significant thing Harry does is make it easier for Quirrell to obtain the Stone by just showing up. Good job, kid. 

To be fair, this is all on JK Rowling, not the filmmakers. 


Inglourious Basterds

Perhaps a bit of a prickly pear here, because it's hard to say who the hero is in most Tarantino films (Kill Bill and Django Unchained being obvious exceptions), but suffice it to say, only one character in Inglourious Basterds has a resolute impact on the film's story, and she (Shosanna) disappears for huge sections of the film while the titular squad of murderous guerillas roves France, mucking things up. 

What's the point, ultimately, of Inglourious Basterds? To end Word War II by killing Hitler. And Shosanna, along with her boyfriend, Marcel, do that just fine without the help of anyone by burning a movie theater packed with the Nazi high command. While the Basterds rush the theater as it's burning, set off some bombs, and shoot a bunch of Nazis, they're all burning to death anyway.

Head Basterd Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) negotiates a deal with with Nazi mastermind Col. Hans Landa, but that's an incidental detail that has nothing to do with ending the war. In fact, had the Basterds not made a mess of their clandestine meeting with German film star Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), Landa wouldn't have known about a plot to kill the Nazi high command, and therefore wouldn't have been in a position to leverage his knowledge into a successful surrender. 


Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark started this whole debate in the first place. The first installment of cinematic dream-team George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg's classic action/adventure series follows 1930s archeology heartthrob Indiana Jones as he endeavors to foil an occult Nazi plot (the go-to historical baddies) to find and harness the mysterious power of the Ark of the Covenant.

Except that, as explained by Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, "Indiana Jones plays no role in the outcome of the story. [...] If he weren't in the movie, the Nazis would still have found the Ark, taken it to the island, opened it up, and all died, just like they did."

And she's totally right. All Indie really does is slow the Nazis down. They still get their leather-gloved hands on the Ark, they still end up opening it, and the Ark is the thing that stops them, not Doctor Jones. Still, we'll always have that great gun vs. sword scene.


Return of the Jedi

A controversial pick, but indulge the theory, if you can.

Luke Skywalker is a great character (if not a little whiny), and obviously plays an instrumental role in Episode VI: A New Hope and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. But in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, the last Jedi standing takes a backseat when it comes to the main plot.

Sure, Luke helps in the rescue mission to get Han Solo's carbonite body back from Jabba the Hut, fights the Emperor, and redeems his father's soul in time to earn him a Force ghost after he dies. But if the central thrust of Episode VI's story is about taking down the Empire's new Death Star, all of that was pretty much achieved without him by the Rebel Alliance, and Darth Vader - though acting in his son's interest - was the one to kill the Emperor in the end.

Luke only really contributes to the emotional underpinning of the plot, not its physical thrust. 


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Frodo is most definitely the protagonist and ultimate hero of the Lord of the Rings films, but he doesn't really do jack sh*t in the second installment of the series, The Two Towers. While Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli attempt to enlist wary, apathetic human allies in the fight against evil, and end up in the most epic battle at Helm's Deep, Frodo and his ride-or-die hobbit boo Sam mess around in some mountains with Gollum. 

Meanwhile, Merry and Pippin befriend some giant walking trees and convince them to lay siege to Isengard. The Ents (the trees) agree, and the attack is successful. Isengard falls, and Merry and Pippin find some dank bud to get blazed on. All the while, Frodo sits on some jagged rocks, lamenting his fate and struggling with relatively bland ontological issues regarding the nature of his relationship with Gollum. 

Frodo exerts tremendous force on the plots of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King, but he gets up to just about nothing in The Two Towers


To Kill a Mockingbird

Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck)  has praised as one of the greatest literary characters and cinematic heroes of all time. Yet, how much influence on the plot of To Kill A Mockingbird does he actually have?

Finch may be as compelling and eloquent a lawyer as they come, but, ultimately, his skills prove futile in changing any of the tragic events in this adaptation of Harper Lee's classic morality tale about prejudice and fear. If you remove Finch from the story, an innocent man would have still been killed in prison by the townsfolk, Boo Radley would have still saved Scout's life, and the outcome of the trial would have been the same.

Ultimately, Finch accomplishes nothing he sets out to do. Perhaps the point here is seeing the dignity in his failure. But still. He doesn't really do much. 


Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Aww, poor Indiana Jones. Yet again, the good doctor proves worthless, this time in the third (and second best) installment of the venerated series. 

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade introduces Sean Connery as Indie's dad, which is interesting, since Indie is basically James Bond as an archeologist. Otherwise, the movie is exactly the same as Raiders of the Lost Ark - the Nazis want a Biblical relic (this time it's the Holy Grail) and don't know where to find; Indie goes on an adventure, during which he accidentally delivers the relic into enemy hands. 

In the end, it's revealed the Nazis don't actually know how to get past all those great ancient booby traps to retrieve the Grail. Indie helps them, and it's reveealed the Nazis don't even know what the Grail looks like. So they wouldn't been able to get it in the first place. So, actually, Indie helps the Nazis even more in Crusade than he does in Ark. Come on, man. 



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Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:13:09 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/great-movies-that-dont-need-heroes/hannah-collins
<![CDATA[What The Original Cast Of Baywatch Looked Like Vs. The Stars Of The New Movie]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/cast-of-baywatch-then-vs-now/jacob-shelton?source=rss

Baywatch - the classic TV show about Los Angeles County lifeguards who run in slow motion and look great doing it - is finally making the jump to the big screen. And the new Baywatch cast looks ready strap on their red suits and save the day, but how do they stand up to the original Baywatch characters? To be fair, some of the new characters don't share the same name as their predecessors, but definitely are similar in spirit. That being said: Can Dwayne Johnson really be the Grade-A American man meat that David Hasselhoff embodied for 11 seasons and two spin-offs? Will any of the Baywatch babes become a pop culture icon like Pamela Anderson? The only way to know is to compare the stars of Baywatch then vs. now.

Who is in the new Baywatch movie? Well, Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson for starters, along with a bunch of babes. If you love a plot that involves sexy bathing suits, drug smugglers, and amazing jet ski chase scenes, this is the movie for you. But will this movie be as good as the original series? Will audiences get to bask in the glow that is Mitch and Detective Ellerbee’s winter/summer friendship? Will people learn life lesson’s from Mitch’s mentor? And more importantly, who’s going to be the non-lifeguard comic relief? All of those questions, and more, will be answered on this rundown of the Baywatch cast then vs. now.


What The Original Cast Of Baywatch Looked Like Vs. The Stars Of The New Movie,

Captain Thorpe

The Old Captain Thorpe: Monte Markham

The New Captain Thorpe: Ron Hueble

Captain Thorpe was only around for two seasons, but this ex-lifeguard mostly hung out in his office and doled out exposition and comic relief. He's played by Human Giant and Transparent star Rob Huebel in the film, so not much is going to change, but he will be much more smarmy. 


Garner Ellerbee

The Old Garner: Gregory Williams

The New Garner: Yahya Adbul-Mateen II

Is it weird that one of the main characters of Baywatch is a cop who hates the water? On the show, Ellerbee was a buddy of Mitch's who was pumped the guys and the gals of the 'watch were there to police the beach. In the movie, Ellerbee seems like he'd rather the gang not be there, but he puts up with them because they're the main characters and he's not. Also he says the eff word a lot. That would've never flown on cable. 


Matt Brody

The Old Matt: David Charvet

The New Matt: Zac Efron

In the original series, Matt Brody was a super hot dude who dated both Summer Quinn and C.J. Parker in between stints of hanging out in France. He was kind of douche. Fast forward to 2017, and Matt Brody is still a douche but he's played by Zac Efron as a disgraced former Olympian turned lifeguard/foil to Dwayne Johnson's Mitch. Both Matt Brody's are hunky, but only one of them has the chameleon-like wit of Zefron.


Summer Quinn

The Old Summer: Nicole Eggert

The New Summer: Alexandra Daddario

On the show, Summer Quinn was an ex-high school athlete who lived in a trailer with her mom, and she had bulimia. Life was rough for this lifeguard named after a season. None of those negative character traits are dragging Summer down in the new film. This time around she's a new recruit for the watch who may or may not live in a trailer park. 


The Mentor (AKA Ben Edwards)

The Old Mentor: Richard Jaeckel

The New Mentor: David Hasslehoff

While Hasslehoff's character isn't named Ben Edwards like the original, he essentially has the same role. Mitch's mentor Edwards was one of the first lifeguards at the 'watch, and was one of the longest serving guards on the beach, but he had to quit when he crushed his hip diving off a pier to save a fisherman. Ben was played by The Dirty Dozen's Richard Jaeckel, but in the film he's being played by The Hoff himself. Both "mentors" are ex-lifeguards, and they're both gruff older guys, but only one of them sang on top of the Berlin Wall as it was being demolished. 

 


C.J. Parker

The Old C.J.: Pamela Anderson

The New C.J.: Kelly Rohrbach

Famously played Pamela Anderson, C.J. Parker was the classic blonde bombshell who was super into meditation and who dated both Matt Brody and Cody Madison (an Olympic swimmer). You may also remember that in Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding she opened a bar and grill on Oahu. The film's version of C.J. seems to be carrying on the blonde bombshell routine, and it's not much of a spoiler to say that 2017 C.J. is 1992 C.J.'s daughter. 


The Rascally Non-Lifeguard (AKA Hobie Buchannon/Ronnie)

The Old Hobie: Jeremy Jackson, and briefly Brandon Call

The New "Non-Lifeguard": Jon Bass

The new Baywatch decided to revive some characters in spirit, but not in name. Case in point - Ronnie. It's clear he's a sort of recreation of Hobie Buchannon, only without the six pack. As any fan of Baywatch remembers, Hobie was Mitch's son, and a totally goofy little kid sidekick for the first few seasons. After a while, he was able to get a romance going with Summer, and he got really into surfing. In the film his role is filled by Ronnie, played by Jon Bass, who plays a total goof of an awkward sidekick who's able to get a romance going with C.J. He also gets really into dancing. 


Mitch Buchannon

The Old Mitch: David Hasslehoff

The New Mitch: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

How do you compare Dwayne Johnson and David Hasselhoff? They each bring a different meaty charm to the character of Mitch Buchannon - the badass sex symbol who is also wise and caring. While each actor has no problem being a leader of (scantily clad wo)men, they each have a different method. The original Mitch was a calm, collected guy who followed his dream of solving crimes on the beach while dealing with a strained relationship with his father. That seems less like the deal in the 2017 update of Baywatch, and this version of Mitch has a very over the top, super positive, tough guy thing going on. As lifeguard leaders it really depends on if you prefer a former German pop star or a former professional wrestler; a true Sophie's choice. 


Stephanie Holden

The Old Stephanie: Alexandra Paul

The New Stephanie: Ilfenesh Hadera

Stephanie Holden made the short haircut look cool in the '90s. She was also smooching up on Mitch Buchannon, that is, until she left Mitch randomly because she was secretly married. If you remember, her demise came on a boat during a freak lightning storm. That's probably not going to happen in Baywatch the movie. Ilfenesh Hadera plays Stephanie, and she's still Mitch's love interest, but the character has lost the short hair, but definitely not the sex appeal.



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Mon, 22 May 2017 08:14:50 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/cast-of-baywatch-then-vs-now/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[18 Extremely Stupid Pickup Lines From The 19th Century]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/slickest-19th-century-pickup-lines/ella-talkin?source=rss

For nostalgic idealists, daydreams of dating in the 19th century can offer a welcome escape from the modern-day Tinder horror stories to an elegant age of gentility and romance. The thought of lounging in an ornate parlor and hiding your blush with a lace fan as a dashing stranger hands you an invitation card (with a chaperone present of course) can be intoxicating. As National Geographic points out, “invitation” or “escort” cards were the old pickup lines of yore – a way for men to formally “swipe left” before such technology existed. The woman of his affection would regard the card and return it or keep it based on how much her fancy was tickled. 

Would it be a match? The anticipation was overwhelming, nevermind that you'd probably eventually succumb to arsenic poisoning or suffer a bizarre 19th century death! At first glance, these old pickup lines lifted from actual escort cards may seem more artful and romantic than the preferred pickup line of the current zeitgeist: “You up? ;)” Vote up the historical pickup lines that make you want to time travel just for the nookie. 


18 Extremely Stupid Pickup Lines From The 19th Century,

I Ne'er On Your Form For A Moment Have Gazed, But A Thousand Temptations Beset Me.

"Hey! I just met you, and you make me crazy."


Please, Will You Let Me See You Home, From Church Next Sunday Night? Don't Mind What Other People Say.

"Screw the haters, PDA is for real lovers."


Love Made On Short Notice. Give Me A Trial Before Going Elsewhere.

"I can borrow my roommate's car and get there ASAP. Give me a chance!"


Office Hours From 1 To Won. All My Work Guaranteed To Bring Results. No Extra Charge For Night Work."

"I won't stop until you're mine. Open for business all the time ;)"


My Heart To You Is Given, Oh! Do You Give Yours To Me? We'll Lock Them Up Together And Throw Away The Key.

"We can make it Facebook Official if that's what you really want."


Office Hours: 1 PM To 4 AM. Hugetit Lane, Squeezemburg.

"I have weird availability but my hugs are generally well-received!"


Not Married And Out For A Good Time.

"Looking For: Casual"


Come And See Our New Lamp. You Can Turn It Down So Low That There Is Scarcely Any Light At All.

"I can dim the lights so we can get down."


In The Good Old Summer Time, Will You Promise To Be Mine?

"We're cool for the summer, right?"


Cable Address: I Have A Feeling For You. Beware Of Fakes. I Am The Original.

Translation: "Girl you're hot, where u live? There are a lotta posers, I'm the REAL DEAL.



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Tue, 09 May 2017 06:50:27 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/slickest-19th-century-pickup-lines/ella-talkin
<![CDATA[The Real Story Behind 'Anne of Green Gables']]> http://www.ranker.com/list/true-story-behind-anne-of-green-gables/lisa-a-flowers?source=rss

Since its inception, Lucy Maud (L.M.) Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables has captivated readers, becoming a cherished part of countless childhoods and a nostalgic part of countless adulthoods. Inevitably, many fans have wondered about the story's creative genesis. Who were the real people and events that eventually became the saga of Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, Gilbert Blythe, Diana Barry, and the rest of the gang? Is Anne of Green Gables true or fiction?

As is the case with almost all legendary fictional characters (like Juana Maria, the inspiration for Island of the Blue Dolphins), Anne is, of course, a little bit of both. According to various accounts of L.M. Montgomery's life, Green Gables and its inhabitants are more than a magical and ingenious channeling of imagination; they're a composite portrait of the author, the people and places she knew, and the people and places she never knew but only read about. Read on to find out how Anne came to be spelled with an E and how an orphan named Ellen inspired an orphan who was ("tragically!") not named Cordelia.


The Real Story Behind 'Anne of Green Gables',

Anne's Beloved Forests, Lakes, And Enchanted Spots Were Based On Real Places

The Lake of Shining Waters, Violet Vale, Willowmere – Anne of Green Gables is full of poetically named places, and most of them reflect real-life locations.

According to Canada's official website,  the young Lucy Maud Montgomery, who spent much of her childhood playing outside and mentally creating poetic landscapes, named the many places she came to love, just as Anne did. One particularly beloved apple tree was dubbed Little Syrup. Other names were incorporated directly into the book: her uncle’s pond was called "The Lake of Shining Waters," and the forest near her childhood farm was christened "The Haunted Woods" (and was indeed reputed to be haunted). Diehard fans can even tour the real Green Gables; it's a designated Canadian "Heritage Place."


L.M. Montgomery Was Herself (Partially) An Orphan

Born on Prince Edward Island on November 30, 1874, Lucy Maud Montgomery was partially orphaned at a very early age – and then more or less abandoned by her remaining parent. When she was about two and a half years old, her mother died of tuberculosis, and her father, apparently overcome with grief, left the child with her grandparents, who raised her. 

LMM was never fully estranged from her father; she even eventually spent one year living with him and his new wife, but it's clear that her feeling largely like an orphan played an important role in Anne's development.


Like Gilbert Blythe, L.M. Montgomery's True Love Caught A Deadly Disease

In the 1985 TV series, Anne memorably rushes to Gilbert Blythe's side as he's dying of typhus, and he miraculously recovers after declaring his love for her. In real life, however, things didn't turn out quite so perfectly. In the early 1900s, while she was teaching on Prince Edward Island, Lucy Maud Montgomery became enamored with a man named Herman Leard, who resided in the same house she boarded in.

In her diaries and letters, which are collected in the book The Intimate Life Of L.M. Montgomery, L.M. described Leard as the love of her life:

"Hermann suddenly bent his head and his lips touched my face. I cannot tell what possessed me-I seemed swayed by a power utterly beyond my control-I turned my head-our lips met in one long passionate pressure-a kiss of fire and rapture such I had never experienced or imagined."

However, Montgomery's family apparently objected to the union, and she broke off relations with Leard. Not long afterwards, he died tragically of influenza. L.M. was said to have "never again sought romantic love," though she did go on to marry Ewan Macdonald, a Presbyterian minister whom she was not in love with. (Gilbert Blythe was probably her way of re-creating Leard's death as a happy ending).


The Man L.M. Montgomery Did Marry Suffered From Delusions And Psychosis

Though it produced three children (one of whom was stillborn), L.M.'s marriage was not a happy one. She regretted marrying Ewan Macdonald, even though she had been engaged to him for five years beforehand. Almost 10 years into the marriage, Macdonald had a mental breakdown, which was characterized by "religious melancholia" and delusions. (He apparently believed that he was a member of the "Elect," a special group destined to go to heaven).  

According to the biography Writing A Life: L.M. Montgomery, Macdonald would go around with “hair bristling, blue underlip hanging, eyes glaring, and face livid,” denouncing his wife and children. L.M. tried to keep his condition a secret, but it eventually became too conspicuous to hide.


Unlike Anne, L.M. Montgomery Didn't Want Her Name Spelled With An E

"When you hear a name pronounced can't you always see it in your mind, just as if it was printed out? I can; and A-n-n looks dreadful, but A-n-n-e looks so much more distinguished. If you'll only call me Anne spelled with an E I shall try to reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia," Anne Shirley famously says to Marilla Cuthbert in the book.

As it turns out, Anne's creator felt exactly the opposite way abut the spelling of her own name. A passage in The Selected Journals of Lucy Maud Montgomery makes it clear that the author:

"Never liked Lucy as a name. "I always liked Maud - spelled not with an e if you please - but I do not like it in connection with Montgomery. 'Maud Montgomery' has always seemed to me a disagreeable combination."

One name's unwanted E is another name's treasure.


Anne Was Also Based On A Real Orphan Named Ellen

As it turned out, the Anne diary entry wasn't solely a spark in L.M. Montgomery's imagination. According to scholars, it was actually a reflection of an incident in the life of one Pierce Macneill, a cousin of L.M.'s grandfather, and his wife, Rachel. The couple lived right across from the real-life Green Gables on Prince Edward Island, and they needed help on their farm. It seemed that:

"The childless couple had applied to adopt an orphan boy in 1892 to help out with the farm chores; their neighbors John and Annie Clark did the same. But instead of two boys, the two sets of unsuspecting adoptive parents found a five-year-old boy and his three-year-old sister awaiting them at the train station."

It appears that the Macneills decided to keep the little girl, whose name was Ellen. Rather tragically, there's no record of what happened to her brother, whom both they and their neighbors presumably opted out of adopting; researchers and Anne historians hoping to get the whole story haven't been able to uncover any subsequent details.


L.M. Montgomery (Sadly) Took Her Own Life

Though Lucy Maud Montgomery brought joy to millions – and, fortunately, experienced a good amount of joy in her own life – her later years were, sadly, not good ones. Though she continued to write about Anne, L.M. continually battled depression.

Montgomery died on April 24, 1942, at the age of 67. It was initially reported that she had died of coronary thrombosis, but in 2008, her granddaughter revealed that she had actually taken her own life via a drug overdose. 

A suicide note (which some had initially mistaken as a fragment of a novel) read, in part:

"I have lost my mind by spells, and I do not dare think what I may do in those spells. May God forgive me, and I hope everyone else will forgive me even if they cannot understand. My position is too awful to endure and nobody realizes it. What an end to a life in which I tried always to do my best."

It was a tragic end to a great life, and a great career; but at least L.M. Montgomery will always live on through the exuberant, romantic, and poetic Anne.


Montgomery's Last Known Work Was So Dark, Her Publisher Wouldn't Release It

At the end of  her life, L.M. Montgomery was indeed in the depths of (real) despair, and exhausted from battling the depression that would eventually lead to her suicide. In fact, her final contribution to the Anne series, The Blythes Are Quoted – with its themes of "adultery, illegitimacy, despair, misogyny, murder, revenge, bitterness, hatred, aging, and death" – was said to be so dark that her publisher opted not to release it. An abridged version of the work was eventually published in 1974, and the full text became available in 2009.


The Concept Of Anne Came To Montgomery As A Child

Anne's earliest spark appears to have come when her creator was no older than Anne herself. According to the book The Story Girl Chronicles, the adult Montgomery was revisiting her childhood journals one day when she suddenly came across an entry: “Elderly couple apply to orphan asylum for a boy. By mistake a girl is sent them.”

Anne subsequently took root in the form of a short story. But, true to character, she quickly became an epic and blossomed into a novel.  


Anne Was Partially Inspired By The Face Of Evelyn Nesbit

Some claim that the physical model for Anne Shirley was not another plucky and gangly redhead, as one might assume, but famous "Gibson Girl" Evelyn Nesbit... a figure who possessed the very same flowing "nut brown hair" and "exquisite rose leaf complexion" that the fictional Anne so coveted and idealized.

According to the documentary Looking For Anne (2009),  L.M. Montgomery was inspired by a widely circulated portrait of Nesbit (pictured above), which she probably first "spotted in the food magazine What to Eat, which had just published one of her stories." The image captured "a nostalgia for girlhood... a time of innocence, wonder, and discovery." Rumor has it that Montgomery tore the picture out, framed it, and frequently gazed at it as she worked... and the rest is Green Gables history.



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Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:57:16 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/true-story-behind-anne-of-green-gables/lisa-a-flowers
<![CDATA[Every Week Of The Trump Administration, Ranked By Insanity]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/every-wtf-week-of-the-trump-administration/jacob-shelton?source=rss

If the world is still turning in 100 years, scholars will look back at the presidency of Donald Trump in awe. They won’t admire his accomplishments; they’ll simply be astonished with the American public’s ability to deal with the Donald Trump presidency week by week. The first 100 days of the presidency were certainly something special. There are even political theorists who believe that the Trump administration is piling on tragedies to shock the system of the American people, making it so people grow numb to the irrational choices and systematic stripping of rights enacted by the President until no one notices that America has been gutted of its sovereignty. Once you look at the most eventful weeks of Donald Trump's time as president, you can see that he’s just winging it. 

Rest assured, there are peaks and valleys within Trump’s presidency. Some weeks go by with barely a peep from Sean Spicer, and sometimes the President gives us a respite from his beloved tweet storms – and even those moments are in the running to be the craziest week of the Trump administration. Deciding what WTF week of Trump presidency is the most bonkers is like a Rorschach test where everyone is wrong. What little joy that can be found in it is nothing more than schadenfreude, but the joke is on the country. Even if you voted for Donald Trump, there’s nothing worth beating your chest about to be found in his presidency, just the realization that something has gone terribly wrong. Keep reading, and check back every week to see how low the President can go.


Every Week Of The Trump Administration, Ranked By Insanity,

Week 20, June 5 - June 11: Comey Testifies, Eric Trump's Foundation Takes Money From Children With Cancer, And Trump Feels "Vindicated"

Lordy, what a week. Most of Week 20 was all about former FBI director James Comey's testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but we also found out that Eric Trump has been funneling money out of a charity for dying children and into the Trump Organization. You really should get some rest after taking in all of this information.

  • Monday, June 5: It was a banner day for the Trump administration. Things started off with an early morning tweet storm from Trump about how the Justice Dept. should stick with his original, awful travel ban and not some watered-down, still awful travel ban. But that's not all that happened on Monday. The first suspect in the NSA investigation into leaked White House documents was arrested when the FBI recognized the watermarks on the paper she used. Later that day, Trump said that he was thinking about a deal that would privatize the air traffic control industry. 
  • Tuesday, June 6: Word is that four of the top law firms in the country turned down representing Trump in the investigation into the possible collusion between his administration and Russia. Also, in news that would have toppled previous presidencies, Forbes released proof that Eric Trump's Foundation, which raises money for children with cancer, has paid the Trump Organization $1.2 million over the last six years.
  • Wednesday, June 7: Former FBI director James Comey's seven-page opening statement dropped, stating that Trump asked him to drop his investigation into Flynn’s communications with Russia and pledge his "honest loyalty" to the administration.
     
  • Thursday, June 8: The wait was finally over, and former FBI director James Comey made an appearance in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. From Comey, the world learned a few interesting things like: Trump is the first president who made Comey feel like he had to document their meetings; Trump told Comey to drop the Flynn investigation; and Comey even leaked some of his own memos. 
     
  • Friday, June 9: Trump broke his Twitter silence to say that Comey's investigation had "vindicated" him. He must have been watching a different SIC investigation. 

    Saturday, June 10: Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions announced that he would appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee to answer questions about his interactions with Russian officials. Donald Trump Jr. appeared on Fox News and tried to help his dad out, but he kind of made it sound like his dad is a mob boss. He said: "When he tells you to do something, guess what? There's no ambiguity in it." 

  • Sunday, June 11: Trump tweeted that Comey was "cowardly."

 


Week 22, June 19 - 25: A New All-Time Low Approval Rating, Trump Lied About The Comey Tapes, And Trump Tells His Truth About 'Poor People'

Most of Trump's week was spent coming clean about his Comey tweets and playing defense on his administration's collusion with Russia; also, at some point, he had time to support a very bad healthcare bill. 

  • Monday, June 19: Despite Donald Trump tweeting that he was under investigation by the FBI for possible Russian involvement in the U.S. election, his lawyer, Jay Sekulow, said that he wasn't actually under investigation when he made the Sunday talk show rounds. On Monday, Kellyanne Conway explained the discrepancy in an appearance on Fox and Friends by saying that Trump was being "ironic" in his tweets. Later that day, Trump condemned North Korea for their treatment of Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old student being held by the country as a prisoner who passed away shortly after returning to the U.S. A state-run paper in North Korea responded by referring to Trump as a "psychopath." 
     
  • Tuesday, June 20: The military shot down another drone in Syria after they believed it to be displaying "hostile intent.” Another thing that went down was Trump's approval rating, which hit an all-time low of 36%. CBS writes that the drop in ratings comes from his not-so-great handling of the situation with Russia. 
     
  • Wednesday, June 21: In the middle of a speech in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Donald Trump said that he felt like people with vast amounts of wealth were best suited to working in positions that dealt with the economy. He said that, in positions like the Director of the National Economic Council and Secretary of Commerce, "I just don’t want a poor person.”
     
  • Thursday, June 22: Remember all those tapes of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey that Donald Trump hoped didn't exist ? Well, no need to worry, because they were simply a figment of Trump's imagination. He went on Twitter to admit that he just brought up "the tapes" to bully Comey prior to his Senate hearing. The revised form of the Republican health care bill finally revealed itself from the dark recesses of the Senate, and it made massive cuts to Medicaid, as well as pretty much every federal health care stipulation added during President Obama's administration.  
  • Friday, June 23: Trump put his support behind the Senate's health care bill and said that the Republican holdouts to the not-so-great bill would "get there" in the end. Then, he called Ted Cruz, a man whose father he suggested helped with the JFK assassination, his "friend."
  • Saturday, June 24: Trump noted that he's not to blame for his administration benefiting from Russian hackers wrecking the election; rather, it's the Obama administration that allowed the whole thing to happen. Thanks, Obama. Trump also attended the wedding of Steve Mnuchin, the White House Treasury Secretary, which was officiated by Mike Pence. Can you imagine the after party? 
  • Sunday, June 25: Trump continued to recall the glory days of the 2016 campaign by accusing Hillary Clinton of colluding with the Democratic Party to defeat Bernie Sanders. Could this be an effort to make people forget about how bad his week has been? Probably. 

Week 17, May 14 - 20: A Senator Calls For Impeachment, A Special Prosecutor Is Brought On To Investigate Russia Ties, And Trump Admits To Leaking Classified Info To Russia

Things get depressing in the middle of Week 17, but there's a good chance that a White House staffer is going to get the President to tweet about UFOs within the next three months. 

  • Sunday, May 14: It was reported that Trump was planning a "huge reboot" with his staff, and he may be ditching Press Secretary and friend of the trees Sean Spicer, his top strategist and failed hiphopera scribe, Steve Bannon, and Chief of Staff and holder of a definite fake name, Reince Priebus. He's supposedly upset because White House staffers are either too proud of themselves, or they're not praising him enough. Also, on Sunday, the Washington Post reminded everyone that the President thinks the body has a "finite amount of energy," which exercise can deplete.
  • Monday, May 15: The fun news from the 15th is that Donald Trump is highly susceptible to actual fake news, and his staffers know it. According to an anonymous staffer, Reince Priebus had to send out a memo asking the staff not to put any news stories on the President’s desk. He's worried that they may turn out to be hoaxes that Trump will tweet about. Supposedly, aides will regularly slip Trump stories to get him on board with their agenda. The bad news is that he revealed highly classified secrets that he received from Israel to the Russians in a brief meeting. 
  • Tuesday, May 16: Donald Trump's staff is reported to be miserable, mostly because every time they try to fix a terrible story for him, he twists the story another way. Republicans are calling Trump's loose lips “deeply disturbing,” “troubling,” and “very serious.” The New York Times referred to this as proof that the President is "erratic" and a danger to the country. Trump defended himself on Twitter by essentially saying that he can do what he wants.
  • Wednesday, May 17: After visiting the White House, the bodyguards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked protesters outside of the Turkish ambassador's residence who were carrying the Kurdish PYD flag. Nine people were injured, and two were arrested in what D.C. police are calling an altercation "between two groups." Texas Rep. Al Green went to the House floor and called for Trump's impeachment, saying that: "No one is above the law and that includes the President." Also, in a nearly unprecedented move, the Justice Department decides to appoint a special prosecutor named Rod Mueller to investigate the Trump camp's connection to Russian officials during the 2016 election. It's seen as a concession by the Trump administration, and it is described as an "inevitable" consequence of Trump's outright firing of James Comey last week by journalists at the Washington PostIn the aftermath, Trump prepares for to go overseas, "a wounded president with an uncertain future."
  • Thursday, May 18: In a not-at-all-fishy turn of events, Rep. Senator from Utah, Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee who just invited the recently fired FBI director James Comey to testify in front of the group, has decided to step down early from his seat in Congress, departing on June 30, just six months after being re-elected. Chaffetz, who, in October of 2016, promised with a wink and a grin that he has "years" of material to investigate regarding Hillary Clinton, is said to be headed to a lucrative career at Fox News. Some are calling him a Trump "patsy." Never one to lie down in the face of his critics (or special prosecutors for that matter), Trump takes to Twitter, lashing out at the "unprecedented witch hunt" that he feels is targeting him.
  • Friday, May 19: Today, that whole Comey-is-fired-and-a-special-prosecutor-is-hired plot thickens when Trump "stakes his presidency" on "four words." During a press conference in D.C., he responds with a dismissive "No. No. Next question" when asked by a reporter if he encouraged erstwhile FBI Director James Comey to slow down an investigation of erstwhile national security advisor Michael Flynn. It seems like a pretty strong and decisive response from a guy who just told the Russians that firing that "nut job" Comey really took "great pressure" off him because of the investigation Comey was in charge of. Oh, and that's what the official account of the meeting between Trump and Russian officials on May 10 documents. It is announced that Comey will testify in front of Congress after Memorial Day.
  • Saturday, May 20: Trump embarks on his first official trip abroad as POTUS, and expectations are not very high. However, the whole day passes without anything too mortally embarrassing happening (other than a few really weird photos). When he isn't posing with his hands on an illuminated globe, Trump is signing a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis – a deal Obama elided in 2016 in fear the Saudis would use the weapons against Yemeni civilians. 

 


Week 24, July 3 - 9: G-20, North Korea Tests An Intercontinental Missile; Trump Gets Protested; And The White House Has A Pay Gap

Everyone's favorite summit, the G-20, happened during Week 24, and amidst widespread protests – and Macron photobombs – Trump supposedly worked out a ceasefire agreement while finally (read: not at all) putting those Russian interference claims to bed. 

  • Monday, July 3: Instead of prepping for the G-20 Summit and his "first" meeting with Vladimir Putin, Trump decided to weigh in on the plight of a British newborn who was born with a condition that made it so he couldn't breathe without the aid of machines. English courts ruled that the child should be taken off of life support, and Trump said that if the family wanted, they could come to America for help. No one is sure how this fits into the new health care bill, but there's probably a provision about it in there somewhere. 
     
  • Tuesday, July 4: North Korea celebrated the 4th by testing a long-range ballistic missile that can allegedly reach Russia. Trump noted that he was ready to end his "strategic patience" over the issue. In preparation for meeting with Vladimir Putin, President Trump was allegedly given tweet-length briefs that provided bullet points about one of the most meticulous and conniving men in world government. Also, this happened, and it was very strange:
  • Wednesday, July 5: Trump spent the 5th in transit to Warsaw, Poland, to give a speech; hopefully, he was studying up on those tweet-lengths briefs on Russia. While he was looking at his flash cards, CNN was revealing that in Trump's female White House staffers make an average of $84,500 per year, while their male counterparts make an average of $105,000 per year, which is about a 20% pay gap. It's frightening that this kind of thing is no longer surprising. 
     
  • Thursday, July 6: In Trump's Warsaw speech, he said that Russia might have intervened with the 2016 election, but maybe some other countries helped. He told a crowd of constituents – who were bused into Warsaw to give Trump positive reception – "Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.” Then he said that the Western world may be at risk of decline, which is exactly what you want your President telling everyone. Then, he flew to Germany to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel amidst widespread protests. 
     
  • Friday, July 7: At the G-20 Summit, Trump and Putin "finally" met behind closed doors, and no one really knows what happened. Supposedly, the two plutocrats reached a ceasefire agreement over Syria, and according to Putin's people, Trump accepted Putin's claim that Russia didn't interfere with the 2016 election. However, Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, says that Russia's version of events is skewed
     
  • Saturday, July 8: After wrapping things up at the G-20 on Saturday, Trump GTFO out of Germany without making an end-of-summit speech, which literally every other leader gave; he instead decided to tweet out his gratitude to his new best friend – Angela Merkel. 
  • Sunday, July 9: Would you guys stop saying that Donald Trump didn't press Vladimir Putin on that whole 2016 election interference thing? Trump swears that he brought it up, like, twice. Also, because America is such great friends with Russia, now we're going to form an "impenetrable cyber security unit" with them, so there. 

 

 


Week 18, May 21-28: Trump Does Europe, Makes A $2 Trillion Budget Error, And News Breaks That Jared Kushner Was Contacting Russian Officials

Trump's first international trip as POTUS went off without a hitch. Just kidding; it was a collection of hitches that – when strung together – gained the semblance of an overseas trip. But at least there was no golf. 

  • Sunday, May 21: THE ORB! Trump delivered his address at the Arab Islamic American Summit in Saudi Arabia, and he did his best to pretend like he didn't run his campaign on a heavy platform of Islamaphobia. Also, Trump may have referred to Comey as a nutjob to the Russians, but his National Security Adviser wouldn't say if that was true. 
  • Monday, May 22: Trump went to Israel where things were going fine until he gave a speech and referenced his meeting with Russia in which he may have given away national secrets about Israel to Russian intelligence. He said, "Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name ‘Israel,’ never mentioned it, during that conversation. They’re all saying I did, so you have another story wrong.”
  • Tuesday, May 23: The Trump administration released its budget and claimed that it would balance over 10 years without cutting defense or retirement spending by increasing $2 trillion in revenue through economic growth. That growth sounds great in theory, but it's based on the idea that the tax cuts will recoup more than 100% of their lost revenue. When Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was asked about the budgetary mistake he replied that the budget was "a preliminary document that will be refined."
  • Wednesday, May 24: Trump met the Pope, and Mr. Pope really wasn't happy about it. The two men spoke privately for 28 minutes during which the Pope gave the President a copy of his 2015 encyclical letter on the environment and climate change. POTUS responded: "I'll be reading them." 
  • Thursday, May 25: Donald Trump's revised travel ban, which attempts to stop travel to the U.S. from six majority-Muslim countries, was knocked down again by 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory who said that the revised ban "drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.” Meanwhile in France, Donald Trump met new French President Emmanuel Macron, and it was quite a tense meeting. 
  • Friday, May 26: Trump went to the G-7 Summit, a forum for the world's seven most industrialized economies – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. – to coordinate their economic security. Things didn't go so well. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Europeans had to "take our fate into our own hands." And Trump said that he needed more time to decide whether he would recommit to combating climate change. 
  • Saturday, May 27: So after the G-7 you'd think that Trump would want to say something about climate change, right? Well, he did. He said that he would think about it how to approach it. Upon returning to Washington, D.C., Trump immediately had to start dealing with the news that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was embroiled in an FBI investigation about his contact with Russian officials during the campaign and transition.
  • Sunday, May 28: Trump spent his Sunday fighting back against allegations that his administration (and maybe even Trump himself) had given up sensitive information. He claimed that the "leaks" coming out of the White House were, what else, "#fakenews." 

 

 


Week 1, January 21 - 28: Inauguration Day Crowd Size, 'Alternative Facts,' And The Travel Ban

That's right mathematicians, Week 1 of Donald Trump's presidency was eight days long. He somehow has the power to make it seem like he's been in office forever, while simultaneously adding extra days to the week. But what happened in that first, extra long week?

  • Tuesday, January 24: The construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines were approved by Trump, both of which had been stayed during President Obama's administration. Trump also signed an executive order instructing the Commerce Department to review federal regulations on domestic manufacturers. 
    Wednesday, January 25: Trump signs two executive orders: the first ordering the construction of the U.S./Mexico border wall and the second instructing the departments of Homeland Security and Justice to withhold funds from sanctuary cities. 
  • Thursday, January 26: Donald Trump gave a low-key speech and had an interview with Sean Hannity where he said that he'd like to bring water boarding back despite the tactic being illegal in the U.S. due to the fact that it's straight-up torture. 
  • Friday, January 27: Seven days into his presidency, Donald Trump signed the travel ban, an executive order barring travelers from seven Muslim countries – Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia – from entering the U.S. for 90 days, unless you're traveling from Syria; in that case, you're banned indefinitely. Chaos broke out at airports across the country as protestors descended onto the sites, and people who were in transit while the executive order was being signed were held in immigration.
  • Saturday, January 28: And on the eighth day, Steve Bannon was made a permanent member of the Principals Committee on the National Securities Council, an unprecedented move as longstanding members of the committee were instructed to only attend on an as-needed basis. 

Week 23, June 26 - July 2: Fake News; The Travel Ban Finally Gets Implemented; And Trump Does Some Plastic Surgery Shaming

Week 23 saw the Travel Ban finally become implemented, but policy decisions seemed to go out the window by the end of the week when the President just started verbally attacking women and a news network on Twitter. 

  • Monday, June 26: The Senate approved a partial version of the Travel Ban, which, in theory, only affects international travelers from watchlist nations who don't have any ties to the United States. All of this happened while the Indian Prime Minister was in town hugging it out with the President, who also found time to openly admit that Russia probably had something to do with his winning of the election. However, he managed to get around all of that by claiming that Obama knew all about "Russian meddling" but hoped that it would benefit Hillary Clinton. 
  • Tuesday, June 27: The White House freaked everyone out when they released intel stating that there were signs that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may conduct another chemical attack in Syria similar to attacks from earlier in the year. The vote on the new, terrible healthcare bill was delayed while the GOP tried to marshal support amongst their crew. But don't worry; they're thinking of ditching Obamacare anyway and figuring it out later. In case you thought Donald Trump was done acting completely bananas, news broke on Tuesday that he was hanging phony Time magazine covers in his golf clubs that proclaimed  "The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!” You can't beat that fake news, baby. 
  • Wednesday, June 28:  Trump opened up the day with a bonkers tweet attacking Amazon for failing to pay "internet taxes." Trump was presented with possible military action against North Korea. CIA Director Mike Pompeo said, "I hardly ever escape a day at the White House without the President asking me about North Korea and how it is that the United States is responding to that threat."
  • Thursday, June 29: Thursday morning started off like a Saturday Night Live sketch when the President mocked Morning Joe co-host, Mika Brzezinski, saying that, during a New Year's Eve celebration, her face was bleeding from a facelift. And he called her "low I.Q." Multiple conservative leaders admonished the President's childish behavior (while continuing to support his policies), and Mika Brzezinski responded with an appropriate clap back. While all of this was happening, Trump was beginning an "election integrity" commission that seeks to gather the voting history of everyone in the United States in order to prove something. Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia released a statement, saying, "I have no intention of honoring this request." At a press briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Americans "knew what they were getting" when they voted for Trump. 
  • Friday, June 30: It was reported that the White House was planning to use the National Enquirer to start a smear campaign against the hosts of Morning Joe. Trump referred to this as "fake news," but host Joe Scarborough responded to Trump with a series of tweets breaking down his proof that Trump was planning something. He ended the tweets by asking: "What is wrong with you?" It was a weird day. 
  • Saturday, July 1: The Travel Ban's first victims were an Afghani female robotics team who were attempting to travel to the U.S. to show off a robot that they built. Ray of sunshine – the robot they built was allowed to enter the country, which seems like the reverse of what you would want to happen. 
     
  • Sunday, June 2: Trump made the Internet 10% more stupid when he tweeted a gif of himself beating up CNN, which was edited from one of his more austere appearances on WWE's Monday Night Raw. This is our President.

 


Week 25, July 10 - 16: Donald Trump Jr. Definitely Colluded With Russians, More Articles Are Filed For Trump's Impeachment, And Trump Tells A First Lady She's In Good Shape

If you're trying to keep up with the President's drama, then you're probably wishing for an 8th day right about now, but you also know that if you actually got that day, it would probably just be filled with more nightmare garbage that you would have to figure out. This week saw Donald Trump Jr. being accused of colluding with Russians, admitting to attempting to collude with Russians, showing everyone the emails of said collusion attempt, and President Trump saying that everyone who said that his son attempted to collude with Russians was a part of the #FAKENEWS media – despite his son being very clear about the claims being true. Need an Aspirin yet?

  • Monday, July 10: Woof. The week started off with Donald Trump Jr. admitting that, in 2016, he met with a Russian lawyer who claimed that he had information about Hillary Clinton that could help the Trump administration win the election. Why did this information come out on Sunday? Either Trump Jr. hoped that it would slide under the radar on an off news day, or he's a big fan of Ranker's Week in Trump and wanted to start the week out with a bang. On Monday morning, President Trump reminded everyone that former FBI Director James Comey leaked some stuff in his day, likely hoping that the American people would believe that Comey releasing information and Trump Jr. colluding with Russia were the same thing. In his unending war against the FBI, Trump's administration canceled plans to build a new FBI building despite its dilapidated state. According to the FBI, their current building only has room for slightly over half of their 11,000 employees. The rest of them are scattered across more than a dozen offices in and around Washington.
  • Tuesday, July 11: Anyone who thought that Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer would blow over was super extra wrong. The day after the news of the meeting broke, the Washington Post reported that a White House insider said that the administration was in the middle of a "Category 5 Hurricane." Rather than saddle up with a lawyer, Trump Jr. released his entire email chain with the Russian lawyer, further stoking the flames of possible Russian collusion. President Trump released a statement (that feels milquetoast compared to some of his tweetstroms) about the emails saying: "My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency."
  • Wednesday, July 12: California Rep. Brad Sherman formally introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump for obstructing justice, and if that wasn't bad enough, CNN posted a video that showed Donald Trump meeting with the Russians who emailed his son about information regarding Hilary Clinton. "Yikes," someone in the White House likely said. Somehow, President Trump found time to allow a team of girls from Afghanistan to come to America in order to participate in an international robotics competition in Washington, D.C. 
  • Thursday, July 13: On Thursday, Donald Trump claimed that he has "done more in five months than practically any president in history," which is such a batsh*t crazy claim that it's almost not depressing. Barry Diller, president of the IAC, mused: "He hasn't done anything, really. I think it's just a joke. Hopefully it will be over relatively soon. It inexplicably began and it will inexplicably end." Someone's optimistic. After making that nutso claim Trump went off to France where he told President Macron's wife, "You’re in such good shape.” Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the Macron family home after their meeting with President Trump. As an added bonus, it was reported that Donald Trump's lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz sent incredibly aggressive emails to a random stranger who criticized him. How bad could the emails to a stranger be? One of them read: "I’m on you now. You are f*cking with me now Let’s see who you are Watch your back, b*tch.”
     
  • Friday, July 14: So it turns out that there were a lot of people at Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya; one person in attendance was a former Soviet counterintelligence officer and current Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin who wasn't so hot on Trump Jr. There also may have been a Russian pop star named Emin Agalarov in attendance, so now the bigger news would be that someone in Russia wasn't at this meeting. 
     
  • Saturday, July 15: In the middle of a national firestorm over Russia, Mexico, the travel ban, the rise of white nationalism, unchecked police brutality, and a myriad of other nightmares, Donald Trump took in some golf at the Women's U.S. Open despite no one wanting him there
     
  • Sunday, July 16: What are you doing at 4:30 am on a Sunday morning? If you're anything like the President of the United States of America, you're going on an early morning tweetstorm in defense of your son attempting to collude with a Russian lawyer over dirt on your opponent in the 2016 election. Trump didn't stop at calling out the #FAKENEWS media for reporting a story that was corroborated by his own son, either; he then attacked ABC News and the Washington Post for reporting his very sad and low energy polling numbers, which are the "lowest six-month approval rating of any president dating back 70 years." 

 


Week 19, May 29 - June 4: We Kiss The Paris Accord Goodbye, Trump Capitalizes On Terror In London, Kathy Griffin Upsets Barron, And... COVFEFE

Trump's 19th week is a slow burn of terrible that sees the U.S. pull out of the Paris Accord, cementing our status as the ostrich of the world when it comes to global climate change, and the President handles a terror attack pretty much exactly how you would expect. 

  • Monday, May 29: Trump shook his fist at North Korea after they launched ballistic missiles that ended up in the the ocean near Japan. He said that the glorious leader was being disrespectful of his new buddies in China. 
  • Tuesday, May 30: The tension over the trade deficit between the U.S. and Germany grew after Trump started tweeting about how it was unfair that the U.S. pays more of its GDP into the intergovernmental military alliance. The President promised that the disparate payment plan would change, but, as he is wont to do, he failed to give an example of how he would do this. For what it's worth, economists don't think this is a big deal in the long run.
  • Wednesday, May 31: While Trump was winking at the world about his super secret decision about the Paris Climate Accord, Kathy Griffin was posting a video showing her holding the decapitated head of the President. Trump said that his 11-year-old son Barron was having a tough time seeing his daddy being attacked in such a gruesome way. Oh, and shortly after midnight on the 31st Trump posted a tweet that read: "Despite the constant negative press covfefe," and the Internet had a lot of fun because what else are you supposed to do when Rome is burning?
  • Thursday, June 1: The announcement that the U.S. was abandoning the Paris Accord finally came down the pipeline, with Trump saying that he was going to "renegotiate" the deal, although leaders from France and Germany said that Trump's new plan probably wasn't going to happen. 
  • Friday, June 2: It was revealed the Donald Trump ordered federal agencies to ignore oversight requests when they were made by Democrats. It's not crazy that an administration would ignore this kind of thing, but it was weird to make a blanket statement. The President also asked the Supreme Court to reinstate his travel ban. 
     
  • Saturday, June 3: The White House press pool said that the President would be spending his day at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.
     
  • Sunday, June 4: After a terror attack in London that saw seven people killed and many more wounded when three knife-wielding terrorists drove across London Bridge in a van, smashing pedestrians, and cutting through Borough Market, a popular nightspot, Donald Trump showed how cool he is when he started a Twitter fight with the Mayor of London. Trump misquoted Mayor Khan, who told citizens to not be alarmed if they saw more police on the streets than usual. Trump then used the deaths of seven people to further his pro-gun agenda. 

 


Week 21, June 12- June 18: Jeff Sessions Gives Fiery Testimony, Trump's Obstruction Of Justice Investigation, And A Congress Baseball Shooting

​​​Is the President being investigated for obstruction of justice, or is he just the subject of a witch hunt? 

  • Monday, June 12: News came out that during Trump's first cabinet meeting since taking office, he went around the table and had each cabinet officer give him praise. Chief of Staff and man who definitely doesn't have a fake name, Reince Priebus, told the President: "We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing to serve your agenda.”
     
  • Tuesday, June 13: Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified in front of the Senate intelligence committee – frustrating democrats with his stonewalling – and saying that the idea that he would collude with Russian officials was a "detestable lie." 
     
  • Wednesday, June 14: The Washington Post revealed that Donald Trump is now being investigated by a special counsel for obstruction of justice. That morning a gunman opened fire on congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, VA, and critically injured Rep. Steve Scalise, while also injuring two police officers, a lobbyist, and a congressional staffer. Later that day, Trump issued a memorandum in order to push his travel ban all the way to the Supreme Court. 
     
  • Thursday, June 15: Trump flipped out about that whole obstruction of justice thing and said that he was on the receiving end of a "witch hunt." While that was happening, the President signed a $12 billion deal to sell fighter jets to Qatar despite referring to them as a "funder of terror" a few days before the deal.  
  • Friday, June 16: Trump spent the morning tweeting about the "witch hunt," and then he made a bizarre lie about how many Twitter followers he has. 
  •  Saturday, June 17: Trump finally visited Camp David, the Maryland presidential retreat, with Melania and Baron. He also tweeted out some thoughts and prayers. 
  • Sunday, June 18: Donald Trump's lawyer made the Sunday morning news rounds to say that the President wasn't actually being investigated for obstruction of justice, even though that is the exact opposite of what Trump said. How is this possible? Trump was simply responding to "fake news." 


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Mon, 15 May 2017 03:04:18 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/every-wtf-week-of-the-trump-administration/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[Presidents' Biggest Regrets From Their Times In Office]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/presidents-biggest-regrets/erin-wisti?source=rss

In United States politics, presidents are forced to make difficult decisions, and often they face harsh criticism no matter what they choose. While in office, presidents usually stand by their decisions in public despite private misgivings in order to appear strong and avoid political turmoil. However, once their terms are over, presidents sometimes admit to their mistakes. 

The biggest regrets of US presidents often involve mishandling foreign affairs and internal conflicts. Bungled wars and poorly planned invasions often lead US presidents to rethink their decision-making during their time in office. Difficult decisions - especially those that result in the loss of life - can haunt a president for the remainder of their days. The United States presidents' biggest regrets reveal a rare glimpse of the vulnerable side of powerful leaders. 


Presidents' Biggest Regrets From Their Times In Office,

George H.W. Bush Wishes He Had Taken Out Saddam Hussein

Had George H.W. Bush succeeded in getting Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein out of power, perhaps the Second Iraq War could have been avoided. Bush regretted not continuing with action in Iraq until Hussein surrendered. He believed, had the Gulf War gone on longer, Hussein could have been removed from power. 

Apparently, an FBI agent told Bush that he was certain Hussein would have eventually surrendered had military action continued. While Bush still considers the ending of the Gulf War a military success, he regrets it did not have a cleaner conclusion. He feels that, had he forced Hussein into surrendering, the present troubles in Iraq could have been avoided.


Carter Regrets His Handling Of The Iran Hostage Crisis

Most historians feel, had Carter handled the Iran Hostage Crisis in a more timely fashion, he would have been elected for a second term. Carter apparently agrees. In an interview in 2015, Carter admitted he wished he had sent helicopters in sooner to remove the 52 American diplomats and citizens that were held hostage in Iran for 444 days starting in November of 1979.

“I wish I had one more helicopter to get the hostages, and we had rescued them, and I was reelected,” Carter during cancer treatments he was receiving in his 90s for a brain tumor. Hopefully, admitting to his regrets let the former president find some peace.


Bill Clinton Wishes He Brought Peace To The Middle East

Surprisingly, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and subsequent impeachment threat was not Bill Clinton’s biggest regret as president. Clinton was actually more concerned with his handling of conflict in the Middle East. When asked about his biggest regret as president, he said he wished he had done more to smooth over tensions between Israel and Palestine.

“My number one regret is that I was not able to persuade Yasser Arafat to accept the peace plan I offered at the end of my presidency,” Clinton said. Clinton believes, had Arafat accepted the terms of the agreement, he could have spent the coming years making progress towards peace in Israel.


Barack Obama Regrets His Handling Of Libya

In 2011, Obama helped remove Libyan dictator Muammar Gadafi from power. While he knew intervening was the right decision, he regrets his lack of a follow-up plan. Libya was thrown into turmoil after Gadafi’s removal, and the country is still recovering today.

Obama said in an interview that his failure to plan for the day after the intervention was his worst mistake as president. Nevertheless, Obama expressed pride in other achievements he made during his time in the Oval Office. Despite his bungling of the Libya situation, Obama is confident his leadership helped the country recover from the 2008 economic crisis. 


John Quincy Adams Regretted His Treatment Of Native Americans

When John Quincy Adams took office, the Indian Springs Treaty was waiting on his desk. The treaty forced the Creek Nation, living in what is now Georgia, to give up their land and move west. As Congress had already voted in favor of the treaty, Adams signed it as soon as he took office. This was an act he regretted almost immediately.

Leaders of the Creek Nation met with Adams, changing his views on the nation’s treatment of its Native American populations. Adams tried to annul the treaty, but his attempts were blocked by Congress and the state of Georgia threatened military action. While a new treaty was eventually drafted, the Creek Nation still had to cede two-thirds of their land to Georgia. A third treaty, passed a year later, forced the Creek Nation to give up all remaining land. 

Adams both regretted the Indian Springs Treaty and the nation’s treatment of Native Americans overall. He would go on to write about this in his personal diary. “We have talked of benevolence and humanity, and preached them into civilization," he wrote, "But none of this benevolence is felt where the right of the Indian comes in collision with the interest of the white man.”


George Washington Regretted Owning Slaves

George Washington became a slave owner at the age of 11 and remained that way throughout the course of his presidency. During his era, many felt slavery was simply a way of life. As Washington aged, however, his view of slavery changed. Late in his life, he claimed slavery was “the only avoidable subject of regret” during the course of his lifetime.


George W. Bush Regrets The Iraq War

When asked in a 2008 interview about his biggest regret as president, George W. Bush surprisingly listed the Iraq War. While he did not regret everything that occurred in Iraq, the president seemed distraught over intelligence failures. He claimed this was the biggest regret of his presidency, stating, “I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess.”

Bush denied accusations that his administration had intentionally misled Congress. He noted members of Congress read all the same reports his staff did and still decided to go forward with the invasion. While he was disappointed things in Iraq did not go as planned, he still stated, “I will leave the presidency with my head held high.”


Andrew Jackson Regretted Not Resolving Conflicts With His Rivals

After Martin Van Buren took power, Andrew Jackson was asked whether he had any regrets as a president. He replied, perhaps somewhat tongue-in-cheek, “That I didn’t shoot Henry Clay and I didn’t hang John C. Calhoun.” Both Clay and Calhoun came into conflict with Jackson during his time in office.

Clay was a lawyer and statesman who Jackson viewed as politically untrustworthy, especially after Clay criticized Jackson's decisions to invade the Spanish region of West Florida. 

Despite the fact Calhoun was Jackson’s vice president, the two did not get along. Jackson’s problems with Calhoun were more personal than political, as he felt Calhoun snubbed him frequently in the Washington DC social circle.


Eisenhower Regretted His Own Supreme Court Pick

When Dwight D. Eisenhower originally appointed Earl Warren as a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he was confident in his decision. He stated Warren had the kind of political, economic, and social thinking the country needed. However, after Warren led the court in a series of liberal decisions, Eisenhower’s feelings towards him soured. Eisenhower would go on to call the appointment the “biggest damned-fool mistake I ever made.”


Nixon Regretted Delaying The Vietnam Bombings

Watergate seems like the logical biggest regret for Richard Nixon, but he apparently felt the scandal that cost him the presidency was not his worst fumble. In a Meet The Press interview, Nixon claimed delaying the bombing of North Vietnam was his biggest regret as president. Nixon hit Vietnam with bombs in 1972, but wishes he had taken action as early as 1969.

“I talked to Henry Kissinger about it,” Nixon says, “But we were stuck with the bombing halt that we had inherited from the Johnson administration.”

Nixon believes had the bombings occurred sooner, the Vietnam War would have wrapped up in 1969 rather than 1972.

When asked about the Watergate Scandal, Nixon felt the matter was small in comparison to his mishandling of Vietnam.



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Tue, 16 May 2017 06:11:50 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/presidents-biggest-regrets/erin-wisti
<![CDATA[Mary-Kate And Ashley Shows And Movies You Completely Forgot About]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/forgotten-mary-kate-and-ashley-projects/rebecca-shortall?source=rss

Can you believe there's an entire generation that only knows Mary-Kate and Ashley as the older sisters of Avengers star Elizabeth Olsen? Or as the two strikingly similar-looking mystery women who make sporadic appearances at the Met Ball? Or as the two waifs who are mysteriously absent from Netflix's Full House sequel Fuller House? Kids and tweens today just don't understand how the Olsen twins dominated television airwaves from the late '90s to the early 2000s. They're two of the most successful child stars of all time.

But sift back through your own memories of Mary-Kate and Ashley, and you may be surprised by the straight-to-VHS movies and sitcoms starring the Olsen twins you've failed to remember. Take a dive back into the expansive library of Mary-Kate and Ashley TV shows and movies, and look back with nostalgia-clouded eyes at the forgotten Olsen twins projects that fans once held so dear.


Mary-Kate And Ashley Shows And Movies You Completely Forgot About,

Billboard Dad

The Olsens step back into their familiar tomboy/girly-girl roles to play twins Tess and Emily Tyler in Billboard Dad. Mary-Kate plays the tomboyish Tess, a member of a high-diving team. Ashley plays Emily, the one that's all about the boys. Emily and Tess want to get their widower dad back on the market, so they paint a huge billboard/personal ad above Sunset Boulevard for him. The ad reads: "He's single, he's handsome. He's cool to the max! Interested? Write to Max Tyler at 10 Surf St. Venice."

This movie also features a pre-Pretty Little Liars Troian Bellisario, and Twink Caplan, AKA Miss Geist from Clueless.


Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

The Emmy-nominated TV movie Double, Double, Toil and Trouble had a surprisingly dark supernatural element. It also starred a pre-Will & Grace Eric McCormack as the twins' down-on-his-luck father, and living legend Cloris Leachman pulling double duty as evil Aunt Agatha and wrongfully-banished-to-hell Aunt Sofia.

Leachman isn't the only one playing multiple roles, though. Mary-Kate and Ashley also stretch their acting muscles by not only playing Kelly and Lynn Farmer - scrappy, imaginative twins - but also the younger versions of Leachman's double aunt role. If that's not complicated enough, there's also a plot involving moon stones, the netherworld, and curses.


How the West Was Fun

The Olsen twins have played spies, witches, and pizza enthusiasts, so naturally they played cowgirls, too. In How the West Was Fun, twins Susie and Jessica are off to visit their Grandma's dude ranch. But the ranch has fallen on hard times, and their Granny may have to sell off the ranch to an evil developer - unless the twins can save the day.

Fun fact: younger sister Elizabeth Olsen cameos as "Girl in car."


It Takes Two

It was only a matter of time before Mary-Kate and Ashley starred in a Parent Trap rip-off. That film came in the form of 1995's It Takes Two. The twins play unrelated but nevertheless identical girls from very different backgrounds. Mary-Kate plays Amanda, an orphan who wants her social worker (played by Kirstie Alley) to adopt her. Ashley plays Alyssa, a wealthy girl who is not into her father (Steve Guttenberg) marrying his mean new fiancée.

The Olsens trade places, and devise devious schemes to get Guttenberg and Alley to meet each other and fall in love.


Switching Goals

The 1999 television movie Switching Goals positioned the Olsens in the tomboy/girly-girl archetypes that became their go-to dynamic in their sitcoms. Mary-Kate plays Sam, the tomboy with mad soccer skills - but as great as she is at scoring goals, she's having trouble scoring with boys. Ashley plays her twin sister, Emma, the girl's girl of the two. She likes fashion and make-up, but wants to improve her poor athleticism.

The twins are put on rival soccer teams. Sam is bummed because she's stuck with a shoddy team that can't get it together, while Emma has been placed on the top team at her mother's request. MK and Ashley pull the old switcheroo, and hilarity ensues.


Winning London

Mary-Kate and Ashely were a couple of globe trotters in the early 2000s; many of their movies took them to European cities. In Winning London, Mary-Kate plays Chloe, who's smart, ambitious, and loves Model UN. Ashley plays her sister Riley, who comes along to London to take part in the Model UN competition - but only so she can get close to a boy on the team.


The Challenge

Before Mary-Kate and Ashley made the move to the big screen for New York Minute, they starred in the direct-to-video movie The Challenge. The 2003 movie followed twins living on opposite ends of the country with separated parents. Mary-Kate plays Shane, who lives with her mom in Los Angeles. Ashley plays the Washington D.C.-living Elizabeth. Both become contestants on a Survivor-style TV show called The Challenge, where the top prizes are college scholarships. But here's the twist: these two hate each other. The producers find out, stick the sisters on the same team, and hope their mutual dislike will lead to a sweet, sweet ratings bump.

Spoiler alert: the two overcome their differences, and win the whole challenge.


You're Invited To Mary-Kate And Ashley's...

The You're Invited series (1995-2000) was a direct-to-video collection of "musical parties." You might be familiar with this Olsen twins project - it inspired the meme-ified "Gimme Pizza" song. But Mary-Kate and Ashley invited you to more than just a pizza party. You could also RSVP to a sleepover party, a Hawaiian beach party, a birthday party, a Christmas party, a mall party, and even a ballet party. Evidently these twins knew how to party.


Mary-Kate And Ashley In Action!

Not all Olsen twins projects were live action. In the animated series Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!, Mary Kate and Ashley lent their voices and likeness to twin special agents Misty and Amber who, along with their talking dog Quincy, went on globe-trotting adventures. The 2001 series was canceled after one season due to poor ratings, but it did inspire some action figures and a series of books as well.


The Adventures Of Mary-Kate And Ashley

In The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley (1994-1997), the sisters play pint-sized detectives out to solve any mystery that crosses their path. Along with a basset hound named Clue, Mary-Kate and Ashley unravel cases involving inexplicably singing sharks, a Hawaiian hotel, and missing cattle.



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Wed, 10 May 2017 08:16:58 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/forgotten-mary-kate-and-ashley-projects/rebecca-shortall
<![CDATA[Compelling Evidence Birds Are Just Dinosaurs Living Among Us]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/birds-are-just-dinosaurs/bruce-maisy?source=rss

Dinosaurs might not really exist anymore, but it doesn't mean their relatives don't. Yes, it's true - cute, chirpy birds bouncing around in parks and backyards across the nation are related to giant, ferocious dinosaurs of the past. 

To be fair, it’s not accurate to say all of the dinosaurs who dominated our planet for millions of years evolved into birds. Many dinosaurs died off through natural means, with the vast majority going completely extinct when a giant asteroid struck the Earth around 66 million years ago. So, how are birds and dinosaurs connected, exactly? Some smaller dinosaurs from the theropod suborder - which Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor are also classified under - survived the dark days of the planet. And some of this theropod subset, with their proto-avian characteristics, eventually led to the evolution of birds.

These modern dinosaur relatives might seem relatively boring and harmless, but once you realize all the things these two have in common, it might destroy some of the myths you've always believed about dinosaurs.


Compelling Evidence Birds Are Just Dinosaurs Living Among Us,

The Ankle Controversy

Not everyone buys the dinosaur-bird link and, for many years, naysayers pointed to the difference between dino and bird ankles. While dinosaurs showed an upward projection off of their ankle bone, birds showed this "ascending process" from their heel bone. This might seem like a small difference to non-paleontologists, but it’s been a point of contention for many studying the relationships between birds and dinosaurs.

Fortunately, for those distraught over the incongruity, a study done in 2015 shed light on the controversy. According to researchers, the ascension only appears to come from the ankle bone in dinosaurs and heel bone in birds. In reality, it originates from a third and shared bone in both animals called the intermedium.


Zero Out Of Four Chiropractors Approve Of Dino Posture

One of the reasons bipedalism isn’t always obvious in dinosaurs has to do with their elongated appearance - a more common characteristic of quadrupeds. And while there are notable exceptions like ostriches and flamingos, most modern-day birds also favor a more horizontal posture.

Crouched stances in theropods are thought to have started with the development of larger forearms. This adaptation, which may have allowed certain theropods to grasp with their claws, eventually led to the evolution of wings in avian-dinosaurs.


Two Legs Are Better Than Four

All birds are bipedal - meaning they walk on two legs - which makes sense, considering their forelimbs are most often used for flight. However, even with popular dinos such as Tyrannosaur and Velociraptor around, most people fail to recognize that many dinosaurs were bipedal too. Whether dinosaurs started as bipedal, only evolving into quadrupeds when they grew too large, or they stood up on their hind legs to meet the demands and competition of their environment is still being debated.


Hollow Bones Made For Better Breathing

Dinosaur fossils showcasing hollow bones are not new. However, evidence pointing to their exact role and connection to modern-day birds is continually being revealed.

Hollow bones are one of the characteristics that make birds capable of flight. But this lightweight feature also helps birds to breath more efficiently. While humans and other mammals have diaphragms that allow their lungs to change in volume, birds (and their theropod ancestors) use bones along their rib cage called uncinate processes to help pump air in and out of their lungs. This respiratory distinction is thought to have made predatory theropods fast on their feet, and has given birds a conservation measure during the costly energy expenditure of flight.


Make A Wish On A Dinosaur - Because They Have Wishbones

Besides hollow bones, dinosaurs and birds share a variety of other skeletal features, including air spaces connected to the ear region, large orbital openings, as well as similarities in vertebrae, hindlimb, pelvic structures, and wishbones. Wishbones were once thought to be specific to birds. However, this union of right and left collarbones at the sternum is found in several theropods as well, dating back 150 million years.


Birds Of A Feather Likely Evolved Together

Contrary to pervasive imagery, not all dinosaurs were gray and scaly. Some were clad in feathers - many likely showcasing colored plumages. This theory has been confirmed by a variety of dinosaur fossils found inlaid with feather impressions. Most of these fossils are from the theropod suborder - a bipedal dinosaur, which included some of the Jurassic’s largest and most ferocious carnivorous.

The first, and most famous feathered fossil, Archaeopteryx, is considered to be a transitional animal between dinosaurs and modern-day birds. At approximately a foot and a half in length, Archaeopteryx lived in the Jurassic period, donned advanced feathers, and likely had the ability to fly. Since its discovery in 1861, many more fossils from other kinds of dinosaurs have been found, showing that feathers were not rare among dinosaurs.

While feathers were one of the characteristics that eventually led to flight, it’s thought they first evolved as a way for dinosaurs to stay warm and/or attract mates. The non-avian introduction makes sense because many large and flightless dinosaurs, like the mighty Tyrannosaurus, also wore feathers.


The Wind Beneath Their Wings

Feathers are important for flight, but without wings, the dinosaurs would have stayed terrestrial animals. It’s believed theropod adaptations, including flexible scapulas and rotating wrists, helped pave the way for the development of wings. Picturing these early proto-wings, combined with a theropod’s plumage, it’s easy to imagine how these speedy animals could have used simple gliding and coasting to out-compete those in and out of their species before true flight was even possible.


First, Yes, There Are Many Similarities Between Reptiles And Dinosaurs

We should probably address the crocodile in the room: the obvious similarities between dinosaurs and reptiles.

Paleontologists’ understanding of dinosaurs has advanced considerably in recent decades, while our mental images of the ancient creatures have largely remained the same. This has everything to do with the lack of peer-reviewed scientific papers crossing the public’s desk, combined with inaccurate depictions of dinosaurs in movies and TV.

There are also general and technical misunderstandings about what a reptile is and is not. For example, a turtle is considered a reptile, while a frog is classified as an amphibian. Not dissimilarly, a lizard (reptile) and a salamander (amphibian) do not share a common recent ancestor, despite having a host of superficial commonalities. Furthermore, crocodiles are more closely related to birds than they are to snakes. If you’re sufficiently confused, you’re not alone. In fact, to avoid further befuddlement among the general public and academics alike, some have called for the complete removal of the word "reptile" from our classification system.


Q: What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg? A: Dinosaurs

Dinosaur eggs look so similar to bird eggs that when the first examples were unearthed in 1859, the fossils were mistaken for that of a giant bird. Theropod eggs share many features with modern-day bird eggs, including shape - round on one end and more pointed on the other - three major membranes, and shells made of calcium carbonate.


Would You Like Rocks With Your Meal?

Gastroliths, also known as "gizzard stones" are rocks or pebbles an animal purposely swallows to aid with digestion. The rough and sharp rocks help break down the food in an animal’s stomach, eventually being vomited up and replaced by new stones when they’ve been rendered smooth. Fossils have revealed that several species of dinosaurs utilized gizzard stones. Gastroliths are found in some reptiles and marine animals, but most prominently in birds.



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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:21:28 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/birds-are-just-dinosaurs/bruce-maisy
<![CDATA[Reasons Why Goldie Hawn Will Forever Be America's Sweetheart]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/goldie-hawn-facts/alexandra-plesa?source=rss

America's sweetheart Goldie Hawn returned to acting in 2017 in the movie Snatched - her first film role in 15 years - and she’s been thoroughly missed. The beloved actress launched her fruitful career back in the ‘60s as part of Good Morning, World.  Shortly after, she appeared in sketch comedy show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, in what turned out to be her breakout role. Known for her chipper attitude, infectious laugh, and impressive acting resume, Hawn has been in the public eye for decades. And yet, there are probably still some Goldie Hawn facts you didn't know.  

Not only is she one of the few long-term couples of Hollywood, she's a devoted mom who has won awards for her various acting roles. Goldie Hawn movies are timeless comedic classics - everything from her 1969 film Cactus Flower to the unforgettable Private Benjamin and Overboard

There are plenty of interesting facts about Goldie Hawn's life. Did you know she almost abandoned acting to become a country singer? Or that she supports child education through a foundation she runs herself? All these things prove that Goldie Hawn will forever be America's sweetheart.


Reasons Why Goldie Hawn Will Forever Be America's Sweetheart,

Her Grandkids Call Her GoGo
 

There's a baby in all of us!! Love my funny Grand!!!

A post shared by Goldie Hawn (@officialgoldiehawn) on

 

How adorable is that? Hawn revealed in an interview that her grandkids call her GoGo, which was actually a nickname her aunt gave her growing up. Plus, she got her big break as a go-go dancer on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. Hawn has five grandchildren between her daughter Kate and her son Oliver.


She Was A Dance Prodigy
 

Blondes have more fun ��@joeymaalouf

A post shared by Goldie Hawn (@officialgoldiehawn) on

 

Hawn got the performing bug at an early age. She started dancing when she was only 3 years old. The actress took tap and ballet lessons and was a quick study. Hawn told Oprah Winfrey:  

“Dancing was the most extraordinary experience of my life. I didn’t know it was going to be, I just knew that it was part of my life because I danced three times a week from the age of 3. It was just incorporated in my life."


Goldie Is Her Real Name

 

You might have thought Goldie is a stage name. It’s not. The actress revealed she was named after her mother’s aunt, so Goldie is a family name. Her full name is Goldie Jeanne Hawn. When she was just beginning her career in acting, she went by a stage name Goldie Jeanne, but eventually began using her full name. 


She Almost Ditched Acting For A Career As A Country Singer

Can you imagine a world where Hawn would be a country singer instead of an actress? It almost happened. In 1972, she recorded a country LP called Goldie with the help of Dolly Parton and Buck Owens. On the album, Hawn covered the liked of Parton, Joni Mitchell and Van Morrison. The LP got favorable reviews, but she eventually chose the Hollywood path. Her son, Oliver, is also a gifted musician. He played Jeff Fordham on drama Nashville.


She Was One Of The First Women In Hollywood To Call Her Own Shots
 

Thank you @peggysirota, you're the greatest ❤️ So happy my dog Rupert made it in the magazine ��

A post shared by Goldie Hawn (@officialgoldiehawn) on

Hawn started her career when women in America were going through liberation renaissance - in Hollywood especially. Women weren't widely directing, writing, or producing films for the industry, but when Hawn came on the scene, she wasn't going to let her gender stop her from making her mark. She was known to ask for rewrites of scripts, getting involved in producing her films, and creating movies that pushed the boundaries of female-led comedies. 

Reese Witherspoon said Hawn was her inspiration for her character Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. She said she looked up to the actress and was thankful for all the boundaries she broke down during her career.  


Hawn And Russell Have Been Happily Unmarried For More Than 30 Years

 

 

Dueling movies but a match made in heaven ❤️ @snatchedmovie @guardiansofthegalaxy

A post shared by Goldie Hawn (@officialgoldiehawn) on

Despite being together since 1983, Hawn and Russell never got married. They first met when he was only 16 and she was 21, on the set The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. However, they got together later, when they filmed Swing Shift. Russell apparently used a cheesy pick up line on Hawn after a few drinks, but it was enough to pique Hawn's interest. Their first date was at the Playboy Club - and they even had sex on the first date

How do they make it work? “Love, gratitude, compassion, because sometimes every man or every woman will drive their partner crazy. Family. Fun. Laughs. Sex,” she told People Magazine.


She Dropped Out Of College
 

Love you so much @michaelkors �� Thanks for creating our mommy and me look for last night's @snatchedmovie premiere.

A post shared by Goldie Hawn (@officialgoldiehawn) on

Hawn majored in drama at American University in the early ‘60s, but eventually dropped out. She was studying drama at the university, but at age 19 she got the opportunity to work with a professional dance company at the Texas Pavillion of the New York World's Fair. She then stayed in New York City to launch her dancing (and later acting) career. The actress earned an honorary degree from the university in 2002.


Hawn Is A Big Fan Of Meditation
 

Afternoon birthday Meditation with Kate and besties! What a beauteous way to share our love and friendship.

A post shared by Goldie Hawn (@officialgoldiehawn) on

Wondering about the secret behind the actress’s sunny disposition? Meditation. She embraced the practice back in the ‘70s, after suffering from anxiety, as she told Prevention.com. As her fame started to explode, Hawn found herself anxious over the new attention.

She would have panic attacks and soon started losing the cheeriness she was most known for. That's when she visited a doctor and started meditating. She incorporated meditation into her MindUP Program, too, encouraging kids to take what she calls "brain breaks" during particularly anxious moments.


She Started A Foundation That Supports Childhood Education

 

The actress founded The Hawn Foundation to enrich children’s education. Part of that is the MindUP Program, which helps kids learn using neuroscience, positive psychology, and emotional learning. These lessons are catered to a child's development, and try to reduce the stress of learning by making it a positive and fun experience.

“I was moved by the statistics about the increases in school violence and bullying, youth depression and suicide, and I was concerned about the persistent failure of the education system to help children cope and flourish."


She Was In A Car Accident That Almost Killed Her In 1965
 

#tbt ��

A post shared by Goldie Hawn (@officialgoldiehawn) on

In 1965, when Hawn was working in New York City, she was in a car crash on the West Side Highway. She told Rolling Stone she woke up in the hospital and the doctor said it was a miracle that she and the other people in the car even survived. The crash caused her to have severe anxiety about being in cars she wasn't driving. 



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Wed, 10 May 2017 09:03:22 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/goldie-hawn-facts/alexandra-plesa
<![CDATA[Single Moms Of The Animal Kingdom Doin' It For Themselves]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/animal-kingdom-single-moms/eric-vega?source=rss

Moms - they're the best. But motherhood is hard no matter what species you are, and the natural world is particularly unforgiving. The single moms of the animal kingdom may have the hardest jobs on the planet, but these hardworking animal moms will always do what’s necessary when it comes to their children.

Single parent animals are not rare in nature, and most often it’s the mother who is left with the responsibility of raising her children. These remarkable animal mothers have shown just how far a parent can go to ensure the best lives for their young. Some spend years protecting their offspring, others go to elaborate lengths to make sure they have the best advantages in life, and still there are those willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their babies. These are some of the toughest, bravest, and most loving mothers in the natural world.


Single Moms Of The Animal Kingdom Doin' It For Themselves,

Kangaroo

Kangaroos belong to a unique group of mammals known as marsupials who, unlike traditional mammals, give birth to premature young who finish their development in a specialized pouch near the mother’s belly. They have a rare ability to put their own pregnancies on hold if they decide the conditions are not perfect, basically utilizing a form of natural birth control.

Mother kangaroos raise their joeys by themselves, and the amount of children they can have at once would be overwhelming to most people. That’s because kangaroos actually have two uteruses and three vaginas, allowing them to have as many babies as possible. A kangaroo can have two babies at different stages of development in her wombs, one joey developing in her pouch, and another hopping around beside her all at once. Now that’s some serious multitasking


Alligator

A rarity among reptiles, American alligators are ferociously devoted mothers who spend a lot of their time and effort looking after their young. It all starts when mother gators build their nests, which can be up to 10 feet wide and three feet tall. They lay their eggs, usually between 35 and 50, and then go about carefully regulating the temperature of the nest. Using vegetation, the mother can insulate her nests and control how hot or cold her eggs are. This is very important, because temperature determines a baby’s sex; warmer eggs are more likely to produce males, while cooler eggs tend to produce females. After birth, baby alligators all live together with their mothers, who viciously defend their young for the first few years of their lives.


Polar Bear

Polar bears are the largest terrestrial carnivores on earth, but their ferocious appetite doesn’t make them any less loving when it comes to their cubs. Mother bears tend to give birth to two cubs, although occasionally triplets will occur. The first order of business for an expectant polar bear mother is to dig a den deep in the snow where she'll have her cubs.

Once born, a polar bear’s cubs will stick by her side for over two years, soaking up all of her knowledge about survival in one of the harshest environments on earth. She will protect her cubs with her life, often from aggressive males who have no involvement in child raising and will often attempt to cannibalize cubs. These brave mothers battle the elements and other bears to ensure their offspring have the greatest chances of success in the wild.


Orangutan

One of the most intelligent creatures in nature, it’s no surprise orangutans would form strong bonds with their young. In the wild, orangutan fathers play no role in childcare, so the mothers have to go above and beyond the call of duty. Of all mammals, orangutans are the slowest to fully develop and gain independence from their mothers.

Much like humans, the first two years of an orangutan's life are spent as a defenseless baby that requires its mother's help to eat and move around. Throughout their youth, they are extremely dependent on their mothers, often breastfeeding until eight years of age. At age 10, they finally move on and fully embrace independence, giving their mothers a much-needed break.


Orca

Also known as killer whales, orcas are marine mammals known for their intelligence and physical beauty. When it comes to baby orcas the males are nowhere to be found, leaving the mothers to raise their young on their own. Orcas have very long pregnancies, up to 18 months in some cases, and mothers will stay with their young until they are large enough to defend themselves from potential predators. On some occasions, other young females will assist mothers in raising their young.


Elephant

These massive creatures are the largest land animals on earth, and their empathy and intelligence has made them one of the most beloved. They have complex social lives, and a maternal society that puts grandma at the top. Each family of elephants has a matriarch, and she’s usually the mother of most of the family. 

Elephants have the longest gestation period of any mammal, and they can be pregnant for up to two years before giving birth. This extra time in the womb allows their baby's brains and bodies to become highly developed before birth, giving them an advantage in their early lives. Female calves will often stay with her mother's heard for life, while males are banished upon puberty. While mom does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to raising a calf, studies have shown that calves who have a close relationship with their grandmother have a much higher success rate than those who don’t. 


North Pacific Giant Octopus

The north Pacific giant octopus is the largest octopus in the world, and an individual can weigh up to 600 pounds and measure over 30 feet. Despite their large size, these animals live relatively short lives, usually dying at only four years old. Reproduction plays a large part in this premature death, and the mothers tend to have the hardest of it.

They can lay up to 100,000 eggs, and will watch over all of them until they hatch. During this time, the mother will not eat, devoting all of her energy to protecting her nest. When the young finally hatches, the mother is often too weak to catch food. Sadly, most octopus mothers don’t survive long, but their young have a better chance of surviving in the harsh ocean.


Wolf spider

Although spider can be scary, some species are known for their caring attitude toward their young. While many spiders abandon their eggs after laying them, the wolf spider keeps hers close. First she carefully wraps the eggs in silk, then she attaches her egg sacs to her abdomen - as many as 100 eggs - and carry them around everywhere she goes. Once they hatch, the babies will continue to ride around on their moms back for up to a week, seemingly okay with their crowded quarters.


Common Tenrec

The common tenrec is a small mammal endemic to Madagascar and some other African islands. While they may be tiny, tenrec moms have some of the craziest pregnancies of any mammal. They can give birth to litters of up to 32 pups, making them one of the most fertile mammals in the world. You may think she would want to abandon her young after such a difficult pregnancy, but this mom stays with her pups even after they wean.


Caecilians Sacrifice Their Bodies So Their Babies Can Eat

These bizarre, snake-like creatures are actually more closely related to frogs and salamanders than snakes or worms. They are amphibians, and many are found deep underground, where the darkness has led to the loss of their eyes. If their blindness and appearance weren’t enough to weird you out, research into their parenting techniques revealed one of the most bizarre mother-child relationships in the animal kingdom.

Some species of caecilians give birth to live young, and the mother will voluntarily stick with her babies and allow them to feed off of her own flesh. She doesn’t seem to mind, even though she can lose up to 14% of her body weight this way. While this may seem horrifying, the process is completely natural and even has a happy ending. Mothers are able to grow back the missing skin with relative ease, and will continue to live long, healthy lives after their babies mature.



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Wed, 10 May 2017 04:09:10 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/animal-kingdom-single-moms/eric-vega
<![CDATA[The Worst People Ever On MTV's My Super Sweet 16]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/worst-my-super-sweet-16-people-ever/rebecca-shortall?source=rss

Cast your mind back to the early 2000s, when MTV dominated the reality TV genre with shows like Teen Mom. Of the many jewels of MTV reality shows, My Super Sweet 16 shone the brightest, thanks to a heady cocktail of temper tantrums, lavish parties, and spoiled teens that were - cue your Parks and Rec Jean Ralphio voice - the wooooooooorst.

If you're one of those people who have seen every episode of My Super Sweet 16, then you'll be pumped to know that MTV is bringing back that hotbed of screaming, rich teens with their expensive cars wrapped in giant novelty bows. Before you launch yourself into the latest season of crazy teens, take a moment to vote up the most annoying, entitled people from the earlier episodes of My Super Sweet 16. 


The Worst People Ever On MTV's My Super Sweet 16,

Marissa

Marissa earns her place on the Sweet 16 Trash Heap for being so into her Pretty in Pink party-theme that she went so far as to dye her dogs' fur pink. Is that animal abuse? Nowadays, dyeing dogs' fur is a booming (barking?) industry. But back in the early 2000s, it was more uncommon. Maybe Marissa was a pioneer. A terrible person, but a pioneer in animal cruelty. 


Yashika

How jaded a teen must be, to be underwhelmed by diamonds. Yashika has seen it all. She's been there, done that, and no, she does not want the t-shirt because she's too expensive for cotton-poly blends. Yashika earns her place in the hall of fame of My Super Sweet 16 monsters by being so spectacularly unimpressed by a huge diamond ring.

After receiving the ring from her mother, Yashika delivers a cutting statement: "I may have just gotten a seven carat ring, but there better be more." She's the Veruca Salt of diamonds. 


Audrey

Audrey is the probably the first former My Super Sweet 16 star that comes to mind when you're envisioning the worst of the worst. Audrey's mother takes Valium to make her daughter bearable and takes the brunt of Audrey's birthday rage when she brings out a brand new Lexus wrapped in a bow at the wrong time. A tearful, tiara-wearing Audrey scream-cries that she wanted the car on the day of her party and not at that moment before she stalks off, screaming, "It's not even the car I wanted!"


Ava

You may remember Ava from Season 1 as setting the bar for spoiled behavior that the rest of the would-be party boys and girls would have to surpass. Ava's parents threw an Arabian-themed party and when she was asked to consider a pre-owned Range Rover as a gift, Ava's one syllable response of "ew" cemented her as one of the worst Sweet 16ers ever.

Not content to simply be unsatisfied with a second-hand vehicle, Ava also disobeyed her parents and left the country to shop for party gowns, resulting in her parents temporarily cutting her off. You can't put a price on teenage rebellion! 


Alexa

Alexa knew her boyfriend was holding her back from having the best experience any 15-going-on-16 girl could have. So what's a girl to do when the most important day of your life looms around the corner? Break up with your man! Alexa was then free to be the independent queen who performed a surprisingly well-executed (by My Super Sweet 16's standards) belly dance and argue with her mother about centerpieces.

Bonus points for being "the worst" for putting on a scandalous display in front of your horny male peers and your very distressed father. Alexa didn’t let love hold her back in making the day all about her.


Sophie

Sophie's parents threw down an astonishing $180,000 for her Moulin Rouge-themed Sweet 16, but it seems like you can't put a price on manners. Even though her parents were footing the bill, Sophie still turned her ire on her mother. She calls her mom a b*tch and then proceeds to spend the majority of her party looking miserable.

She also got into it with her best friend while handing out invitations and dramatically uninvited her. A frequent refrain throughout the episode was, 'Sophie gets what Sophie wants,' and you knew for damn sure Sophie was going to call you a b*tch if you're in her way.


Alexandria

Ah, revenge! The best motivation when it comes to throwing a party. Alexandria is billed as the richest girl in school, but apparently, her classmates think she's lying about her supposed wealth. In an effort to set her peers straight and let them know who has gained the most from capitalism, Alexandria invites them to her lavish and opulent Sweet 16 party, using it as a means to prove to everyone she's better than them.


Katie

Katie loves Christmas more than any other holiday. More than life itself. And thus, the theme for her Sweet 16 is decided. So it is written. So it shall be. The party gets off to a sharp start when she forces her beleaguered male friends to dress up as elves and hand out invitations. These boys are all clearly in love with her, which makes their Christmas elf sadness all the sweeter. Katie also refuses anything less than the perfect sleigh for her entrance. Nothing less for the Christmas queen!


Natalie

Another petty party thrown by the birthday queen as a means of showing those from her past life that she is now hot sh*t. Hot rich sh*t. Natalie came from less glamourous roots, growing up in Roswell, New Mexico, before jumping ship and moving in with her rich father and his new fiancé in La Jolla, California. Natalie's tasted the finer things in life and now she wants more! She flies her Roswell friends in so they may bask in her wealth. 


Caroline's Party Planner

A slight break from the regularly scheduled program of terrible teens comes in the form of Caroline's party planner. The party planner seems to misjudge the age of her client and appropriate party practices by suggesting a doctor be on hand at the party to offer botox injections to guests. Caroline responds with the meanest of stink eyes and a disbelieving head tilt. This woman might usurp her teenager companions on this list for trying to push botox onto teenagers.



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Thu, 04 May 2017 10:08:35 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/worst-my-super-sweet-16-people-ever/rebecca-shortall
<![CDATA[An Ode to Barb on Stranger Things in Fan Art Form]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/barb-fan-art-from-stranger-things/stephen-reyes?source=rss

Like any great pop culture phenomenon, Stranger Things has inspired tons of tributes, homages, and parodies. However, there is one character that the Internet fell particularly in love with after the first season aired, and that is Barb. Check out these pieces of Barb fan art from Stranger Things to see just how much her fans love her, miss her, and hope to have "Justice For Barb" in the second season of the Netflix hit.


An Ode to Barb on Stranger Things in Fan Art Form,

Barbs Do It Better

Milk Carton

Mural

At The Pool

Where's Barb?

Spaghetti Dinner

Vector Art

Chill

Skull

Picture Day


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Mon, 01 May 2017 05:38:21 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/barb-fan-art-from-stranger-things/stephen-reyes
<![CDATA[Terrible Movies With Amazing Soundtracks]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/terrible-movies-great-soundtracks/eric-conner?source=rss

A broken watch is right twice a day, just as a lousy or mediocre film can have some redeeming qualities. Take Suicide Squad (please, take it). Despite reviews that compared it to all forms of famine and pestilence, it won an Oscar for makeup. Since apparently no other movies in 2016 used any makeup. Alongside this trend of technically superlative, creatively bankrupt films is the bad movies great soundtracks dichotomy.   

Such is the case with the following movies, the soundtracks for which feature music so good you might forget the films that spawned them. All these terrible movies with awesome music owe a great debt to music supervisors, directors and producers with a good ear, parent companies that own record labels, and the consumerist masses, all of which played a role in ensuring an awful film had a chance to worm its way into pop culture relevance. Be sure to leave a comment with the best soundtracks and best movie songs from terrible movies not present here.

Now head to your preferred spot for streaming music and get ready for music that's better than the movies. 


Terrible Movies With Amazing Soundtracks,

Tank Girl

Terrible Movie:  The '90s weren't a great time for comic adaptations (see Spawn, Roger Corman's Fantastic Four, or Captain America).  The arrival of Tank Girl only put more flowers on that grave. Lori Petty - so sharp in Point Break and so shrill in A League of their Own - ensured her place on TV (back when that was a step down) and straight-to-video flicks by starring in this disasterpiece. In a post-apocalyptic future, survivors all become insufferable smart-asses or kangaroo people like Ice-T:

If you've got a couple of minutes you don't want back, check out the trailer.   

Great Soundtrack: A terrific thumbnail of mid-'90s grrl rock. Bjork, L7, and Hole bring the fire. Veruca Salt, Belly and Portishead bring the ice. And DEVO brings the DEVO. This album gave so much hope for the film, and the film gave such little hope for the fate of comic book movies.    

Best Tracks: Joan Jett and Paul Westerberg positively kill the old classic "Let's Fall in Love," but L7's "Shove" wins points for having the most moxie and roller-derby-ready lyrics.

"Some guy just pinched my ass (Shove) 

Drunken bums ain't go no class (Shove)

The club says I won't get paid (Shove)

It's been months since I've been laid (Shove)"


City of Angels

Terrible Movie: Wim Wenders appears elsewhere on this list (see Until the End of the World), despite having made some phenomenal films. His seminal drama Wings of Desire was given the Hollywood treatment in City of Angels, directed by Brad Silberling, with Nic Cage donning wings and Meg Ryan as the Earthly object of his affection. Spoiler alert: she dies. In a better movie, that might elicit a tear or two. In City of Angels,  you'll take solace, and maybe even joy, in her death, since this tragic moment signifies the movie's almost over. Second spoiler alert: this movie sucks. 

Great Soundtrack: Even the song titles on this album are beyond cheesy, but there are some great guilty pleasures here, such as the Goo Goo Dolls's Iris. Paula Cole and Sarah McLachlan might make you look into Lilith Fair tickets, while Alanis Morisette shows she's more than a one-rage pony.  

Best Track: And then there's Peter Gabriel's "I Grieve," which is the master showing his pupils how a weepy ballad is really done. He also released the song on his album Up, but the version on City of Angels is better.


I Am Sam

Terrible Movie: Yes, Sean Penn was nominated for an Oscar, and little Dakota Fanning is amazing. But I Am Sam is exactly the kind of movie Tropic Thunder's Simple Jack so adroitly mocked. For those who don't know the film, Penn plays a mentally handicapped barista who fights a protracted legal battle to keep his young daughter. The movie means well, and cast some mentally impaired performers, but this backfired for some, thanks to a character who's a dead ringer for Raymond Babbit (Rain Man). You'll spend the whole film trying to figure out if he's an actor imitating Rain Man or an autistic person who likes to imitate Rain Man.   

Great Soundtrack: As concept soundtracks go, this one nails a fantastic premise, while avoiding all the schmaltz of the film. Every song is a classic Beatles tune covered by a modern singer. Sarah McLaughlan (See: City of Angels) does a beautiful rendition of "Blackbird," Ben Harper's "Strawberry Fields" gets it right. Rufus Wainwright's "Across the Universe" would be the album's highlight, but...

Best Track: Eddie Vedder covers "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," and every other performer on the soundtrack has to fight for second place.  


Sliver

Terrible Movie: Despite the tagline "You Like to Watch," YOU WILL NOT LIKE TO WATCH. A chihuahua having its way with a pitbull is more erotic (and romantic) than this big-budget piece of soft core trash. Thanks to the sex-cess of Basic Instinct, writer Joe Estzerhas got a million dollars for basically writing porn dialogue and unimaginative sex scenes for this flick. However, Sharon Stone's $2.5 Million was well earned - you try not laughing when Billy Baldwin says "panties."  

Great Soundtrack: While it's safe to bet zero babies were made while watching Sliver, a few might have been made thanks to this sexy and sleek soundtrack. Enigma was in peak form with two tracks later featured in countless basic cable phone sex commercials. Verve, Massive Attack, and Fluke all provided music that was far sexier than the movie. And who knew UB40 covering Elvis would be so poignant and buoyant?    

Best Tracks: Neneh Cherry's "Move with Me" was also featured in Until the End of the World soundtrack. The version here is far superior, no longer a one note dirge with Ms Cherry's wailing and rapping.   


Until the End of the World

Terrible Movie: If you’ve seen Until the End of the World, a three-hour exercise in endurance and artistic "self-pleasuring," please indicate so in the comments: someone will try to reply to all five of you.

After Wings of Desire, Wim Wenders could not have been hotter in the international film community. After Until the End of the World, his fire flamed out. Per Wikipedia, World's plot: "While trying to find a cure for his wife's blindness, Dr. Farber has created a device that allows the user to send images directly to the brain. [Meanwhile] the continued existence of mankind is under threat from a nuclear-powered satellite that is falling toward earth."    

Got that? In 2015, Wenders screened his five hour cut to mostly positive response. Do you remember watching the three hour original wishing "If only it were two hours longer"?

Great Soundtrack:  If you were born in the mid '70s and had a taste for indie rock, you love this album without knowing it. The lineup is a who's-who of late '80s and early '90s rock: U2, REM, Depeche Mode, Talking Heads, Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Depeche Mode. If your tastes are more atmospheric, there's Daniel Lanois, Julee Cruise, and Neneh Cherry (whose track "Move With Me" is featured in Sliver, also on this list).   Even the snippets of score featured on the soundtrack offers false hope for a movie that's never delivered.  

Best Tracks: "Until the End of the World" is killer (though already appeared on Achtung Baby). REM's "Fretless" is a beauty.   


The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Terrible Movie: Not sure anyone left in the world needs an explanation about what makes this franchise so putrid.  Exhibit A: See the DVD image cover. Exhibit B: HIM 

Soundtrack: The bands on this soundtrack must not have read the book or script, or met Jackson Rathbone. Or maybe they just wanted to be heard by 100 million teenagers / lonely spinsters, which you can't hold against them. The result is a terrific and moody mix over which even the most ardent hipsters will swoon. Why pay through the nose for Coachella when you can hear Muse, The Killers, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, and Death Cab for Cutie all gathered here?

Best Tracks: Thom Yorke's haunting "Hearing Damage" is Radiohead-level good, not just Thom Yorke solo material good. Lykke Li's "Possiblity" is a fantastic track, though the movie only captured 10% of its dark beauty.


Eclipse

The Movie: The Twilight franchise started bad, got worse, and became insufferable. Despite all the characters who got killed off, this guy stuck around until the bitter end.  

Great Soundtrack: As cringe-worthy as its dialogue, acting, and hair-dye managed to be, the Twilight franchise knew how to get top-tier bands to appear on its soundtracks.   Eclipse, the third film in the series, had a great soundtrack, on which hipster indie bands collided with arena rockers. Metric, Muse, Vampire Weekend, Beck with Bat for Lashes, CeeLo and Sia all gave high end B-sides and unreleased tracks to the collection. It gives so much hope for a half-way decent film that never comes.  

Best Track: UNKLE's "With You in My Head" is an atmospheric rock track that actually rocks, and stays in your head long after it stops playing. Unfortunately, it couldn't have been used any worse in the film, as background for a ridiculous training montage.    


Sucker Punch

Terrible Movie: Wherever there's an Internet troll, director Zack Snyder has an enemy. Alas, he didn't change many minds with Sucker Punch, odd mix of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and steampunk-laden Dr. Who, as played by a cast of strippers, Sucker Punch has some stylish moments, but is ultimately dumb trash. It was a warning shot, indicating what kind of movie Batman vs. Superman would be, but nobody was listening.

Great Soundtrack: Bjork's "Army of Me" (which was covered by Helmet for the MoM: Music for our Mother Ocean compilation) makes two appearances on this list (see: Tank Girl), though the Sucker Punch remake is superior. Female-led covers of the Pixies's Where Is My Mind, White Rabbit and Iggy Pop's Search and Destroy are perfect tonal hybrids. Don't bother with the movie. Listen to the soundtrack twice instead.    

Best Track: Carla Azar's cover of The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" would make John, Paul, George, Ringo and even Yoko proud.  


Fifty Shades of Grey

Terrible Movie: IMDB uses the following keywords in describing this "film":

  • female frontal nudity 
  • public hair
  • spanking 
  • rich man poor woman 
  • duct tape
  • naive
  • son of a prostitute 
  • son of a crack addict 
  • merkin wig

Some of that is super fun. "Son of a crack addict" is where it all starts to get a little bit weird. 

Great Soundtrack: Sexy isn't a word anyone would use to describe Fifty Shade of Grey, even if you met your partner at a glory holeThe soundtrack, however, is super sexy. AWOLNATION is no Bruce, but the group's cover of I'm on Fire does the tune justice.   The Weeknd's Jacko-esque falsetto is right at home on this album. Ellie Goulding's Love Me Like You Do is just the right amount of pop (and 1.4 billion Youtube views agree).   

Best Track: Annie Lennox - always one of music's coolest - does nothing to lose that title with her cover of "I Put a Spell On You".


She's The One

Terrible Movie: Brothers McMullen was one of the more charming independent films of the '90s. Writer, director, and star Edward Burns showed flashes of a star in the making on all three fronts. Although he’s had steady work in front of the camera since, his work behind the lens (and in front of screenwriting software) leaves something to be desired. This was never more apparent than in She’s The One, in which Jennifer Aniston is paired with two low-wattage stars from McMullen. It has the feeling of a cast from a middle-school Neil Simon production getting the chance to reprise its roles on Broadway, although Cameron Diaz pops up. 

Great Soundtrack: Two words: Tom. Petty. The Heartbreakers contribute all songs on the She's the One soundtrack, which is considered a proper album for the band, not just soundtrack work. The record has a ramshackle quality that gives it a loose, laid back feel, and even includes two variations of the same song, twice (Angel Dream and Walls). There are boot-stomping rockers (Zero From Outer Space and Climb That Hill) and a plaintive Beck cover with a PG-13 title (Assh*le). She's the One's soundtrack caps one of rock’s greatest winning streaks -  Full Moon Fever, Into the Great Wide Open, and Wildflower.

Best Tracks: Most people reading this might prefer/remember "Walls." It got some radio play back in the days of radio, and is one of those Petty tunes that feels like you've known it forever after hearing it once. The great deep cut classic is "Hung Up and Overdue," the love child George Harrison and Petty never got around to making in The Traveling Wilburys, featuring drums from Ringo Starr and guitar from Harrison. It's sprawling and lyrical, with gorgeous production.



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Mon, 17 Apr 2017 03:00:46 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/terrible-movies-great-soundtracks/eric-conner
<![CDATA[12 Predictions About The Marvel Cinematic Universe Based On Guardians 2]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-2-mcu-predictions/zack-howe?source=rss

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 just came out and it might be one of the best Marvel films yet. It’s just superb. The opening scene is probably the most brilliant one of any film ever in the history of all time and things. But beyond its amazing parameters is a larger narrative. What’s the relationship between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and the MCU as a whole? Well, it’s quite expansive.

GotG 2 poses a lot of questions that need answering and has profound implications for the MCU, even beyond Infinity War. That being said, this cosmic movie is surprisingly narrow in scope, so a lot of its connections to the larger MCU must be speculative in nature out of necessity. But most people enjoy predictions and speculations in certain doses concerning fantastical universes, like fan theories about Star Wars. To kill some time until Ragnarok arrives, let’s dive into those Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 MCU implications. There are, of course, spoilers ahead. You've been warned.


12 Predictions About The Marvel Cinematic Universe Based On Guardians 2,

Adam Warlock

Adam Warlock becomes the possessor and guardian of the Soul Gem. In case you didn't know, the Soul Stone is the only remaining Infinity Stone yet to be introduced in the MCU. Now, supposedly, Adam Warlock will not appear until Guardians of the Galaxy 3, which will come out after Infinity War. However, it is generally known that Thanos is going to succeed in collecting all of the Infinity Stones, so Adam is going to acquire it from him in one way or another.

Will he possibly show up in Infinity War Part 2 despite reports to the contrary? Maybe. Or maybe he will receive the stone in Guardians 3 after being introduced as an antagonist of the Guardians. Ultimately, he is one of the most important beings in the Marvel Universe and is likely Thanos's nemesis. Perhaps Thanos will survive Infinity War and fans will get to see the two face off down the cosmic road. 


Howard the Duck

Howard the Duck makes another cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and he will definitely be seen again. Not only will he be in the next Guardians flick, but he will be the eventual savior of the entire Marvel Universe when he defeats Exitar the Executioner in the final Marvel movie, Avengers: The Celestial Ending. But none of this is real, so go ahead and ignore it. (But seriously, you'll see him again.)


Nebula

Ever since Nebula was first introduced in the Guardians of the Galaxy, she has expressed her burning desire to kill her adoptive father, Thanos. Her arc of redemption was predictable even then, but GotG Vol. 2 makes it abundantly clear. Her drive to kill Thanos is so absolute that it's a veritable certainty she will strike the definitive blow in Infinity War. Perhaps then, she'll officially join the Guardians for their third installment.


Guardians of the Galaxy

Mantis joins the Guardians in their new adventure. Not only that, but Kraglin the Ravager seems to have become a new member as well (his mid-credits scene is amazing, by the way). The Guardians, like the Avengers, had many iterations and incarnations in the books. Their membership is fluid, so fans will see it change and evolve over time. Hopefully the core crew sticks around - a universe without Rocket and Groot is just too sad.


The Celestials Will Be The Future Villains

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Peter's dad, Ego the Living Planet, is identified as a Celestial (which he's not in the books, but that's okay). The Celestials are a race of immortal cosmic giants of unrivaled power. They are essentially the judges of the universe. They've been alluded to before: the Collector's museum in GotG was in Knowhere, the severed head of a Celestial, and when the Collector explained the Infinity Stones' origins, fans saw a Celestial wielding the Power Stone to destroy a planet (who was very likely Exitar the Executioner).

At one point in GotG 2, Peter is bestowed with his father's power and says he sees "Eternity." There actually is a being in the books named Eternity, who essentially comprises the entire universe. He's not known as a Celestial in the books, but neither is Ego, so maybe this is just a subtle nod to the character, or maybe it's an allusion to a future in which Eternity exists as a Celestial. Either way, after Thanos is defeated, who could possibly take up the mantle of the big bad(s) in the MCU? The Celestials. 


The Soul Stone Is Going To Be A Big Deal

Where is the Soul Stone? It still hasn't been introduced in the MCU. But Adam Warlock is now waiting in the weeds, the eventual guardian of the stone. The Soul Stone is the only sentient stone and contains within in it a universe called Soulworld, where Adam traps his most dangerous foes. Bold prediction: Thanos will ultimately be defeated by being trapped within Soulworld, after which Adam will take the Stone for safekeeping.


There Will Be More Penis Conversations With Drax

Apparently in the world of "professional" wrestling, there's a running joke about Dave Bautista's bazooka. Everyone asks about it. In GotG 2, Drax asks Ego if he has a penis as a homage to this. Given that it's a running joke in real life, it will likely become a running joke in the MCU. So get ready because more is coming... Phrasing! 


Ayesha Of The Sovereign Still Has A Big Role To Play

High Priestess Ayesha of The Sovereign is based on a character from the books, but given a new backstory in GotG Vol. 2. In the source material, she's an artificial creation of a group of mad scientists called the Enclave, who are also the creators of Adam Warlock (more on him in a moment).

Well, it seems Ayesha has maintained her connection to Adam, but now is given credit for being his creator. Adam is not a villain in the books - nor is Ayesha. In fact, her authority and actions are a bit comical in GotG 2, implying that her role isn't that of a world-wrecking bad guy. Whatever comes of her, she is the creator of perhaps the most important character in the MCU.


Is Stakar A One-Off?

Short answer: No. He's Sylvester Stallone. And Sylvester doesn't do one-offs. In fact, he has it written into all his contracts that he will only participate in a series that will ultimately have no less than eight installments. #Fact

Stakar, AKA Starhawk, is actually a member of the original Guardians, made up of the ragtag bunch seen at the end of GotG 2: Charlie-27, Martinex, Aleta Ogord, Krugarr, and Mainframe. Stallone will likely takeover GotG Vol 3, shunning James Gunn's inevitably brilliant script to take back the mantle of Guardians of the Galaxy with his crew, and will probably even enlist the help of the Expendables to do so. Best crossover ever!

A couple interesting notes about Stakar's crew: Krugarr - the red fish-monster alien - actually becomes the future Sorcerer Supreme. Also, the little talking computer, Mainframe, is voiced by Miley Cyrus. Yeah, Hannah Montana is in GotG 2


Cosmo The Space Dog Is Doing Just Fine

Cosmo is seen again in the credits of GotG 2, meaning he probably escaped Knowhere. He and Howard the Duck are going to have a team-up movie in 2024 titled Avengers: This Can't Be Happening and it will mark the end of the MCU and the end of the human race altogether.



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Tue, 02 May 2017 10:16:28 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-2-mcu-predictions/zack-howe
<![CDATA[What Your Sleeping Positions Say About Who You Really Are]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/meanings-behind-sleeping-positions/erin-mccann?source=rss

When we sleep, some of us curl up and some of us sprawl out. These different sleeping positions may not seem like a big deal, but some people believe the way you sleep reveals your character traits and personalities. Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, believed he discovered the personality traits of sleeping positions after conducting a survey of sleepers in the 1940s. With regards to his research, he stated, "We are all aware of our body language when we are awake but this is the first time we have been able to see what our subconscious posture says about us." 

Sleep is essential to the human body, as you can die from severe sleep deprivation. Because it's such an important function, maybe the position you snooze in actually matters. From postures like "The Soldier" to "The Yearner," what does your sleeping position unveil about you? 


What Your Sleeping Positions Say About Who You Really Are,

The Soldier-Starfish: You're Flexible

Some people sleep on their backs, but not as sprawled as a starfish nor rigid as a soldier. These hybrids, known as soldier-starfishes, can have flexible attitudes and a go-with-the-flow approach to life. However, they can also come across as wishy-washy and are easily persuaded by others. They are also excellent candidates to be snorers. 


The Heron: You're Unpredictable

The heron, often associated more with kung fu than sleep, is a side or stomach sleeper who snoozes with one raised knee. Herons are said to be unpredictable and prone to rapid mood changes. They may find it difficult to make decisions. Herons are drawn to adventure. but thrive in stable and quiet environments.


The Baby: You're Strong But Sensitive

Also known as the fetal position, the sleepers who adopt the baby position lie on their side with their knees pulled up to their chest. Fetal sleepers are said to be sensitive with a tough exterior and may be reserved or more introverted. It's believed twice as many women sleep in the fetal position than men.


The Log: You're Social And Easy-Going

If you sleep on your side with your legs and both arms straight down, you're literally sleeping like a log. Log sleepers are believed to be even-tempered and social butterflies. They can be very trusting and sometimes gullible. If you have minor back pain, assuming the log position might be good as it keeps the spine straight.


The Starfish: You're Friendly And Loyal

People who sleep on their backs with their arms over their heads are known as starfish sleepers. They are said to make excellent friends, loyal and helpful with very good listening skills. Starfish also tend to stay out of the limelight. Because they lie on their back like a solider sleeper, starfish can be snorers as well.


The Freefaller: You're Playful But Anxious

Sleepers who lie on their stomach, often found hugging their pillow, are known as freefallers. Like the Tom Petty song, these sleepers can be free-spirited, confident, and brash. They are often extroverted and excitable, but bad at taking criticism. Supposedly, sleeping on one's stomach is said to be beneficial to digestion


The Soldier: You're Reserved And Serious

Soldier sleepers lie on their back with both arms at their sides or on their chest. They tend to set very high standards for both themselves and others, and are often cool and quiet. Their lives can be extremely structured as they take organization seriously. Because soldiers sleep on their back, they may also be more prone to snoring.


The Thinker: You're An Emotional Rollercoaster

If you sleep on your side with one hand resting under your chin, you might be a thinker (like the famous statue). Thinkers can be tough yet sensitive, with their emotional state always bouncing between the two. They may be adventurous one minute and shy the next. Thinkers are also often vulnerable to emotional hurts and upsets. 


The Stargazer: You're Happy-Go-Lucky

Stargazers are the people who fall asleep on their backs with their arms wrapped above or behind their head, as if gazing at the starry night above them. They tend to adopt a happy-go-lucky attitude about life and often make their friendships an important priority. Stargazers can be admirers of beauty, comfort, and freedom, but can be greedy with unrealistic expectations.


The Yearner: You're Open Yet Cynical

Those who sleep on their sides with their arms stretched out in front of them are known as yearners or reachers. People who adopt this position are open-minded, inviting, and tend to weigh all options carefully before making a decision. However, once they make a decision, they probably won't regret it or change their minds. Yearners can also be cynical and suspicious, but may experience less problems with acid reflux and sleep apnea than other sleepers.



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Thu, 13 Apr 2017 01:44:43 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/meanings-behind-sleeping-positions/erin-mccann
<![CDATA[Interesting Facts About Audrey Hepburn's Life You Probably Never Knew]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/audrey-hepburn-facts/philgibbons?source=rss

Audrey Hepburn is quite possibly one of Hollywood's most timeless stars. Born in Belgium in 1929, she went on to become an actress, model, dancer, and humanitarian, as well as a beauty and fashion legend. Audrey Hepburn's movies and her signature style stood the test of time, revered decades after she passed away in 1993. But there are plenty of things about Audrey Hepburn's life most people don't know. Despite being a beloved Hollywood starlet, her life wasn't all roses.

Away from the camera, she faced struggles and triumphs. There are plenty amazing facts about Audrey Hepburn that go beyond her movies. Dysfunctional parents, two high profile and failed marriages, and a lifetime of medical issues and poor health were also part of the reality behind the public facade. Here are some of the things you probably didn't know about Audrey Hepburn.


Interesting Facts About Audrey Hepburn's Life You Probably Never Knew,

Heburn's 'Little Black Dress' Was Auctioned For Close To One Million Dollars, But Wasn't Worn In The Film

Hepburn worked closely with the designer Hubert de Givenchy. In 1961, he designed what was actually a prototype of the black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's. The bottom part of this dress would be redesigned by Paramount's designer Edith Head, chiefly to remove the long leg slit that was considered too revealing. Following the film's production, the dresses worn by Hepburn in the film were destroyed. Givenchy retained three copies of his original design, one of which was given to a friend, author Dominic Lapierre, to auction off to benefit the City of Joy Foundation, a charity based in Calcutta, India. Christie's auctioned this dress for close to a million dollars in December 2006. However, this and two other dresses purported to be from the film were never worn in Breakfast At Tiffany's.


Her Film Breakthrough Came In 'Roman Holiday'

In 1948, Hepburn's mother, who was quite ambitious about her daughter's show business career, moved both of them to London. As the family fortune was completely depleted by the war, she supported both Hepburn and herself as a cook and menial worker, quite a comedown for such an aristocrat.

Audrey initially got small parts as a chorus girl and bit film parts until she was cast in the title role of the 1951 play Gigi on Broadway, quite a step up from previous casting. Her first starring role in a Hollywood film was the 1953 movie Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck, a performance that won her the Academy Award. Her performance as a princess wanting to see the sights of Rome on her own made her an international star. In addition to her best actress Oscar, she won the BAFTA award for Best British actress and the Golden Globe, the first time an actress won all three awards for a single performance.


Hepburn Weighed Only 88 Pounds Because Food Was Scarce During WWII

Hepburn's remarkably slender and delicate physique has been perceived as the height of natural, elegant beauty. Unfortunately, this body type resulted from the extreme deprivation she experienced during World War II. As the war progressed and the situation for the occupying Nazis grew bleaker, they punished the Dutch population by limiting already scarce food supplies. By the winter of 1944, Heburn recalls her family attempting to survive by boiling grass, nettles and tulip bulbs. She also suffered from asthma, jaundice, and anemia. By the end of the war, Hepburn - who stood at 5-feet seven-inches tall - weighed 88 pounds.


Her Vocals Were Dubbed In 'My Fair Lady'

When Warner Brothers decided to produce My Fair Lady, they determined Julie Andrews was not big enough of a star to carry the lead female role of Eliza Doolittle. But casting Hepburn instead left the studio with another problem. Hepburn just didn't have the vocal ability required for such a demanding musical. Instead, all of her singing would be dubbed by Marnie Nixon, a gifted soprano who also dubbed in vocals for Natalie Wood In West Side Story and Deborah Kerr in The King and I. Although this sleight of hand was kept from the public, stories that this was done secretly without Hepburn's knowledge are untrue. You can compare the two vocalists' rendition of "I Could have Danced All Night," here.


Her Parents Were Nazi Sympathizers

Hepburn's father, Joseph, was a British ex-pat born in the present day Czech Republic and her mother, Ella, was born in the Netherlands as a Baroness in an aristocratic family. Both of Hepburn's parents were enthusiastic about and raised funds for the British Union of Fascists, an anti-Semitic British political party popular in Britain in the mid-30s that quickly lost credibility as Nazi Germany and Great Britain verged on open warfare.

Joseph abruptly left his family in 1935 to move to London, and became even more deeply involved with the British Union of Fascists. Meanwhile, Ella attended the Nuremberg rallies with British fascist Unity Mitford. In June of 1940, when war broke out, Hepburn's father was interned on the Isle of Man and considered "an enemy of the state."

Hepburn's mother made the erroneous assumption the Netherlands would be able to remain neutral, as the country had done during World War I, and relocated with her daughter to Arnhem, where her father was the former mayor. This would prove to be a fateful decision, as the Nazis quickly overran the country in 1940. Much has been written about Hepburn's alleged work with the Dutch resistance and personal experiences witnessing Nazi atrocities, however this seems to be the work of numerous Hollywood press agents, possibly compensating for Hepburn's parents ties to fascism. 


Hepburn Was A Heavy Smoker

Hepburn began smoking when she was a teenager. For the rest of her life she smoked heavily, upwards of two to three packs a day. Such an addiction seems out of place for the seemingly naive and doe-like actress. She even smoked during breaks in her performance during The Nun's Story, secreting cigarettes in her nun's habit. Even as society grew more conscious of the dangers of tobacco, she continued the habit. "I have some sins," was her witty rationalization of the vice that would ultimately have dire consequences.


Hepburn Retired In 1967 To Pursue Humanitarian Causes

Hepburn essentially retired after her 1967 film Wait Until Dark, despite receiving her fifth and final Oscar nomination. Although she would eventually return to the screen on a few occasions, she was determined to work on humanitarian efforts involving children. She became so involved with UNICEF, the United Nations children's organization she was named UNICEF's Goodwill ambassador in 1988. She would spend the last years of her life on the ground in such places as Somalia, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh, providing aid and raising awareness. Hepburn maintained that, following World War II, it was the efforts of UN relief organizations that greatly helped her and other children in the Netherlands, and she wished to repay this debt of gratitude.


Her Sons Fought Over Her Estate

After Hepburn's death, her sons - Luca Dotti and Sean Ferrer - waged a legal battle against one another for rights over her belongings. In 2015, they entered a court battle over a slew of her items - including her clothes, jewelry, scripts, costumes, and awards. A judge stepped in to divide the assets, but again in 2017 the brothers were at war with one another in court

Both brothers were on the board of Hepburn's Children's Fund board, but in 2008 the elder son Ferrer resigned. He later tried to block Dotti from exhibiting Hepburn's effects and using her likeness. Dotti accused Ferrer of trying to overrun him and edge him out of Hepburn's estate despite Ferrer leaving the board of her charity. As of May 2017, the case has not been resolved. 


Her Love Life Was Rather Stormy

After a fairly serious affair with the married William Holden while filming Sabrina, Hepburn moved on after discovering Holden had undergone a vasectomy. She then met and married Mel Ferrer. She had two miscarriages before giving birth to a boy, Sean Ferrer, in 1960. After two more miscarriages and mutual infidelity, the couple would divorce in 1968. Despite her connection with Ferrer through her son, Hepburn would only speak with him two more times for the rest of her life. She quickly remarried an Italian psychologist, Andrea Dotti, and had another son, Lucca Dotti, in 1970. This marriage would last until a divorce in 1982. Hepburn would never remarry, but would become involved with actor Robert Wolders (pictured above), a relationship which lasted until her death in 1993. 


She Won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, And Tony Awards

Hepburn is one of a handful of performers who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award - also known as an EGOT. Within a year of winning the Oscar for Roman Holiday, she won an Emmy in 1954, for her performance in the play Ondine. Her 1994 Grammy was awarded posthumously not for her singing, which was regarded as thin, but for the 1992 spoken word children's album, Audrey Hepburn's Enchanted Tales. Her Emmy was for the 1993 Gardens of the World With Audrey Hepburn. Her Oscar win was no fluke, she would be nominated on four other occasions, including Breakfast At Tiffany's and Sabrina.



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Tue, 02 May 2017 02:37:27 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/audrey-hepburn-facts/philgibbons
<![CDATA[14 Things You Never Knew About The Bachelor Contestants' Contractual Obligations]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/bachelor-winner-contracts/elle-tharp?source=rss

Being the star of ABC's The Bachelor or The Bachelorette might seem like a dream come true. You get to meet dozens of attractive suitors, travel the world, and gain instant fame - and potentially even meet the love of your life.

But what happens off-screen when the cameras stop rolling? What do Bachelor winners have to do? Every contestant on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette - not to mention spin-off shows like Bachelor in Paradise or Bachelor Pad - signs a contract full of fine print detailing what they can and can't do on the show and beyond. For every long-running relationship the show produces, and every claim that "This process really works," there are a ton of backstage machinations.

As appealing as the fantasy might seem on television, the only way to get onto a Bachelor-related show is to essentially sell your soul to ABC. The Bachelor winners' contracts, and the contractual obligations of contestants, demonstrate just how far you have to go to get a shot at the final rose.


14 Things You Never Knew About The Bachelor Contestants' Contractual Obligations,

Producers Get A Say In Who Stays

If you've ever watched a season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette and wondered how the lead could possibly keep the crazy psychotic villian for yet another episode, the answer is they might not have wanted to.

The shows' contracts state that the lead agrees "to follow all of Producer’s rules, directions and instructions in all matters, including Participant selection." Ultimately, if the producers wanted to dictate who each and every rose goes to, it's within their rights.

That being said, it's in the producers' best interests to have a happy and cooperative lead. A star who isn't invested could sabotage the season. The Bachelor or Bachelorette also has the option to quit the entire season at any point if they so choose. So while producers likely have a hand in keeping a ratings darling around a bit longer, the lead still ultimately holds the power.


There Are Hidden Cameras And Microphones

As specifically stipulated in the Bachelor/Bachelorette's contracts, the show's producers have the right to film the lead 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also have the right to record stars secretly with hidden cameras and microphones.

Rest assured, though, the contract does specify that these hidden cameras "shall not be positioned to intentionally capture images of you urinating or defecating in the bathroom."


The Couples Have To Go On Secret Dates

After the Bachelor or Bachelorette selects the "winner," they can't just go catch a movie. Until the show airs and the final couple is debuted at the live after show, the couple isn't allowed to be seen together publicly. 

To lessen the sting of this forced separation, ABC coordinates secret meet-ups between the two. They generally receive a five-day vacation near where the proposal is filmed. After that, every 10 days or so the couple is taken separately to a "safe house" where they can spend some time together.


The Stars Don't Choose The Dates

Being scared of heights is a luxury the Bachelor/Bachelorette doesn't have. The dates they take contestants on cover everything from the weird (Andi's miming date) to the heart-pounding (Ben's date scaling the Golden Gate Bridge). And while the lead always puts on a show of having personally crafted the date for this particular contestant, that's not quite the case.

Their contracts specify that they are required to participate in any and all dates, despite the involvement of potentially dangerous physical activity, such as skydiving and parasailing.


There's No Internet Access - Not Even For The Star

Many former contestants have spoken out about the isolation of the Bachelor Mansion; apparently, there are no books, no television, no phones, and no Internet. It turns out even the lead is cut off from the outside world.

This might be a tactic to get stir-crazy and dramatic material from contestants, but why imprison your lead? From former Bachelor Sean Lowe's story, it sounds like a precaution to keep you unbiased about your contestants. He recounts sneaking onto the internet on a producer's iPad and immediately Googling his final two women.


Contestants Are Supposed To Keep It Confidential

The Bachelor/Bachelorette and all contestants on the show sign contracts with an extensive section on confidentiality. They are not allowed to discuss what happened on the show until it's finished airing, even to family members. If they breach this part of the contract, ABC is within its bounds to seek legal recourse or monetary compensation. If you're the star, you can be on the hook for up to $5 million. Yikes

Of course, secrets come out. Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe inadvertently spoiled the ending of her own season by Snapchatting the winner, Shawn Booth, in bed with her. ABC didn't comment on the incident, even though Bristowe owned up to the mistake. She wasn't sued by the network.


The Bachelor/Bachelorette Gets Paid

True love might not be the only motivation for members of the Bachelor franchise. While contestants are paid nothing - and actually lose money paying for weeks upon weeks of formal wear and taking a leave of absence from their jobs - the leads of The Bachelor/The Bachelorette rake in six figures. On average, they make $100,000, with Emily Maynard rumored to make $250,000 as the highest paid Bachelorette. It's not a bad salary for a month-and-a-half of filming. And that doesn't include the money potentially made from book deals, Instagram endorsements, and spin-off shows.


The Winner Gets To Keep The Ring, But Only If They're Together For Two Years

Every season, jeweler Neil Lane swings by in the penultimate episode to show rings to the Bachelor or remaining two Bachelorette contestants. These rings cost a pretty penny (the ring Jef Holms picked to propose to Emily Maynard cost an estimated $150,000) but the huge advertisement for Neil Lane is worth the cost. 

Contestants only need to stay together for two consecutive years, and the ring is theirs to keep - no marriage required. If they break up before this time period is up, they're contractually obligated to return the ring. This system has led to fan accusations of winning couples staying together just to keep the ring, but the numbers don't make a strong case. After a combined 33 seasons, only a few couples have made it past two years.


ABC Requires Continued Promotional Appearances

Just because the show is over doesn't mean you're done. After completion of the season, the happy couple is contractually obligated to engage in whatever promotional activities ABC deems necessary for a certain period of time (for Bachelorette Trista Sutter, for example, it was one year after the finale). So the appearances at every Bachelor-related function and that People magazine interview that comes out after every season like clockwork? Not exactly optional.


It Has To Look Like A Tight Race

Many Bachelors and Bachelorettes have admitted later that they knew who their final pick was going to be much earlier than the finale. But of course, that's not as entertaining as a neck-and-neck competition for one person's heart.

The lead is contractually obligated to adhere to the format of the show, which includes weekly eliminations of a certain number of contestants. While they might be allowed to make a random or out-of-order cut here and there, the show is slated for a certain number of episodes, and therefore a certain timeline.

Trista Sutter, the first Bachelorette, later lamented that she didn't tell her now-husband, Ryan Sutter, how she felt about him on the show. She didn't share her feelings at the time because she was worried about the money on the line if she broke her contract with ABC. The leads can't just express their love for a contestant willy-nilly.



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Mon, 20 Mar 2017 02:26:07 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/bachelor-winner-contracts/elle-tharp
<![CDATA[The Best TV Shows Ending in 2017]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/tv-shows-ended-in-2017/ranker-tv?source=rss

As a wave of new TV series premiere this year, we also say goodbye to the TV shows that are ending in 2017. While some shows were canceled in 2017, many beloved series have decided to end this year. From comedies to dramas, these are the TV shows that ended in 2017. 

After six seasons, HBO's Girls ended on April 16. Created by and starring Lena Dunham, the highly acclaimed series received many awards since it began in 2012. Currently in the seventh and final season, Pretty Little Liars will have its series finale on June 27. Other long running shows that ended in 2017 include 2 Broke GirlsBones, Workaholics, and The Vampire Diaries

Vote for the best TV shows that are ending in 2017. Some of these TV shows ending in 2017 are still airing new episodes, so don't miss the highly anticipated series finales! 


The Best TV Shows Ending in 2017,

bones

Series finale: March 28


The Vampire Diaries

Series finale: March 10


Pretty Little Liars

Series finale: June 20


Teen Wolf

2 Broke Girls

Grimm

Series finale: March 31


Bates Motel

Series finale: April 24


Reign

Series finale: June 2


The Strain

Series finale: 


Orphan Black


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Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:19:28 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/tv-shows-ended-in-2017/ranker-tv
<![CDATA[23 Pretty Good Anime You Can Binge On Hulu Right Now]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/pretty-good-anime-you-can-peep-on-hulu-right-now/crystal-brackett?source=rss

The era of streaming has knocked out industry giants like Blockbusters and paved the way for Netflix and Hulu. Gone are the days of walking into stores to rent movies on VHS tapes and DVDs. One of the best things about streaming services is that their content isn't limited to movies, but includes TV shows and documentaries. While there are lots of interesting facts about Hulu, one truth stands out for nerds and geeks: Hulu has a huge anime selection. 

From classics like Samurai Champloo and popular shonen like Naruto, there's a long list of options when it comes to streaming the best anime on Hulu. However, Hulu also offers anime that isn't quite A-list, but is still pretty good. Of course, it can be difficult to find those solid B-list shows in the wide pool of anime available online because there's a ton of garbage shows out there. Check out the list below for a list of decent anime streaming on Hulu and vote up the ones that are entertaining and worthwhile. 


23 Pretty Good Anime You Can Binge On Hulu Right Now,

Vampire Knight

What It's About: A school with separate day and night curriculums, except the night courses are for extremely beautiful vampires.

When You Should Watch It: You’ve watched the Twilight movies a thousand times and need something new.


Another

What It's About: A ghost mystery has surrounded a classroom for decades, with "Another" student who nobody knows is actually dead.

When You Should Watch It: You take pleasure in having the answer to a mystery ripped right out from under your feet every time you feel like you solve it, with an ending that makes you feel completely worthless for wasting your time.


My mental choices are completely interfering with my school romantic comedy

What It's About: A boy who suffers from a mental illness where he can only answer questions in the form of a mental multiple choice selection. The answer options are often crude.

When You Should Watch It: You, too, feel like life is a series of choices. 


Danganronpa The Animation

What It's About: A high school battle royale where one person must stealthily murder another student without being caught.

When You Should Watch It: You're too drunk to play the video game, but just drunk enough to enjoy a really rushed anime before you pass out.


Maid Sama!

What It's About: The most popular boy in school finds out that the Student Council President works at a maid cafe, which could leave her reputation in shambles.

When You Should Watch It: You don't want a good romance - you want a never-ending anime filled with side stories.


The Irregular at Magic High School

What It's About: A group of siblings who enroll in a high school where magic is honed as a technical skill. 

When You Should Watch It: A predictable anime with an overpowered hero sounds awesome to you.


Absolute Duo

What It's About: High school kids who can transform their souls into powerful weapons, so they all go to the same academy in order to learn how to wield them.

When You Should Watch It: You want to watch a harem anime and don't mind that there isn't a good plot or any character development.


Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

What It's About: Guns, swords, and boobs come together in an epic dungeon-crawling quest with an optimistic hero and a goddess heroine.

When You Should Watch It: You think a boring plot is okay as long as there are boobs.


Bungo Stray Dogs

What It's About: A young orphan discoverers he has a mystical, raging tiger living inside of him, and gets taken in by a group who also possesses supernatural abilities.

When You Should Watch It: When you miss shows like Neon Genesis Evangelion, and crave an anime with endless flashbacks to a traumatic childhood, solid fight scenes, and an interesting cast of outcast characters. 


Beautiful Bones

What It's About: Solve the mysteries behind decomposing bodies in an oddly romantic tale about life's secrets and the silence of death.

When You Should Watch It: You want to watch a murder mystery with an overpowered detective know-it-all because, quite frankly, you don't have the energy to try to solve them yourself.



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Fri, 07 Apr 2017 07:32:04 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/pretty-good-anime-you-can-peep-on-hulu-right-now/crystal-brackett
<![CDATA[14 Marvel Studios Villains, Ranked By The Sheer Impracticality Of Their Plans]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/terrible-marvel-movie-villain-plans/jacob-shelton?source=rss

For all of their bluster and fantastic costumes, Marvel villains are pretty dumb. You can argue all you want that it takes a lot of work to become second-in-command of Stark Industries, or that Norse Gods are inherently super intelligent, but when you see these insane MCU villain plots in text form, you’ll not only rethink your allegiance to HYDRA, but you’ll wonder whether or not Marvel villains are even good at their jobs. Not only do guys like Loki and Ultron spend most of their time monologuing about how citizens of Earth are a plague, but there’s so much coincidence involved in MCU villain plans, it’s like these baddies skate by on pure luck.

You don’t have to look hard to see convoluted Marvel movie villain plans. Just about every bad guy in the MCU has a plan that starts off normal before veering into dodgy territory that relies on pure happenstance. Even guys like Alexander Pierce (the bad guy from Captain America: The Winter Soldier), who seem like they do everything by the book, eventually give up on hard work and efficient planning to simply let the chips fall where they may. Maybe these guys get so full of themselves they think there’s no way they can fail, or maybe they’re just bad at their jobs. If you’re not sure whether or not your favorite MCU movie features a villain with a poorly planned scheme (spoiler alert: it does), keep reading to discover all the villain plans from Marvel movies that make no sense.


14 Marvel Studios Villains, Ranked By The Sheer Impracticality Of Their Plans,

Justin Hammer

Justin Hammer is the second coolest science billionaire in the Marvel universe, and that just burns him up! Why can't he be an Iron Man that sleeps with reporters like Tony Stark? He develops dangerous dangerous weapons too, so why don't people love him? As Justin Timberlake once crooned, "cry me a river." In Iron Man 2, Justin Hammer discovered that his desire to destroy the Stark name while selling the Iron Man tech to the government dovetailed quite nicely with Ivan Vanko's need to kill Tony Stark. He provided Vanko with the means to escape from prison (after that whole race-track-fight thing) by sending him a bomb. First of all, even if you could somehow bribe everyone you needed to in order to get a plastic explosive to Vanko, how is he supposed to get out of a super-max comic book jail with one smallish bomb? Also, Hammer assumes that Vanko wants out of jail in the first place. At this point in the film, Vanko's already made Stark look like a wuss on the race track, why would he want to spend the rest of his life on the lam when he has three hots and a cot?

Also, about that whole "selling the Iron Man tech to the government" angle, doesn't the military have super-smart people working for them who could reverse engineer the technology so Gary Shandling won't have to deal with annoying billionaires? That's what S.H.I.E.L.D. is all about, right? If they have a floating, untraceable air base that can kill everyone on the planet, then they can probably build an Iron Man suit. 


Ronan the Accuser

Ronan is a classic Marvel Cinematic Universe beta villain. He has a fairly simple goal: get a magic orb from Peter Quill and give it to Thanos. That's literally all he has to do, and he's set. But instead he decides to double cross Thanos, keep the orb, and destroy Xandar on his own. Okay? It honestly seems like a spur of the moment decision that devolves into what has to be a stress dream for anyone who works for Ronan. Never mind that Ronan is all gung-ho to fight Thanos (one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe), but he also seems very certain that no one is going to try to stop him from destroying Xandar. 

His entire plan for destroying Xandar is built around the idea that no one is going to stop him. It's not like he doesn't understand that the galaxy has guardians who protect people from that kind of thing, it's just that he doesn't seem to be able to think outside of the box when it comes to destroying a planet or defending a network of ships. If you need any more proof that Ronan is a terrible villain, he's defeated by a guy listening to headphones. Where's Dormamu when you need him? 


Ultron

Ultron, Tony Stark's failed experiment that gained sentience, has the modest goal of saving humanity from itself by moving to Sokovia, fitting it with a vibranium core thus causing it to float, and raising it high enough into the sky so he can drop it on the Earth and kill everyone.

Admittedly, he's an all-knowing intelligence in a robot body, but he's really banking on the fact that the world's vibranium dealers have enough raw materials to build an island floating machine. The plan mostly works out for Ultron – he does get the island to float – but things could have gone belly up from the jump if the first vibranium dealer he went to was clean out, or if he just didn't have as much as he thought.


Loki

Out of all the Marvel villains, Loki may be the character with the most singularly ridiculous plans. Popping up as the baddie you love to hate in no less than three MCU movies, Loki has had his fair share of impractical plots. Seriously, despite all of his bravado and wonderful bone structure, they're all still just bad. How to even begin to describe Loki's incredibly complicated plan to make the heroes of the Marvel universe mad at each other while also becoming the King of Asgard? Or something? It never actually seems like Loki has an end game. Anyway, follow along if you can. In order to open a portal in space that will allow the Chitauri to attack earth, Loki hypnotizes Erik Selvig and Hawkeye to help steal the Tesseract.

Because he's the kind of boss that doesn't believe in oversight, Loki leaves Selvig alone to work on opening a portal on top of Stark Tower (what luck!). Admittedly, Loki is in custody while all of the portal construction is underway, but he did that to himself (apparently) so he can turn the Avengers against each other. It works (for like two seconds), and it eventually only serves to make the team even more upset with him. Instead of playing mind games with literally the strongest people on earth (who happen to hate him), Loki should have been applying himself to his plan to work with the Chitauri and destroy Earth, or whatever it is they were trying to do. 


Ivan Vanko

Ivan Vanko's entire end game is to show the world that Tony Stark isn't as great as everyone thinks he is. Okay. Fine. It's unfortunate and disappointing that a guy who came from such meager means, and managed to pull himself up by his bootstraps to build his own Iron Man suit thing, would just want to stop at showing the world that a human is slightly flawed and expect everyone to turn on the world's only beloved billionaire, but that's not the point. How does he go about accomplishing his goal? Well, he fights Tony Stark on a race track, and then builds a drone version of the Iron Man suit to show that he can build drones, for some reason. It's impressive that he can do so much work with just his hands, but what is it all supposed to accomplish other than getting him a job in an Iron Man suit factory? 

Vanko's plan hinges on the hope that Americans will dislike Tony Stark for being a flawed individual. Has Vanko ever watched television before? People love flawed characters. And if he would take a moment to turn on the E! network, he would see that Keeping Up With the Kardashians was in its millionth season, and that audiences are never going to turn against rich people with fake problems. Just look at the 45th President of the United States. Sorry, Vanko, but you played yourself.  


Alexander Pierce

Like all HYDRA-aligned characters of the MCU, Alexander Pierce has an incredibly complicated plan that involves way too much work with very little payoff. Basically, he wants to use S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Project Insight to root out individuals opposed to HYDRA and send the Winter Soldier to assassinate them. That sounds easy, but it involves working a government job for at least 20 years, ingratiating yourself to every member of the super secret government group that you hate so they'll let you in on their super secret plans, while also becoming a high-level HYDRA member who gets to play with Bucky Barnes on a regular basis.

There are so many variables at play here, it's impossible to break them all down. What if you got bored? What if you were skipped for a promotion? What if Barnes was being used on a different mission? What if the algorithm that powered Project Insight was off, even by a little bit? Pierce probably would have gotten more done if he had just tried to kill everyone on his HYDRA list by himself. 


HYDRA

If anyone reading this knows how to succinctly state what it is HYRDA wants to do, please make an informative Youtube video or something. These faux-Nazi dorks have some of the most confusing plans in the history of MCU (and that's saying something). It's safe to assume their overall goal is to bring down S.H.I.E.L.D. from the inside while enslaving humanity. They (sort of) accomplish one of those goals in Winter Soldier, but as far as enslaving humanity goes they tend to take the scenic route.

Their way to crush humanity isn't to use their super fancy space lasers everyone knows they have, but rather to convince people to surrender their freedom to live in a secure country by creating international conflicts and doing vague terroristy stuff. Why not just use the lasers? Here are three pros of space lasers and one con:

  • Space lasers are super scary 
  • Space lasers look very cool
  • Space lasers can presumably blow up entire cities (no one would know this because HYDRA has never gotten its sh*t together enough to use said space lasers).
  • Space lasers are probably heavy, and that's not fun 

Seriously, get it together HYDRA. 


Kaecilius

Out of all the villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kaecillius's plan may be the most impractical. Or, at the very least, it has the worst end game for everyone involved. Basically, Special K wants to gain eternal life by calling forth Dormamu from the Dark Dimension and seeing how things shake out. That's seriously it. To accomplish his goal, Mr. K steals some pages from a magic book that may or may have what he was looking for, and just starts doing magic all over the place.

He kills the Ancient One, not believing that anyone could put up a fight — this is all despite living in a reality where Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy regularly handle stuff like this. Of course, the whole thing goes wrong when Doctor Strange uses a time turner to fix everything. Kae-a-licious really didn't think this one through. 


Darren Cross

Darren Cross may be the most low-stakes villain in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. He's basically a stock Iron Man villain, but without a flashy wardrobe. What does he want to do? Sell his Yellowjacket costume and its technology to HYDRA. Fine. That should be easy enough, but instead of just selling his tech to the nearest faux-Nazi with a red skull, he decides that he needs to rub his former mentor's face in the deal while doing some general bad guy stuff. 

Why involve someone else in your evil plans, when all you have to do is trade a briefcase of money for a fake science suit? It's almost like Darren Cross didn't actually want to sell his suit to HYDRA, and he really just wanted some attention from Hank Pym. For such a wealthy science man, Darren Cross sure doesn't seem to know that phones exist. 


Helmut Zemo

Helmut Zemo, the Russian German Sokovian European baddie in Captain America: Civil War has a very complicated and not-so-great plan for turning the Avengers against one another, through exposing that it was, in fact, Bucky who killed Tony Stark's parents in 1991. Zemo's plan involves getting the code words that turn Bucky Barnes into a killing machine, lying his way into a government controlled facility as an investigator of some sort, speaking one-on-one with Barnes (who is, at this point, a government prisoner), getting Barnes to go HAM on a bunch of random people, inspiring the Avengers to hunt him down in the Arctic, then going to find the rest of the HYDRA super soldiers and killing them before finally committing suicide.

Does any of that make sense? It seems like all Zemo would have to do to make Stark angry at Bucky, thus turning him and Steve Rogers against each other, is show Tony the tape of the night that his parents were killed. Why mess with all of that other subterfuge? Instead of drowning some old guy and mocking up a bunch of fake documents, he literally could have emailed a video to Tony Stark. 



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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 03:54:38 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/terrible-marvel-movie-villain-plans/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[14 Bizarre Things Most People Don't Know About The Bodies Preserved At Pompeii]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-bodies-at-pompeii/andy-miller?source=rss

In 79 CE, volcanic Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried Pompeii, Italy. Hidden from the world beneath pumice and ash, it was all but forgotten for nearly 1,500 years. That all changed in 1738 when the site was discovered, preserved beneath the dust and debris. In 1863, Italian archeologist Guiseppe Fiorelli took charge of the site and began proper excavation of it. Fiorelli recognized that the soft ashes on the site were actually cavities left from the dead, and he is responsible for filling them with high-grade plaster. Thus, the preserved bodies of Pompeii were born. Nearly 150 years later, strange facts about the bodies are coming to light thanks to CT scans and modern science. Among the many things most folks don't know about Pompeii is likely the fact that the bodies themselves, more than almost any other existing artifacts, provide archeologists with vital information about what life was like in the ancient city.


14 Bizarre Things Most People Don't Know About The Bodies Preserved At Pompeii,

The Pyroclastic Surge Death Wave Can Be Identified In The Bodies' Bones

Whipping heat tornadoes washed over the city after the initial wave of falling pumice and debris, and they instantly killed everyone in their path. This natural phenomenon is called a pyroclastic surge. This is where the fetal positions come into play. Instead of being indicative of a slow and drawn out death, the fetal positions resulted from the body muscles instantly contracting on themselves because of extreme dehydration. They are not in fetal positions. They are in what is called an extreme cadaveric spasm. And, in addition to their postures, crack patterns in the bodies' skeletons serve as a testament to the high-heat theory of their demise.


The Victims Were Not Sick And Elderly

For hundreds of years, it has been assumed that the young and healthy residents managed to escape the volcano. The sick and elderly were unable to evacuate and were left to perish once Vesuvius erupted. Archeologists now know that an entire cross section of the population perished, not just the unwell and aged. In reality, everyone had ample time to escape. Mount Vesuvius had slowly been building up steam and giving signals of an imminent eruption. Unfortunately, it was also the festival of Volcanalia – the god of volcanoes. The Pompeians took the smoking and spurting mountain as a good omen, instead of a warning. They celebrated instead of evacuating.


The Casual Positions Of The Bodies Indicate How People Might've Died

Some of the Pompeii bodies were found in the fetal position. The same position is a common consequence of suffocation deaths, so, as a result, it was initially assumed that they died suffocating from the hot gasses that roared through the city. Scientists also know that raining pumice caused roof collapses that killed some who opted to remain indoors. However, many other bodies were also discovered in relatively casual positions – appearing as if no death preparations had been made by the victims at all. This casualness has led some scientists to reason that the unbelievably high temperatures of the eruption instantaneously killed the Pompeians, as opposed to prolonged suffocation by the ash. 


The Bodies Reveal That Pompeii Was As Diverse As Modern Day Queens, NY

There's a body at Pompeii that has become known as the Celt from Gaul because of its unusually tall height and unique manner of dress, both of which suggest it came from somewhere north of Pompeii. For a long time, it has been assumed that the body is that of a slave, which would make sense. After all, the Romans were known for enslaving their enemies. However, that logic really doesn't apply here. 

In the 1st century, Pompeii was an important trade city. Merchants from across the Mediterranean lived and worked there. There was also a thriving Libretti community. Libretti were former slaves that had earned their freedom. Through bone analysis, it has become clear that the genetic makeup of Pompeii rivaled modern New York and London with people from Greece, Gaul, and other surrounding Mediterranean countries making up its cosmopolitan population.


The Pompeians Had Excellent Home Dental Care

In 2015, archeologists began using CT scans to analyze the bodies at Pompeii. One of the most remarkable finds in the CT scans is that the Pompeians had amazing teeth. Pompeii was buried thousands of years before the advent of anything that even closely resembles modern dentistry. Yet, not a single cavity has been discovered in the bodies. At first glance, this is shocking, but it actually makes quite a bit of sense. Mount Vesuvius erupted before processed sugar was invented. The Roman diet was high in fiber, protein, and fruits, and it was extremely low in sugar. This diet, combined with the high levels of flourine in the local air and water, made for mouths free of cavities. 


Contemporary CT Scans Are Correcting Victorian Assumptions About The Bodies

The Victorians loved a good story, and the more dramatic, the better. And, when it came to the bodies at Pompeii, they applied their love of a good yarn to naming and identifying the figures. Modern CT scans, however, are debunking some of the most dearly held of these totally unfounded tales of the bodies. For example, that dear, poor pregnant lady that was consumed in hot ash? CT scans reveal she was not pregnant, and she probably wasn't a she at all. The embracing lovers that have been come to be known as the "Two Maidens"? They were both men, and the true nature of their relationship is a mystery for the ages. The massive Celtic slave from Gaul? He wasn't a slave. Of course, the Victorian identities and stories for the figures are compelling and drive interest in Pompeii, but they were far from accurate.


The Plaster Bodies Are Full Of Bones

To create the preserved bodies at Pompeii, Guiseppe Fiorelli and his team poured plaster of Paris into soft cavities in the ash, which were around 30 feet beneath the surface. These cavities were actually the outlines of the decomposed bodies, and they retained their forms despite the soft tissue decomposing over time. When the plaster was poured into the ash, it filled in the spaces formerly occupied by the soft tissue.

A common misconception is that the plaster bodies are empty. However, the cavities left by the bodies were not shells in the ash waiting for the plaster. In fact, they were soft spots that still held the bones of the cadavers. When the plaster filled the soft ash, the bones were enclosed. The bodies of Pompeii are even more lifelike than they appear.


Children Had Syphilis

In 1st century Pompeii, surviving until the age of 10 would have been a feat; childhood was incredibly deadly due to infectious diseases and a lack of appropriate treatments. Because disease leaves its marks on bones, archeologists have insight into some of the most lethal and common causes of mortality among the children of Pompeii. And syphilis ranks among these causes of early death. There are tell-tale signs on the bones of a pair of young male twins that point to congenital syphilis. This means syphilis was introduced to Europe at least 400 years before Columbus's fateful voyage – the thing to which syphilis in Europe had previously been attributed.  


On Average, The Bodies Are Taller Than The Current Population Of Naples

When most people think of the preserved bodies at Pompeii, they commonly imagine tiny, little forms that are much shorter than contemporary people. However, this is a total misconception. In reality, the bodies are actually taller, on average, than the contemporary population of Naples. Pompeians had excellent diets and overall healthy lifestyles.


Analysis Of The Bodies' Clothing Suggests We May Be Wrong About Vesuvius's Eruption Date

Based on Pliny the Younger's account of the event, it has always been a given that Mount Vesuvius erupted in August of 79 CE. However, there is alternative evidence that throws this assumption for a loop. After careful clothing analysis, archeologists now posit that the volcano actually might have erupted in late fall of that year. This has often been hypothesized, but it now appears much more likely to have been the case. Many of the fiber remains are indicative of heavier autumn clothing instead of summer wear.



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Tue, 04 Apr 2017 09:11:43 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-bodies-at-pompeii/andy-miller
<![CDATA[What Went Down During The First 100 Days of Every President Since FDR]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/us-president-first-100-days/stephanroget?source=rss

Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt set the gold standard on the first three-ish months of his presidency, Americans have looked to this arbitrary standard as an indicator of their leader's potential success. But what have all the presidents since FDR done during those 100 days, and how does history view them looking back now?

Results are, unsurprisingly, mixed. Some, like John F. Kennedy were able to ride their magnetic personalities straight from campaign trail to office, though that didn't always mean all-around success: the Bay of Pigs was during the 100 day period. Others inherited a war and had to make tough decisions, resulting in criticisms of a disregard for domestic affairs. Regan faced an attempt on his life during those first months in office, which actually ended up serving as a boost to his ability to pass legislation.

Why are the first 100 days important? Not everyone agrees that they are, but it's a benchmark that gets people talking and prompts scrutiny of the sitting US president from both the media and the American public.

This list features only US presidents since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the first administration to consider the first 100 days.


What Went Down During The First 100 Days of Every President Since FDR,

Barack Obama

Highs: Obama enjoyed a 65% approval rating after his first 100 days, higher than his three predecessors. He introduced his economic stimulus package, and it was quickly passed in both the House and Senate. Obama also expanded on children’s health care, and bolstered equal-pay with the Lilly Ledbetter Act. He supported science by lifting the ban on stem-cell research, and aimed to improve political ethics by introducing new guidelines for lobbyists.

Lows: Obama inherited a receding economy, and he had to deal with the repercussions immediately after taking office. Perhaps distracted by the economy, Obama was only able to pass 11 laws during his first 100 days. On a more personal level, his nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Daschle, was forced to withdraw when his severe tax evading ways were discovered. Obama attempted, but failed, to close Guantanamo with an executive order.

Historical Consensus: Obama’s first 100 days were competent if unspectacular. The effectiveness of the stimulus package is debateable, but most agree that it did help lower unemployment. Several of his rights-related moves are here to stay.


Bill Clinton

Highs: Clinton was an incredibly active president in his first 100 days, passing the fourth-most laws of all time, with 24. Many of Clinton’s moves were concerned with human and personal rights, such as the walking back of restrictions on abortion or the opening up of the military to gays and lesbians. His Family and Medical Leave Act also helped improve the lives of countless individuals.

Lows: Clinton made headlines by putting his wife, Hillary Clinton, in control of a massive health care overhaul, which would ultimately fail. His stimulus package was killed by a Republican filibuster, and he faced a smaller controversy over the firing of some White House staffers.

Historical Consensus: Clinton was a controversial president in his first 100 days, although all of that would be later overshadowed by his infamous sex scandal. Clinton had a 37% disapproval rating, the highest of any president before Trump.


George H. W. Bush

Highs: The senior Bush started out well with his bailout plan for savings and loans, which was widely praised. He proposed debt forgiveness for developing countries, an important humanitarian decision, and he reversed a bit of Reagan’s policy by cutting defense spending. Bush also quickly addressed some environmental issues, concerning acid rain and smog.

Lows: Bush had his Defense Secretary pick rejected by the Senate in an early defeat. He was criticized for a general lack of direction, but his actions might best be described as housekeeping. Bush was denounced by the NRA, which had previously endorsed him, after a slight bit of regulation. He was also criticized for a slow response to the Exxon-Valdez crisis.

Historical Consensus: Bush had some big shoes to fill in following Ronald Reagan and his first 100 days, and he didn’t really come close. However, Bush had a safe and perfectly competent run of his own.


George W. Bush

Highs: Bush enjoyed a 62% approval rating, higher than Bill Clinton’s or his own father’s. He quickly slashed income tax to a great degree, fulfilling a campaign promise. Bush proposed the eventually-controversial No Child Left Behind educational policy, and he opened up for more government funding of faith-based organizations.

Lows: George W. Bush was quite inactive in his first 100 days, only passing seven laws and using few executive orders. Far more devastating than his inactivity was his ignorance, as Bush mostly ignored a blue-ribbon commission on homeland security, which suggested that a terrorist attack may be imminent. Of course, the attacks of September 11th, 2001, were to follow.

Historical Consensus: The impact of 9/11 is undeniable, although to blame Bush or his first 100 days in office for the tragedy would not be fair. What would be fair is suggesting that Bush displayed a habit of ignoring military intelligence early in his presidency that would eventually lead the country into the Iraq War.


Gerald Ford

Highs: Ford tackled the economy immediately, hosting an Economic Summit and introducing a 31-point program to fix the present issues. He also sought to cut national spending and foreign dependency by instituting gasoline management and pouring money into mass transit. Ford’s Housing and Community Development Act helped the housing market, and away from home he made serious attempts to improve foreign relations.

Lows: Ford’s first 100 days are most notable for his pardoning of Richard Nixon, a move that caused many to immediately write him off as a president. The loss of trust that many Americans experienced in this moment would never be regained, and especially not for Ford.

Historical Consensus: One moment really can define a president’s first 100 days, and his decision to allow Nixon to escape justice soured his entire presidency for countless citizens.


Jimmy Carter

Highs: On his very first day in office, Carter provided amnesty for Vietnam War draft dodgers, fulfilling a campaign promise. He was relatively active with 22 laws passed and 16 executive orders, although some of these orders invited criticism. In general, Carter was praised by the media for his temperament, although the bar had been set pretty low at that point.

Lows: Carter attempted to emulate FDR and his famous fireside chats, but he bombed and was dubbed “Jimmy Cardigan” by an un-endeared populace. Carter failed in his attempts at arms control talks with the Russians. On home soil, Carter seemed to annoy just about everyone, making a surprising amount of enemies for such an agreeable fellow.

Historical Consensus: The word on Carter’s first 100 days in office is usually “overly ambitious.” Carter had some big ideas, but he failed to show a willingness to employ the actual politics necessary to make them a reality. These early days helped predict his mainly inconsequential presidency.


Lyndon B. Johnson

Highs: LBJ stepped into a difficult position, but he rose to the occasion of reassuring a grieving nation. Johnson sought to provide stability, taking little direct action but rather focusing on mending fences. He made concerted and sincere efforts at bipartisanship, which is quite unusual for a president’s early days.

Lows: In what would have been the ultimate low, LBJ was almost accidentally killed himself by a startled Secret Service agent shortly after JFK’s assassination. Although it was by design, it can’t be denied that Johnson accomplished little legislative action.

Historical Consensus: Johnson fulfilled a necessary role in the wake of a national tragedy. America needed some healing, and LBJ helped make that happen in a multitude of ways.


Richard Nixon

Highs: Nixon put a lot of effort into improving European relations, but he also made time to begin motions towards a more peaceful relationship with China and the Soviets. In the midst of the Vietnam War, Nixon stepped up the training of South Vietnamese troops, which helped signal the ending of American involvement in the conflict. Nixon supported space research with the Apollo 9 mission, which paved the way for the moon landing.

Lows: Nixon only had a 62% approval rating, which represented a steep drop from the two who came before him. He escalated Vietnam involvement for the time being with Cambodian bombing campaigns. Nixon and his administration also began the wiretapping of government officials and reporters, which represented the beginnings of the All the President’s Men scenario that would ultimately cost him the presidency.

Historical Consensus: Nixon had several accomplishments during his first 100 days, especially when it came to foreign affairs. Unfortunately, on the domestic front he also began some of the shady dealings and illicit activities that would forever taint his legacy and result in his unprecedented resignation.


Ronald Reagan

Highs: Reagan’s first 100 days in office matched his personality, as he quickly and aggressively cut taxes and domestic spending. He also drastically increased military spending, giving the Cold War a kickstart. At the same time, Reagan cut regulations left, right, and center and enacted a federal hiring freeze. He enjoyed a 68% approval rating, making his the highest-rated post-Kennedy president. Most impressively, the American hostages were literally released on the day of Reagan’s inauguration.

Lows: Getting shot is the ultimate low, although from a different perspective, surviving an assassination attempt is a highlight. In an ironic twist, Reagan’s ability to move legislation was actually pretty slow until the attempt on his life, after which he found much greater success. Reagan also inherited an economy that was headed toward a recession, and didn’t adequately combat it.

Historical Consensus: Reagan’s first 100 days in office were emblematic of his presidency as a whole: brash, aggressive, and nationalistic. There were some long-term ramifications to Reagan’s actions, but his early days helped inflame a fanbase that he maintains to this day.


Donald Trump

Highs: One of Trump’s biggest wins was having Neil Gorsuch controversially confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. As promised, Trump saw that many Obama-era economic and environmental regulations were repealed. He was active with several executive orders, using the most since 1949 and more than Barack Obama, who he had previously criticized for the very same thing. Trump’s Syrian air strike is still controversial, but it’s a definitive action. The same could be said of the pushing through of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Lows: The numbers say it all, sometimes. Trump’s approval rating is historically low at 43%. His bigly hyped replacement for the Affordable Care Act was ultimately withdrawn when it was widely panned by just about everyone. His executive orders regarding the immigration of people from certain Muslim countries were blocked by federal courts, in an impressive display of the government’s checks and balances. Another order regarding the funding of sanctuary cities was also blocked. Countless other promises were just plain broken, not the least were those regarding vacation time, his personal salary and expenses, and his time on vacation. Perhaps most embarrassingly, Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was forced to resign over inappropriate contact with a Russian ambassador.  Speaking of Russia, allegations and investigations regarding the Trump team’s relationship with Putin and the Kremlin absolutely dominated the headlines.

Historical Consensus: At best, Trump’s first 100 days in office could be described as incredibly divisive. At worst, and dependent on the Russia investigation, they could be viewed as outright disastrous.



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Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:07:13 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/us-president-first-100-days/stephanroget
<![CDATA[Anime Only People Who've Just Been Introduced To Anime Enjoy]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/anime-for-beginners/erin-mccann?source=rss

Every anime fan has a starter anime, that first series that really inspired them to keep watching. For many fans, their introduction into the genre probably falls on this anime for beginners list. Many viewers move on to other, more underrated anime after completing these series, but other casual fans may not. The traits that make for a perfect beginners anime include series with broad appeal, an easy to follow storyline, and basic themes such as good versus evil. Concepts that require a better understanding of Japanese culture and a saturation of fan-service moments may turn new viewers off, and are not generally good anime for new fans. 

Accessible anime also employ nostalgia, whether you grew up watching something on this list, or – in the case of a long running series – have followed it for a long time. And don't think a true anime lover can't be a fan of one of these anime new fans enjoy. You may have graduated from school and moved on, after all, but you probably wouldn't go back and blow it up. And if you're tempted, you should probably watch less anime.


Anime Only People Who've Just Been Introduced To Anime Enjoy,

Death Note

Death Note is pretty much everyone's first "edgy" anime, and for a good reason. It features an easy to relate to main character facing a moral dilemma on an epic scale, one that most people would likely struggle with. The basic theme of justice vs mortality is extremely straightforward and easily accessible. Death Note's slowly unfolding saga is also packed with enough eccentric geniuses and plot twists of "who is the real bad guy?" to entice a binge watching marathon. It does, however, really go off the deep end in the later episodes, and Light is a bit too unflappable to make him interesting to watch in the long run.   


Dragon Ball Z

Epic battles and powerful characters drew many fans to Dragon Ball Z and its predecessor, Dragon Ball, and the escalation of threats kept them watching. The easily accessible plot hinges on the basic concept of good versus evil, as well as friendship, beating impossible odds through hard work, and a good dose of risque humor. These elements made Dragon Ball one of the first anime series to catch on in the West. For many fans, it's a big dose of nostalgia. But the animation (especially in the earlier episodes) verges on unwatchable, storylines are repeated and stretched to the breaking point, and cheesy dialog runs rampant. More advanced fans, therefore, journey on to less... loud-yet-bland pastures.  


Fullmetal Alchemist

Immediately accessible to some due to its Western-style setting, Fullmetal Alchemist features an epic journey storyline and an unusual conflict that grabs the viewers' attention. It also includes easily understandable themes of family, accountability, and the moral conflict of using superior power to help others versus harming them. In addition to action and adventure, there are plenty of comedic and emotional moments to appeal to a broad range of viewers.

More mature anime fans may be turned off by the series diverging into its own world though, and may prefer Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, a closer adaptation of the manga. 


InuYasha

Perhaps it's due to the long run InuYasha had on Cartoon Network, or maybe it's the combination of fantasy and love story, but this series was many fans' first exposure to anime. It's another with a mix of broad characters, allowing fans to pick a favorite without thinking too hard.

The basic quest storyline is easy to follow and features a battle between good and evil, with characters gradually developing advanced powers. Sound familiar? There is also a balance between epic fights and cheesy love scenes, creating appeal for lovers of both genres. However, sophisticated viewers may cringe at the amount of annoyingly adorable characters, random plot digressions, and characters who solely exist to provide comic relief.


Bleach

The vast variety of characters in Bleach ensures there's a likeable person/creature/spirit for everyone, even if they only have one personality trait. A human teen character serves as the relatable center, and embodies the tired trope of achieving seemingly unlimited power in the face of any challenge or villain with weird hair. Anime newbies find the simple storyline easy to understand – even with divergent filler episodes – and enjoy the entertaining balance of action, adventure, and comedy. However, advanced fans may tire of the overused battle tropes and constant reminders that we can all succeed at anything if we really want it (as long as we're willing to train hard enough with our monkey-snake swords).


Fairy Tail

Often criticized as a One Piece rip-off, Fairy Tail employs a repetitive story structure of introducing new characters, conflict, fight, new powers gained/revealed, and resolution. The series also features a massive cast of characters, each with their own unique powers but a singular personality trait.

Adventure, comedy, and emotional drama – as well as an obvious rivalry between fire and ice – are all included, making the series purposely accessible to the lowest common denominator. Epic battles, unbreakable heroes, and concepts such as loyalty to your friends are regurgitated again and again. Honestly, if you know what you're doing, there is better magic elsewhere.


Blue Exorcist

Blue Exorcist combines human characters with demons, both friendly and antagonistic, to create a diverse cast that allows most fans to choose a favorite. It also takes an identifiable high school story, but sets it in an exorcist high school, making the viewer relate in a non-direct way.

There is an obvious and literal conflict between good and evil, and the main protagonist has ties to both sides. The story in the anime diverges from the manga, since the book moves slower than the anime, but it's fast paced with many battles, cool powers, and a big finale. Blue Exorcist, however, employs an episodic, disconnected storyline, and lack of real character development making it a pass for most developed anime viewers. 


Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online wins many of its fans by attracting MMO gamers and fantasy lovers. It features a variety of characters to appeal to different viewers, and the boss clearing battles are (kind of) recognizable to gamers. Powerful characters with amazing abilities, characters uniting towards a common goal, and the combination of adventure and harem romance creates an easy-to-follow story structure. However, many experienced anime fans dislike the lack of character development in favor of fan service, and a premise that fails to live up to its potential.


Naruto

Naruto and its sequel series, Naruto Shippuden, features a basic storyline that moves in a virtual straight line, making it easy for newbies to follow. The broad appeal of Naruto is also credited to its vast array of characters, overused battle tropes, and the ability of the main character to power up in any situation because he has faith in himself. More advanced fans may have long since tired of the endlessly repeating themes of friendship, hard work, and the pain of loneliness. It also doesn't help when an anime series is almost 50% filler episodes, the majority of which are like receiving an unnecessary shuriken to the face.


Attack on Titan

Humanity has been pushed to the brink by giant, man-eating Titans, retreating into a walled city in hopes of survival. This anime is unapologetically brutal, showing the desperation of mankind as they fight for shreds of hope and dignity. 

The shocking, fast-paced action will draw in fans old and new to anime. The short lifespan of most characters stunts any deep character development outside of three childhood friends, but the story is terrifyingly engaging. Regardless, more veteran anime fans will likely be put off by the sometimes manufactured drama and the general lack of risks that the series takes. 



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Thu, 06 Apr 2017 06:01:15 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/anime-for-beginners/erin-mccann
<![CDATA[The Best 2017 NFL Draft Picks]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-nfl-draft-picks-2017/ranker-sports?source=rss

NFL fans, get hyped for the 2017 NFL Draft by voting for this year's best draft picks. With 32 first round picks, teams must carefully choose smart draft picks, while also considering NFL draft sleepers. Predicting these selections comes as no easy task, especially with so many top NFL prospects. Who are the best 2017 NFL draft picks, and who will the Cleveland Browns draft as their number one pick in this year's NFL draft? Several mock drafts show Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett as their top pick. Regarded as a physical freak of nature, the two-time First-team All-American dominated the NFL Scouting Combine.

Other notable first round picks include Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, and LSU safety Leonard Fournette. Vote for the football players you think are the top NFL draft picks in 2017, and be mindful of potential draft busts. Don't miss Round One of the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 27, followed by the second and third round on Friday, April 28 and ending with Rounds Four to Seven on Saturday, April 29. 


The Best 2017 NFL Draft Picks,

Christian McCaffrey

Deshaun Watson

O. J. Howard

Jamal Adams

Leonard Fournette

Solomon Thomas

Myles Garrett

Reuben Foster

Marshon Lattimore

T. J. Watt


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Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:32:01 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-nfl-draft-picks-2017/ranker-sports
<![CDATA[Hilarious Comedian Jo Koy Ranks His Top 10 Favorite Comedy Movies]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/jo-koy-favorite-comedy-movies/jo-koy?source=rss

Jo Koy has come a long way from his modest beginnings at a Las Vegas coffee house. As one of today’s most hilarious stand-up comedians, Koy sells out comedy clubs and theaters across the nation with his infectious, explosive energy onstage. The comedian pulls inspiration from his family - specifically his son - that inspires humor across all boundaries. Koy, who was raised in Tacoma, WA, credits his mother for his comedic and acting talents. She encouraged him to participate in school talent shows and to hold impromptu performances for his family and friends. 

In 2005, Koy had the “opportunity of a lifetime,” when he performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  He became one of a select few comics to receive a standing ovation on the show.

Since then, Koy has had two highly-rated and successful comedy specials on Comedy Central, Don’t Make Him Angry and Lights Out.  In 2017, Koy released his third comedy special, Jo Koy: Live from Seattle on Netflix. When he's not filming his own specials, he's touring across the nation, and is a weekly guest on the popular podcast The Adam Carolla Show. Koy also has weekly podcast, The Koy Pond, and has appeared on more than 100 episodes of Chelsea Lately, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Call with Carson Daly, and Jamie Foxx's Laffapalooza

So take it from an expert: these comedies are sure to make you laugh. 


Hilarious Comedian Jo Koy Ranks His Top 10 Favorite Comedy Movies,

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Will Ferrell at his best. He created his famous character. Everything in Ron Burgundy made me laugh hysterically. There are so many phrases that came out of this movie like "stay classy San Diego." It's iconic in pop culture. 


Another 48 Hrs.

The pairing of super serious Nick Nolte and Murphy's comedic timing was great in the 48 Hours movies. I think when they came around to the sequel, Eddie was really in his zone as an actor and crushed it. Love that movie.


Beverly Hills Cop

My favorite comedy movie of all time. Eddie Murphy owned the Axel Foley role from opening to closing credits. I heard that he improvised whole scenes in the movie, which made me love it even more. Eddie is the best.


Coming to America

Absolute genius! Eddie Murphy not only showcased his talents as a comedic actor, but this was the first time he played multiple characters in a movie. I think this was when we all truly realized how gifted he is. I know it was for me.


Dumb and Dumber

Classic Jim Carrey slapstick comedy. His ability and willingness to contort his face and body for the funny is amazing!


Happy Gilmore

Adam Sandler is one of a kind, and Happy Gilmore is ridiculously funny. Casting Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies, in a comedic role was genius.


National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

I remember watching Chevy Chase do those prat falls on SNL as a kid, and when he took his physical comedy to the Vacation franchise, I was excited for the sequel. Christmas Vacation didn't disappoint. The entire cast was hilarious. 


There's Something About Mary

One of my favorite Ben Stiller movies. Great writing, super funny cast, great physical comedy.


Tommy Boy

I am a huge fan of physical comedy and Chris Farley was one of the best at it. I'm surprised there were not more reports of injury on set when he was filming. He was just that committed. I love his work and he is missed.


The Hangover

The Hangover has a great ensemble cast, and there is so much comedy in the premise of a night in Vegas gone wrong. The writing turned that up 1,000%. And a Mike Tyson cameo? They did everything right. 



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Wed, 26 Apr 2017 03:33:51 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/jo-koy-favorite-comedy-movies/jo-koy
<![CDATA[Who Is Going To Be The #1 Draft Pick In The 2017 NBA Draft?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/top-nba-draft-prediction-2017/ranker-sports?source=rss

NBA fans, prepare for the next wave of rookies to tower over your screens for years to come. With so many talented NBA prospects on the horizon, the time is now to make your predictions for the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Though they may be rookies, many of these college players could go on to become one of the best draft picks of all time, making predictions all the more exhilarating. The upcoming NBA draft order starts with Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Phoenix Suns. Who will be the number one pick in the 2017 NBA Draft? 

Thanks to his father LaVar Ball, UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball received huge media coverage, boosting the collegiate into greater visibility. In his first season with the Bruins, the freshman averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, and 6 rebounds a game, not too shabby. Other college players who could be number one NBA draft picks in 2017 include University of Washington guard Markelle Fultz and Kansas small forward Josh Jackson, among numerous national and international contenders.

Vote for the basketball player you think will go number one in the 2017 NBA Draft. Don't miss the 2017 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 22 and make sure you dress properly for the occasion.


Who Is Going To Be The #1 Draft Pick In The 2017 NBA Draft?,

Justin Jackson

Josh Jackson

Lonzo Ball

Malik Monk

Dennis Smith Jr.

De'Aaron Fox

Jonathan Isaac

Jayson Tatum

Lauri Markkanen

Markelle Fultz


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Mon, 17 Apr 2017 04:10:08 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/top-nba-draft-prediction-2017/ranker-sports
<![CDATA[The 30 Biggest Badasses In History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/biggest-badasses-in-history/chase-christy?source=rss

When you think of the biggest badasses in history, who comes to mind? Rambo, Stone-cold Steve Austin, maybe even the self-proclaimed "American Badass," Kid Rock? Well, if any of those characters fit your criteria for badassery, you went a little wide of the mark. Throughout history, many men and women exemplified what it truly means to be badass without the assistance of big-budget filming and expensive PR campaigns. When was the last time you saw James Bond or Lara Croft emerge from the countryside, aged 19, and prevent France from becoming England? You didn't, because that was Joan of Arc, the first figure taught in Historical Badasses 101.

A badass is defined as a "tough, uncompromising or intimidating person" and many historical figures fit that bill. In fact, being a badass is how many of them made history. Compiled here is a list of historical figures who took toughness and intimidation to the next level.During times when everything was much more dangerous (including people), the most badass people in history rose above it all by simply being even more dangerous. Vlad the Impaler didn't inspire Dracula with his mercy, that's for sure.


The 30 Biggest Badasses In History,

Attila the Hun

Genghis Khan

George S. Patton

Geronimo

Ivar the Boneless

Joan of Arc

Simo Häyhä

Spartacus

Theodore Roosevelt

Wild Bill Hickok


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Tue, 15 Nov 2016 04:29:42 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/biggest-badasses-in-history/chase-christy
<![CDATA[An In-Depth Guide To How Lightsabers Actually Work]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/how-lightsabers-work/aaron-edwards?source=rss

While they might be the most recognizable part of Star Wars, the technology behind lightsabers has never really been explained on screen. So, how do lightsabers work? Audiences may have picked up on the fact that kyber crystals were mentioned as the source of power for lightsabers in Rogue One, but only if they were paying close attention. It's certainly true that kyber crystals (otherwise known as lightsaber crystals or focusing crystals) are the most important part of building a lightsaber, but there's far more going on inside the hilt of one of these Star Wars weapons.

Lightsabers are intricate tapestries of electronics and Force power that take great skill to both build and use. Lightsaber designs are as varied as their wielders, but they all have similar components at their center. Jedi, Sith, and really every Force-user employs minor differences in the way they construct their weapons, but there's a standard process behind their creation and use. If you've ever been curious how a lightsaber works, you don't need to rely on the vauge riddles of tiny orange aliens with huge glasses. Here are the cold, hard, lightsaber-y facts. 


An In-Depth Guide To How Lightsabers Actually Work,

Every Lightsaber Has A Crystal At Its Core

By far, the most important part of a lightsaber is the focusing crystal. Also known as a kyber crystal, these minerals are Force-attuned and found on certain planets such as Jedha, Ilum, and Dantooine. These crystals not only help focus the Force into the blade, but they can also be used as important technological components. In the old Expanded Universe (now the Star Wars Legends), most crystals or gem could work in a lightsaber. However, in the current continuity lightsabers exclusively use kyber crystals.


It Helps To Be Force Sensitive If You Want To Build One

While technically anyone can wield a lightsaber, building one is another matter entirely. In the new continuity, it's been established that Jedi crystal caves typically test Force-sensitive people with a trial. If they pass, they're rewarded with a kyber crystal.

Of course, as Rogue One proved, if you have the infrastructure you can just go right in and dig them up. Still, the actual construction of a lightsaber is incredibly complex. It's been shown that using the Force is incredibly helpful when putting one together.


The Power Cell Sends Energy Into The Focusing Crystal

Power from the cell is sent through a series of focusing lenses, converting the raw energy into dangerous plasma. The fourth state of matter, plasma is extremely dangerous. The good news is that the plasma is immediately channeled through the kyber crystal, which is where the real fun begins. The crystals focus the plasma, imbuing it with quasi-mystical properties inherent to the crystals.


The Plasma Is Forged Into A Beam

After the plasma passes through the lightsaber crystal, it becomes focused. It's then sent through field energizers and modulation circuitry in the emitter assembly at the top of the hilt. It's there that the blade is focused into a beam of energy, kept in check by a containment field. These fields prevent lightsabers from simply passing through each other when they connect.


The Power Cell Needs To Be Insulated

When activated, a lightsaber sends a great deal of energy into a very small space. While this leads to the creation of a lightsaber blade, it can also create some serious technical troubles if the construction isn't correct. The power cell needs to be properly insulated in the hilt, for instance. That way, when the weapon is activated there won't be any energy discharges to damage the weapon or its user.


The Original Lightsabers Were Attached To Power Packs

When lightsabers were first invented, thousands of years before the events of the films, power cells weren't small enough to fit within the hilt. Instead, they drew their power from power packs on the wielder's belt. The power was fed via a small cable attaching the blade to the belt. If you think that sounds dangerous and inconvenient, you're absolutely correct. The risk of the cord being cut by either the user or an opponent was very high.


The Hilt Needs To Be Made From Durable Material

A well-made lightsaber can last decades, but the blade is only as good as the materials used in construction. In some cases, lightsabers were quickly made out of any mostly correct materials lying around. Corran Horn built his saber, for example, out of the body of a swoop bike throttle assembly.

However, those who have the time and resources put a lot of care into their lightsabers. Darth Sidious constructed his saber out of phrik, a rare metal that was resistant to lightsaber blades. Other materials to serve as hilts include wood and bone.


The Properties Of The Blade Depend On The Crystal

If you're wondering why Kylo Ren's lightsaber has that unstable rippling effect, look no further than his kyber crystal. In his case, his cross guard saber has a cracked crystal, which makes the blade's energy unstable and unpredictable. The upside is that it can do more damage, but it can also short out or explode in the wielder's hands.

In fact, the two vents on the side of his saber are specifically designed to bleed excess energy off in order to keep the weapon more stable. There are other types of crystals, such as synthetic ones, that can carry other properties and create new blade effects.


Power Cells Are Very Important

Lightsabers need power to function, just like any other piece of technology. In a pinch, just about any power cell of appropriate size can be used, including those used in blasters. However, given the appropriate resources, Jedi typically choose Diatium cells for their ability to charge a saber for long periods of time. Some forward-thinking Jedi also design their lightsabers to keep spare power cells in the pommel, in case they're sent away on a long mission.


More Crystals Means A Bigger Blade

Lightsabers are usually built with one main crystal, which produces a blade that's typically around meter in length. However, some Jedi (and Sith) seek an edge in length, so they build lightsabers with multiple crystals.

A dual-phase saber is a weapon with two to three crystals, and allows the user to adjust the length of the blade far beyond a meter. Some of the most famous Jedi and Sith in history used this type of saber, including Darth Vader.



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Thu, 13 Apr 2017 10:44:10 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/how-lightsabers-work/aaron-edwards
<![CDATA[The Least Believable Attacks In The WWE]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-least-believable-attacks-in-the-wwe/josephwelkie?source=rss

In the WWE, the audience must suspend their disbelief for a bit, particularly when it comes to ridiculous WWE attacks. From sorcerers to undead giants to men from outer space, the worst WWE attacks in practice are less skirmish-oriented, more Cirque du Soleil. Obviously this can make for more entertaining TV and some remarkable finishing moves. But sometimes the combat gets too hard to watch because what you see on screen gets too ludicrous.

Most fighters wouldn't be phased by attacks laced with break-dancing moves, and while an ass to the face might offend them, it likely won't lead to a KO. But wrestling, like virtual reality, is all about illusion and escape, and no one can argue the imagination behind these WWE moves that probably wouldn't hurt anyone. So open your mind, and take a look at some of the silliest, most ineffective, and ridiculous attacks in the WWE. 


The Least Believable Attacks In The WWE,

Chris Jericho

Chris Jericho's finishing move, the Code Breaker looks stunningly stupid. Though it's supposed to smash the knee into his opponent's face, it just looks far more painful for Jericho, who jumps and then lands on his back. You would be hard pressed to find a world where this move is considered an offensive maneuver.


The Great Khali

The Great Khali was a giant of a man in WWE, but this move always felt gigantically useless. Just smashing a dude's head? That's it? Aside from it being actually impossible to crush someone's skull like that, it just looks ridiculous.


Alberto Del Rio

Okay, this one might be the dumbest on this list. So much must go Alberto Del Rio's way in order for this to work. Every wrestler who falls victim to this move has to help Del Rio out by pulling themselves up to set him up for the double-foot stomp. No self-respecting fighter would ever allow themselves to be attacked like this after the first time they saw it.


Naomi

Naomi slamming her big ol' booty into your face sounds lovely, but honestly doesn't sound too painful. In fact, many people would probably welcome such a move.


Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler's finisher really doesn't look much more painful than a person just falling backwards. You know why that is? Because that's all the Zig-Zag is. Ziggler simply pulls his opponent backwards. Weak.


Scotty 2 Hotty

A drawn out punch with a little bit of break-dancing before it, the Worm could probably qualify as an anime finishing move given its theatrical elements. It takes so much time to set up not even worth it in the end. If WWE ever decides to add dance to it's programming then Scotty 2 Hotty will at least be prepared.


Stone Cold Steve Austin

The most painful-looking part of this move is the kick in the gut that sets up the Stunner, and honestly this move feels like a double-edged sword. In real life, any attempts to do this move in a real fight would likely result in a broken tailbone. 


The Undertaker

While blasphemy to speak ill of the Undertaker, this move takes too much time and effort to set up. Why doesn't the victim just push 'Taker off the top rope as he's walking? Definitely a reasonable option, but in the WWE, reasonable only gets you so far.


X-Pac

A move that gets aggressively weird, it basically consists of a X-Pac humping his opponent, which probably only hurts if your masculinity is especially fragile. 


Rikishi

While awful looking, and definitely an unpleasant experience as a whole, Rikishi's Stink Face doesn't appear to be all that painful. Just someone rubbing their butt in your face? Some people out there would just call that "tossing a salad."



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Fri, 20 Jan 2017 08:56:44 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/the-least-believable-attacks-in-the-wwe/josephwelkie
<![CDATA[10 Fascinating Alcoholic Drinks From Ancient Societies]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/weird-alcohol-and-liquor-from-ancient-history/carly-silver?source=rss

Today's alcoholic beverages range from canned Strawberritas to expertly crafted cocktails, but modern bartenders aren't the first people to invent adults-only drinks. In fact, there are plenty of types of weird ancient liquors that have survived in the historical and archaeological records. These ancient alcohols don't always sound appetizing, but they're definitely fascinating.

Beer is one of the oldest beverages still being enjoyed today. The Egyptians were big home-brewers, though their drinks were soupier than most modern imbibers would prefer. The ancient drinks of the Greeks include kykeon, a mysterious barley-cheese beverage. But drinking in the ancient world often involved psychedelics as well. That shouldn't be surprising; after all, liquor in the ancient world was often used in religious rituals.

Unusual wines, agave extracts, and hearty ales have been enjoyed for centuries. Consider the history contained in that bottle of beer the next time you crack one open.


10 Fascinating Alcoholic Drinks From Ancient Societies,

Egyptian Beer

The Ancient Egyptians were master brewers. In fact, beer was a staple of their daily diet, providing nutrients to people who didn't eat a ton of fruits and vegetables. Brewers fermented and baked leftover grain - maybe barley - with yeast, then strained the mixture to create soupy beer.

Archaeologists have found records of beer that date all the way back to the Predynastic period (around 3100 BCE). Egyptian beer was continually produced for millennia.


Posca

Posca is perhaps the most unusual of ancient Roman drinks. It was just watered-down sour wine or vinegar (created from wine that had gone bad). A beverage for common people and soldiers, this thirst-quencher might not have been the tastiest, but some added herbs to try and improve its flavor. Interestingly, some high-ranking military men chose to drink posca to gain credibility with the average soldier.


Retsina

The Greek wine retsina is known for its unusual, turpentine-y flavor, which comes from the pine resin present in the alcohol. The resin was added as a preservative. Archaeologists have traced retsina back 3000-4000 years. It remained a popular light wine through the Roman period, and is still enjoyed today.


Conditum

This ancient Roman spiced wine sounds quite lovely. Sweetened with honey and boiled down, conditum remained a popular alcoholic drink from Roman times into the Byzantine era and beyond. An ancient recipe even survives in a Roman gourmand's cookbook; this one is recommended for travelers and includes pepper.


Midas's Beer

Tumulus MM, the giant, man-made tomb of an ancient Anatolian king dubbed Midas, had a lot of beer in it. More specifically, there was a funeral feast laid out in this monarch's tomb, complete with wooden tables, 157 vessels for drinking, and even ancient beer.

Archaeologists analyzed the cauldrons used at this feast to see what kind of beverage the ancient Phrygians brewed. It was a yummy-sounding mixture of grape wine, honey mead, and barley beer. A modern spin on the recipe is marketed and sold as Midas's Touch beer.


Shedeh

Shedeh is a mysterious ancient Egyptian drink whose contents scholars still debate. Was it wine, made from pomegranates or grapes, or perhaps blended from both? The term "shedeh" has no translation in modern English, and the only Egyptian text that chronicled how it was made said it was filtered and heated - but the papyrus it was found on was incomplete. Whatever it was, shedeh was apparently a beverage fit for the pharaohs: King Tutankhamun's tomb contained an amphora of the liquor.


Kykeon

Kykeon was a psychedelic drink hailing from ancient Greece. What exactly went into it is a mystery, but it appears to have contained an unusual mix of barley, cheese, and wine.

Throughout ancient texts, "kykeon" might have been a generic word used to describe a potion with magical effects, but it was also often associated with "mysteries," or covert rites for a particular god. The most famous "mysteries" were the secret rites of the goddess Demeter at Eleusis, where participants downed an unknown hallucinogenic beverage to see visions. Scholars now think it might have been kykeon containing moldy grain, which was specially treated to yield psychedelic effects.


Soma

Soma appears in the Rigveda, a series of ancient religious texts from India. Soma was a plant that produced an intoxicating beverage with a hallucinogenic effect, as well as the god who personified both of these. Soma was seen to be a healer, tied to the moon, and a fertilizing force.

In the Rigveda, soma (the drink) was made by squeezing liquid from the plant's stalk, which was combined with milk and water. The resulting beverage might have brought worshippers some pretty interesting visions.


Pulque

Pulque is arguably the most storied alcoholic drink in Mexico's history, serving as an ancestor of mescal and tequila. It's made by fermenting, not distilling, the sap of the maguey plant (AKA agave). It contains a lot of probiotics, and has served many purposes over the years.

In mythology, the milky white beverage was said to have been invented in a lost divine paradise, although humans probably first started drinking it about 4000 years ago. The Aztecs also used it as a religious stimulant.


Falernian Wine

Thanks to their conquests and trade, the ancient Romans had access to a lot of great wine. Falernian was considered one of the finest, hailing from Campania in Italy.

According to Pliny the Elder, Falernian wines were thought to be the second-best of all wines. He claimed that Falernian was best after aging for fifteen years. Very high in alcohol content, "it is the only one, too, among all the wines that takes fire on the application of flame," said Pliny.



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Thu, 06 Oct 2016 06:52:17 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/weird-alcohol-and-liquor-from-ancient-history/carly-silver
<![CDATA[14 Surprising Things Most People Never Learned About Lobsters]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/amazing-lobster-facts/eric-vega?source=rss

When you ask the average person to name their favorite type of animal, they seldom say “large marine crustaceans.” This is unfortunate, though, because lobsters are awesome and they aren’t getting the proper love and respect they deserve. Surely there are people out there other than Colin Farrell who can identify with the amazing lives of lobsters.

There is a multimillion dollar industry centered around the harvesting of these bottom-dwellers, but most people couldn't name any facts about lobsters other than they’re delicious. That’s a shame, because awesome lobsters are so much more than an expensive entree. They can live for decades, grow to incredible sizes, and may even offer solutions for dealing with environmental pollution. Before you write them off as creepy creatures of the sea, consider there may be some things you never knew about lobsters that could completely change your perspective.


14 Surprising Things Most People Never Learned About Lobsters,

They Can Taste For Prey With Their Legs

Lobsters have a lot of limbs. Between the claws, legs, antennae, and swimmerets, it’s a wonder they can keep track of them all. Amazingly, the American lobster has two sets of legs that have the unique ability of being able to “taste” for their food. The tasting legs are set just behind the claws and are full of receptors designed to help the lobster locate food in the area. The legs are just a few of the sensory tools that lobsters use to detect prey, the others being their antennae, eyes, and mouths.


When Mating, Females Have All The Power

Lobster mating is a complicated process, but one that empowers the females. Mating is almost always instigated by the females, who release sex pheromones to inform nearby males they are ready to mate. Lobster males will often fight for a female, and the victor will watch over the her until she completes a molt. To have sex, the females must remove their exoskeleton before mating. Essentially, they strip for their partners. The males will spend up to two weeks protecting their mates from predators while they are naked and vulnerable.

Sex is no guarantee that the male's genes will be passed on, however. Female lobsters are able to hold onto a male’s sperm for up to 15 months and decide when is the right time to lay their eggs. They can store between 5,000 and 100,000 eggs under their tails until they are ready to hatch.


Lobsters Are Only Red After Being Boiled

There is a common misconception that all lobsters are bright red. Lobsters can come in a variety of colors, but none of them are all red. Lobster pigmentation can vary between species, but most of them are a dark mix of black, brown, red, and blue. There are some rare genetic defects that can cause extreme color variations, but they are not a species-wide phenomenon. 

The red coloration is actually a result of the cooking process. Boiled lobsters turn red, and scientists recently discovered the mechanism behind this dramatic transformation. Two chemicals, crustacyanin and astaxantin, are responsible for the pigmentation of lobsters. Crustacyanin is responsible for the bluish tint of living lobsters, while astaxantin causes the red coloration. Crustacyanin overpowers astaxantin in living lobsters, but exposure to intense heat causes a chemical reaction that allows the red pigment to overpower.


They Eat Each Other

Lobsters are bottom feeders who typically eat shellfish, crabs, and other invertebrates. Unfortunately, lobsters are invertebrates themselves and they are not above putting each other on the menu. One of the primary reasons that lobster claws are banded shut in captivity is to minimize the risk of them murdering and devouring each other before we can. At first lobster cannibalism was thought to only occur in captivity, but in the last few years they have been observed committing lobster-cide in the wild.


They Live For A Crazy Long Time And Never Stop Growing

In 2013, the Internet exploded with articles about how lobsters are functionally immortal. This isn't entirely true. It's based on the fact that lobsters do live a long time. The lifespan of European lobsters (Homarus gammarus) averages about 31 years for males and an astounding 54 years for the females, with some making it past the ripe old age of 70.

The misconception that lobsters can live forever is most likely due to their slow rate of senescence, or the process of aging. Lobsters never stop growing throughout their life, unlike mammals who grow rapidly during their adolescence but stop once they hit adulthood. This slow-but-steady approach to growth reduces the rate of decay in the lobsters' cells and allows them to live for a long time. The largest lobster ever recorded was a 44 lb monster caught off the coast of Nova Scotia. In the US, the biggest lobsters are thrown back to help bulk up the gene pool.


Lobster Was Once A Peasant's Food

Lobsters are probably most famous for being a really expensive delicacy, but that was not always the case. Lobsters were once so abundant in North America the Native Americans would use them as fertilizer, bait, and a good source of protein. They showed the settlers how to cook lobster, a process that included wrapping them in seaweed and steaming them over a fire, which would eventually evolve into the famous New England clambake.

In the early days of colonization, there were so many lobsters they became the staple food of servants, prisoners, and slaves. People were being fed so much lobster they revolted. Laws were passed limiting the amount of lobster that could be fed to prisoners, and many workers demanded in their contracts they were to only be fed lobster three times a week.


They Can Shoot Pee Out Of Their Eyes

Females are known to squirt males with pungent urine in an effort to begin the courtship process. Dr. Ellen Prager, a marine biologist and professor, described the practice to NPR. "She shoots when she comes up to a den that might have a male in it. She actually seduces him with her pee and instead of clobbering her over the head with his claw, he says, 'Come in, come in' and gets all touchy-feely.”

It’s not all about romance though. Lobster urine contains a lot of information, and spraying pee in someone's face is apparently a valid form of communication for them. Males have been known to pee in each other faces to display aggression and dominance over rivals. 


They Basically Don't Have A Brain

Lobsters are simple minded creatures, and that's not a diss. Their brains are extremely primitive, closely resembling those of insects. Their "brains" are really just a cluster of nerves that regulate their entire existence. The collection of ganglia (nerve endings) that make up the brain is about the same size as a grasshopper brain. This lack of sophistication has led many to believe that lobsters actually can’t feel pain, although this claim has been disputed in the past.


Their Shells Can Be Used To Make Biodegradable Golf Balls

If you're the kind of person who has the money to regularly smack golf balls into the ocean from your yacht, you probably aren’t thinking too much about the massive damage you're causing to the environment. Researchers have studied golf ball degradation and determined it takes somewhere between 100 and 1,000 years for a normal golf ball to break down. Seinfeld famously joked about the perils of golfing at sea, but some people are taking the situation much more seriously. 

David Neivandt, a professor at the University of Maine, was one of the people involved in an effort to reduce the environmental impact that golf balls have on our oceans. He spearheaded an effort to create biodegradable golf balls out of discarded lobster shells. His lobster balls were able to degrade in the ocean in one to two weeks, which is basically instant when compared to the alternative. Lobster shells being recycled into golf balls instead of being tossed into a landfill is an added environmental benefit with no additional negative effects on wild lobsters.


Lobsters Have Three Stomachs, One Of Which Has Teeth

Lobster anatomy never ceases to amaze, and the digestive tract is no exception. American lobsters don’t have any teeth in their mouths, but they do have some in one of their two stomachs. That’s right, lobsters chew their food in their stomach with specialized teeth (known as a gastric mill) that grinds their food into mush. Once chewed, the mush moves into the a second stomach, which absorbs the nutrients from the food. This bright green digestive gland is commonly known as the tomalley.



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Wed, 12 Apr 2017 07:05:34 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/amazing-lobster-facts/eric-vega
<![CDATA[Reasons Krillin Is The MVP Of Dragon Ball Z]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/reasons-krillin-is-the-best-dbz-character/stephanroget?source=rss

Of the many Z-Fighters who protect Earth in the various Dragon Ball series, Krillin is probably the least respected. In fact, that might be putting it mildly. Lots of characters on DBZ get their butts kicked with regularity, but somehow only Krillin has picked up a reputation as a total punching bag. The jokes about Krillin getting beat up are so popular that the renowned fan parody Dragon Ball Z: Abridged keeps an on-screen count of the amount of times that Krillin gets “owned” throughout the series, and it reaches the dozens.

To say that Krillin is the worst Dragon Ball character, however, would definitely be a mistake. Despite his many beatings, Krillin has still managed to remain a fan favorite from his debut in the manga as Kuririn in 1985 to his role in Dragon Ball Super. Convincing fans that Krillin is a great character is not a difficult task, as he’s given folks plenty of reason to love him over the years. Making the argument that Krillin is the best character in the Dragon Ball series might seem tougher, but there are actually a litany of compelling reasons Krillin is the most admirable and well-developed character in the entire saga.


Reasons Krillin Is The MVP Of Dragon Ball Z,

He’s Around For The Entire Saga

Krillin has been present for more of the Dragon Ball saga than anyone other than Goku. Krillin first showed up in the 25th issue of the manga in 1985, and he’s been by Goku’s side pretty much ever since.

Krillin was featured in the rest of Dragon Ball, all of Dragon Ball Z, the non-canon Dragon Ball GT, and the revival series Dragon Ball Super. Unlike other long-term characters like Bulma and Yamcha, Krillin did not really shrink into the background, but remained ready to fight whenever Earth needed protecting.


He Often Fights Way Above His Weight Class

As a (mostly) ordinary human, Krillin eventually found himself outclassed by most of the characters around him as the Dragon Ball franchise progressed. As a species, human beings have much a lower power potential than aliens like the Saiyans or Namekians. Therefore, Krillin’s power levels hit a ceiling long before most of the other Z-Fighters.

Despite this disadvantage, Krillin continued to throw himself at opponents far above his league whenever the situation called for it. Krillin attempted to take on foes as powerful as Frieza, the androids, and Perfect Cell, all because his friends needed help. That makes Krillin a true warrior, and an all around commendable character.


He Rescues Gohan From Frieza

Krillin is undoubtedly Goku’s best friend, and he’s also one of his most trustworthy allies. There is probably no one Goku trusts more with the life of his children, which is why Gohan has been left in Krillin’s care on more than one occasion.

Krillin proved himself as the world’s best babysitter a few times, like when he attacked the intergalactic warlord Frieza to save Gohan’s life. Krillin had already been impaled by Frieza’s horn, but he got back on his feet and launched a Destructo Disc just in time to save Gohan and cut off the villain’s tail.


He Motivates Goku’s First Super Saiyan Transformation

Krillin’s reputation as a punching bag who dies often is, weirdly, part of what makes him so awesome. Krillin has died on numerous occasions, including once during the original Dragon Ball series, but his most famous death occurs in the Frieza Saga.

The purple alien tyrant sadistically murdered Krillin in an attempt to infuriate his best friend, Goku, a move Frieza would come to regret. The death of Krillin enraged Goku like never before, prompting his first transformation into a Super Saiyan and the eventual defeat of Frieza.


He Threw The First Spirit Bomb

The Spirit Bomb is perhaps the strongest attack in the entire Dragon Ball saga. Taught to Goku by King Kai, the Spirit Bomb works by pooling massive amounts of energy into a gigantic sphere of destructive potential.

Goku first attempts to use the Spirit Bomb against Vegeta, but has to hand the Bomb off to Krillin so that he can throw it and catch Vegeta unawares. Krillin misses his shot, but the Spirit Bomb is rebounded by Gohan and does a massive amount of damage to the wicked Saiyan prince.

 


His Character Design Has Real Martial Arts History Behind It

Series creator Akira Toriyama put a decent amount of effort into researching actual martial arts history in creating Dragon Ball. The characters’ fighting outfits are fairly accurate representations of real karate gis, and some of the techniques seen in their battles are legitimate, energy waves aside.

Real martial arts history definitely played a role in the design of Krillin, particularly the design of his head. Krillin shaves his head bald and wears six tattoo dots on his forehead, both of which are meant to invoke real-life Shaolin monk traditions.


He Killed Hella Saibamen

During the period between the opening arc of Dragon Ball Z – in which Goku was killed – and the Saiyan Saga, many of the Earth’s best fighters prepared for the alien invasion they knew was coming. No one trained harder than Krillin, and he finally got to show off the results when Nappa and Vegeta attacked the Z-Fighters with a horde of Saibamen.

Each Saibaman was reportedly as strong as Goku’s brother, Raditz, and a single Saibaman managed to kill Yamcha, one of the strongest human fighters. An incensed Krillin flew into a rage and managed to kill the remaining Saibamen with relative ease, proving how far he had come.


He Marries The Coolest Lady In The Series

The Dragon Ball series, especially Dragon Ball Z, centers mainly around fighting, and thus there isn’t always a ton of time for romance. Goku shares barely any scenes with his wife, Chi Chi, despite having a pair of kids with her, and Bulma and Vegeta’s courtship occurs mainly off-screen.

It could be argued, in fact, that the most successful relationship in the entire saga is between Krillin and Android 18, a deadly beauty who seems entirely out of his league. Krillin proves himself a hero on several occasions during the Cell Saga, risking his life to rescue 18 and using the Dragon Balls to remove the self-destruct feature hidden within her body. This leaves Android 18 smitten with the diminutive dynamo, and the two eventually marry and have a daughter.


He’s The Strongest Human On Earth

Krillin is obviously not the strongest character in the Dragon Ball saga, what with all of the Super Saiyans and fused Namekians flying around. However, according to series creator Akira Toriyama, Krillin is the “strongest among the Earthlings.” That means that if you discount all of the Saiyans, Namekians, androids, and other non-human beings, Krillin is the strongest fighter in the series.

That puts him above characters like Yamcha and Tien, and it's impressive no matter how you slice it. Krillin remains in training for much of the series, always pushing himself despite not having the same raw potential as his non-human colleagues.


He’s The First To Pull A Face-Turn

The Dragon Ball saga has a long history of face-turns, or evil characters becoming good guys. Piccolo, Vegeta, Android 18, and others make the transition from enemy to ally, but Krillin was the very first to pull off the trick. Krillin was initially a rival to Goku, as both of them studied under the tutelage of Master Roshi.

Krillin would often resort to trickery in an attempt to best Goku, but the two eventually became friends and Krillin’s better nature came to the surface. He has stayed on the side of good ever since. 



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Thu, 13 Apr 2017 07:38:32 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/reasons-krillin-is-the-best-dbz-character/stephanroget
<![CDATA[15 '00s One-Hit Wonders That'll Get Stuck In Your Head All Over Again]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/forgotten-2000s-one-hit-wonders/carly-silver?source=rss

The naughty "aughts" - AKA the years from 2000 to 2009 - were a great time for music. But thanks to the sheer volume of superstars on the scene, there were plenty of forgotten one-hit wonders of the '00s. Listen to a few seconds of any of these songs, though, and you might just find yourself singing along.

These one-time hits range in genre, but they all dominated the radio. You might recall soca singer Kevin Lyttle's undeniable smash "Turn Me On," or pop impresario Samantha Mumba's addictive "Gotta Tell You." Both of these singers have gone on to continued success in the entertainment industry. And then there are '00s one-hit wonders like Willa Ford, the pop star behind "I Wanna Be Bad." Remember that track?

Which of these great songs by '00s one-hit wonders are still in rotation on your iTunes playlist? Vote them up here.


15 '00s One-Hit Wonders That'll Get Stuck In Your Head All Over Again,

Hit 'em Up Style (Oops!)

R&B chanteuse Blu Cantrell had her biggest hit with the Grammy-nominated revenge anthem "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)." But her heavenly voice continued to grace airwaves for years after. Her next album yielded the UK smash "Breathe," featuring Sean Paul.

Cantrell took the stage for a 2007 musical, and appeared on TV in a show called Celebrity Circus. Despite having some public battles with mental illness, she has continued performing, touring in Australia with TLC and Nelly.


Gotta Tell You

Irish pop princess Samantha Mumba electrified American airwaves in 2000 with her international smash "Gotta Tell You." Her husky vocals added verve to an otherwise standard tune. The song was her one big hit in the United States, but she enjoyed continued success in the UK.

Mumba later moved to acting and broadcasting. The singer hosted Celebrity Masterchef, is a mom and a wife, and was announced as the celebrity face of the Cadbury's Easter Egg Hunt.


1985

Pop-punk powerhouses Bowling For Soup made their name in 2004 with the bubbly smash "1985." Although the track was their biggest hit, BFS has continued to churn out music. In 2014, they celebrated two decades as a band and then released yet another album in 2016.


I Wanna Be Bad

Unlike Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, pop singer Willa Ford didn't start out with an "innocent" act. Her first (and only) successful single was called "I Wanna Be Bad." The undeniably catchy number featured a rap from Royce Da 5'9", but didn't kick off a successful musical career for Ford.

Currently an interior designer, Ford is married to a former NFL player. She gave birth to her first child in 2016. Ford also competed on Dancing With the Stars in its third season, and occasionally works as an actress.


"Party Like A Rockstar" By The Shop Boyz (2007)

"Totally, dude!" proclaimed hip-hop group The Shop Boyz in 2007 in their chart-topping anthem "Party Like a Rockstar." This one song marked the zenith of TSB's success, but they didn't give up. They released a mixtape and digital singles in 2015. Currently, the group is partying like rock stars independently.


"Turn Me On" By Kevin Lyttle (2002)

Soca king Kevin Lyttle blasted onto the American music scene in the early 'oughts with his mega-smash "Turn Me On," featuring Spragga Benz.

The Vincentian dancehall don only released one album in the United States, but has continued to have worldwide success. He signed a deal with Sony Records and has released numerous soca smashes, including "Bum Bum" with Mya and "Slow Motion."


"This Is Why I'm Hot" By MIMS (2007)

Rapper MIMS hit the big time in 2007 with his #1 smash "This Is Why I'm Hot," a simplistic, yet irresistible, tune off of his debut album, Music Is My Savior. His second album was released to less fanfare, and MIMS sued his label, Capitol Records, for millions. He's still performing around the country and is active on Twitter.


"Me & U" By Cassie (2006)

Pop singer Cassie Ventura made a splash on the scene with her debut - and, to date, only - hit, "Me & U." Over a sparse beat from one-time beau/super producer Ryan Leslie, Cassie made radio gold for her label, Bad Boy Records.

Although she hasn't released an album since her debut, the singer has released mixtapes, been featured on songs by Jay Z and Nicki Minaj, and remained in the spotlight thanks to her relationship with Sean "Puffy" Combs.


"What Would You Do?" By City High (2001)

R&B/hip-hop trio City High's moving "What Would You Do?" captivated listeners in 2001. There were some internal tensions - lead singer Claudette Ortiz dated bandmate Robby Pardlo, and then she and other band member Ryan Toby married, then divorced.

After the group broke up, Ortiz released a few singles and hit a difficult patch before joining the cast of R&B Divas: Los Angeles. Toby released a new single, and Pardlo struggled with personal demons on TV and is currently working his way back towards a music career.


"I Don't Want You Back" By Eamon (2003)

The profanity-laced "F**k It (I Don't Want You Back)" was the break-up anthem of the early 2000s. As crooned by Staten Island singer Eamon, the song was a no-holds-barred rant against an ex-girlfriend in Eamon's self-proclaimed sub-genre of "ho-wop." Eamon's alleged ex-girlfriend, Frankee, created a firestorm by issuing a track called "FU Right Back," in which she alleged he almost gave her crabs.

Eamon is still singing today. He released a single, "Be My Girl," on April 7, 2017.



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Fri, 07 Apr 2017 09:01:33 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/forgotten-2000s-one-hit-wonders/carly-silver
<![CDATA[The 13 Most Formidable Enemies The Roman Empire Ever Faced]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/ancient-roman-rebels/carly-silver?source=rss

Sure, there were lots of rebels in ancient Rome (Spartacus, anyone?), but the most fascinating people the Romans fought were leaders of rival foreign nations. These weren't just ancient Roman rebels, but monarchs, chieftains, and genius generals in their own right. 

The Senate might have thought of some of these rulers as ancient Romans who rebelled, but the truth, more often than not, was that these individuals fought to achieve or keep their people independent from Roman conquest. Take, for example, Boudica, the famed British queen who slaughtered invading Romans and destroyed London.

And then there were Rome's rivals for control of trade, like Carthage. You might know Hannibal as a cannibal, but before he was a Lecter, he was a genius general who brought a ton of elephants into Italy to slaughter Romans. Hardly rebels from ancient Rome, but a kick-ass ruler in his own right.


The 13 Most Formidable Enemies The Roman Empire Ever Faced,

Attila the Hun

Attila, leader of the Hun confederation of nomadic tribes in Eastern Europe-Asia, was known as "the Scourge of Rome" for the destruction he brought on the late Roman Empire. The tribes began moving westward into the Roman Empire in the mid-fifth century CE, forcing Rome to bribe them in gold so they wouldn't attack. The amount of money required to keep the tribes at bay went up each year, and Attila eventually broke one of his treaties, invading and sacking Roman lands in the 450s.

Attila was pretty ambitious - he murdered his brother to get the throne and headed to Gaul to win an imperial princess as his wife - but he was a rather humble man. A lot of his men accumulated riches as he ravaged the lands Rome conquered centuries before; he himself took a lot of ladies as his own... to his downfall. Attila died of a nasty nosebleed in 453 after one hell of a wedding night.


Boudica

statue of the British queen Boudica stands near the Houses of Parliament, but the famed monarch destroyed London in her anti-Roman rebellion. She was queen of the Iceni tribe in southeastern Britain, wife of King Prasutagus, who allied himself with the Romans when they invaded in 43 CE.

When Prasutagus died, the Romans decided Boudica wouldn't stay in power, since her hubby had willed his kingdom to the emperor and the king's own daughters. The Romans came to Iceni land; according to one account, they raped Boudica and her daughters, then stole Iceni noblemen's estates and turned the tribesmen into servants.

Boudica and the Iceni, along with other tribes, revolted against the Romans in 60-61. They thrashed the Roman Ninth Legion and destroyed the ancient cities of Colchester, London, and St. Albans before a Roman army finally defeated them. Boudica may have poisoned herself or died in battle as the Romans reestablished dominion over Britain.


Cleopatra

Cleopatra VII, the final pharaoh of Egypt's Ptolemaic Dynasty, had a long, complicated relationship with Rome. Her dad, Ptolemy XII, was ousted from power, but Roman allies restored him to power. So when Cleo herself came to the throne, she knew to court the most powerful empire in the Mediterranean.

First, she made Julius Caesar fall for her - or convinced him to at least have sex with her, since they had a bouncing baby boy together. Caesar killed her brother-husband and helped her secure her power; Cleo later followed him to Rome (talk about peer pressure). After his death, she took up with his number one supporter, Mark Antony, who gave her three kids. 

Cleopatra and Mark Antony opposed Caesar's heir/great-nephew, Octavian, who seized power in Rome. The conflict came to a head at the Battle of Actium on September 2, 31 BCE, after which Octavian became Rome's head honcho; he eventually became the first emperor, Augustus.


Eunus

A Syrian slave-turned-rebel, Eunus was a rebel for the ages. He was enslaved in Sicily in the second century BCE, but didn't stay down for long, organizing 70,000 other slaves into an army along with fellow slave-rebel Cleon. Eunus had a way about him; his charisma led people to believe he was a magician or prophet. He took the city of Enna and turned himself into a king named Antiochus, but a few short years later, a Roman consul squashed his rebellion by 132 BCE and put Eunus in prison.


Hannibal

In the third century BCE, the two greatest powers of the Mediterranean basin - Rome and Carthage - squared off in three separate Punic Wars. The soldiers of Carthage, located in north Africa, were led in battle by the brilliant general Hannibal. After Rome won the First Punic War, Hannibal consolidated power in Carthage's colonies in Iberia and went HAM on one of Rome's Spanish towns, kicking off the Second Punic War.

Hannibal got a giant force together, including almost 40 war elephants, and marched across the Alps into Italy. He eventually won a stunning victory at Cannae against the Roman legions, but was forced to go home after the Romans invaded Carthage itself. The Roman general Scipio won another big battle near Carthage, leaving the Carthaginians with only their North African lands....

Hannibal wasn't into it, but he was forced into exile and hung out with the Syrians, then the people of Pergamum in Asia Minor (where he threw buckets of snakes at his enemies). Eventually, Hannibal got super-paranoid and, afraid his enemies were coming for him, poisoned himself where he was hanging out in Turkey.


Jugurtha

Jugurtha, prince of Numidia in north Africa, was the son of a famous king who worked with Rome. Jugurtha slowly but surely eliminated every rival to his throne, all while he supported the Romans in battle against the Carthaginians, learned Latin, and became BFFs with senators. Eventually, relations went sour, though, when Jugurtha killed some Italian merchants, and the Romans went to war against him around 111 BCE.

Rome didn't exactly acquit itself well, and the two lands made a treaty, which didn't last long after Jugurtha offed another rival to his throne. Marius, a seven-time Roman consul (and Caesar's uncle by marriage), invaded Numidia and eventually beat Jugurtha with the help of the king of nearby Mauretania. In 105 BCE, Marius brought Jugurtha home and paraded him through Rome in a military triumph; he was dead not long after.


Mithridates VI of Pontus

Best known for creating poisons and antidotes in his Black Sea kingdom, King Mithridates VI of Pontus battled against Rome for control of most of Asia Minor. He was Rome's last main challenger in the East for centuries, but the conflict burned hot: At one point, he slaughtered upwards of 80,000 Romans who lived in Asia Minor. The Romans waged three Mithridatic Wars against this monarch, sparked in part by Mithridates's slow but steady conquest of much of the lands making up modern Turkey. 

The First Mithridatic War (89-85 BCE) ended in Mithridates's defeat by future dictator Sulla, while the Romans raided his territories to provoke the Second Mithridatic War (83-81 BCE). The third war lasted the longest (73-63 BCE), beginning after Romans occupied Bithynia, which Mithridates thought of as his; eventually, he fled and Romans tracked him down. Allegedly, unable to poison himself because he'd consumed so many toxins and antidotes, he made his bodyguard kill him with a sword.


Vercingetorix

Julius Caesar almost met his match in Vercingetorix of Gaul. Caesar invaded what is now France/Germany in 58 BCE, which he famously chronicled in his memoir The Gallic Wars. The Celtic tribes there didn't take his genocide lightly. Rebellions bubbled for several years; a bunch of Gallic tribes united and made Vercintegorix of the Arverni their head warrior. This organized military action made Caesar come across the Cisalpine Alps to head off the Celts.

Several years of raids and minor battles climaxed in late 52 BCE, when Caesar and the Gauls met at Alesia. The Romans besieged the epic fortifications surrounding this fortress; three weeks later, Vercingetorix and his supporters were pretty much devoid of food or supplies. Caesar broke the Gallic forces and took Vercingetorix back to Rome with him in chains; the Gallic chieftain died there years later.


Viriatus

Meet Viriatus. A Spaniard, he led a rebellion against invading Romans, who conquered parts of Iberia throughout the second century BCE. In 151 BCE, the people of the Lusitania region tried to negotiate with Rome during endless attacks; the regional Roman leader mercilessly slaughtered the Lusitanians instead. According to legend, one of the survivors was a dude named Viriatus (a nickname), who wanted revenge.

A few years later, Viriatus led the surviving Lusitanian forces against the Romans, butchering their leader and thousands of men in one battle. Over the course of nearly a decade, Viriatus and his men became the scourge of the Romans in Spain, especially when they pretended they were about to run away, then waged a surprise counter attack. The locals' guerilla warfare and knowledge of Iberian terrain were effective tools against the Romans. But Viriatus couldn't keep it up forever; he made a treaty with Rome and three of his own men betrayed and killed him. 


Zenobia

One of the great cities of ancient Syria was the trade center of Palmyra. Sadly destroyed in large part by ISIS, it also played host to the great Arab queen Zenobia, who rebelled against Roman tyranny. First acting as regent to her kid in the third century CE, Zenobia eventually seized power on her own. Although her hubby was once a Roman client king, Zenobia struck out on her own and opposed the Romans. She claimed to be descended from none other than Cleopatra VII, a political lightning rod.

Zenobia conquered Egypt (her ancestral homeland?) in 269 and moved into Asia Minor. The Roman emperor Aurelian got in her way two years later, taking over the key cities of modern Ankara and Emesa in Syria. Aurelian and Zenobia - who led her own troops into battle - exchanged letters, but she remained defiant (after all, she declared herself empress, so she had to live up to the title). Sadly, Palmyra fell, too, and Aurelian captured Zenobia, who either was part of his imperial triumph in 274 in Rome or starved herself to death.



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Tue, 15 Nov 2016 02:22:55 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/ancient-roman-rebels/carly-silver
<![CDATA[The Wildest Zoo Animal Escapes Of All Time]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/wildest-zoo-escapes/justin-andress?source=rss

Zoos are pretty controversial places. While some zoos do an incredible amount for preservation efforts the world over, that definitely isn't true for all zoos. Keeping wild animals caged has its own set of unique draw backs – especially when the spectators themselves aren't too bright. But sometimes zoos just aren't able to keep their animals locked up. 

Since the modern zoo came into being nearly a century ago, crazy zoo escapes have been a fixture of society. Sometimes, the animals are bored of captivity and make a daring escape; other times, gaps in their fences allow them to step free. When transplanted from their natural environment, animals have shown a remarkable aptitude for springing themselves from the joint. Everything from kangaroos to hippos have joined the proud tradition of animals who broke free from their cells using wildly diverse means.

In honor of all those animals on the loose, here are the wildest zoo escapes in history.


The Wildest Zoo Animal Escapes Of All Time,

A Macaw Managed To Escape A Canadian Zoo, Even Though His Wings Were Clipped

In 2009, a Macaw named Chuva managed to slip out of his enclosure and smuggle himself onto an RV, all without the ability to fly. The macaw’s escape (and its location) baffled zookeepers until a family from British Columbia found the bird huddled near the engine of their recreational vehicle. Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the family was extremely “surprised.” Fortunately though, Chuva was hungry and thirsty, but she was still in relatively good shape after her surprising escape. 


Llamas Led Keepers On A Merry Chase Through Sun City, Arizona

One Friday afternoon in 2015, a pair of llamas escaped a show-and-tell session and led pursuers on a two-hour chase through the crowded afternoon streets of Sun City, AZ. The llamas, who belonged to a rancher but were routinely brought places as therapy llamas, set off a social media fire storm when their escape was caught via helicopter like a high-speed police pursuit

A series of keepers, police officers, animal control professionals, and even a few random passerby got in on the chase, attempting to capture both llamas as they darted through traffic and ran amok through the suburb. Ultimately, it was a local cowboy who managed to end the pursuit by using his lasso (no joke) to wrangle the final escaped llama.

Both the animals were tired but otherwise unharmed.


When A Cobra Escaped The Bronx Zoo, It Earned More Than 160,000 Twitter Followers

For a period of six days in 2011, the Bronx Zoo’s Egyptian cobra slipped its confines and ignited a citywide manhunt. Of course, the reptile’s keepers insisted the cobra hadn’t gone far the entire time it was on the lam. It turns out they were right, as the 20-inch-long cobra was found just a few hundred feet from her enclosure, safe and sound. 

As it happened, though, the snake’s escape was a big topic of conversation among New Yorkers. One person even began a hugely successful Twitter account for the snake that began with the opening line, “I want to thank those animals from the movie Madagascar. They were a real inspiration."


One Flamingo Is Living Proof That Nobody Like Kansas

In 2005, an African flamingo made a break from a zoo in Kansas (because, obviously). Though a search was organized to find the little guy, it was to no avail; the flamingo had gone missing. Until eight years later, that is, when bird watcher Neil Hayward spotted the flamingo 650 miles away on Texas’s Gulf Coast.

Apparently, the flamingo had migrated to the ocean and found himself a partner who’d escaped from a Mexican nature reserve years earlier. When notified of their bird’s existence, the Kansas zoo wished the flamingo luck and stated they’d allow the bird to continue living in the wild.


Despite Escaping, All Lioness Nala Wanted To Do Was Come Home

In 1997, heavy rains damaged the lion enclosure at Jungleland, a seven-acre zoo in Kissimmee, FL. While workers attempted to fix the cage, a two-and-a-half-year-old lioness named Nala made a break for it and stayed on the lam for nearly two days.

Like an escaped house cat, however, keepers at Jungleland reported that Nala – who had been raised in captivity – tried to return to her cage on at least one occasion after escaping. Unfortunately, the frightened lion would flee before workers could get close enough to help her. Nala was finally caught when she was spotted by a search helicopter, which led keepers to Nala’s location. She was immediately tranquilized and led safely back to Jungleland.


Rusty The Red Panda Escaped The National Zoo After Only A Week In Custody

One morning in June 2013, zookeepers at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, opened the red panda enclosure to find their recent acquisition, an 11-month-old red panda named Rusty, had gone missing. According to keepers, Rusty had escaped when rains weighed down trees near the enclosure allowing him a pathway to escape.

In the short span of time before he was recaptured (thanks to a tip on Twitter), Rusty was able to travel nearly a mile. Since his escape, the red panda and his mate, Shama, were relocated to the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA to start a sweet red panda family.


One Indian Tiger Did It All For The Nookie – Then Escaped

In 2013, a wild tiger sauntered happily out of the forest and onto the grounds of India's Nandankanan Zoo. Rationalizing the tiger had showed up to try and get with the zoo’s captive female, zookeepers took a chance and threw open the door to the enclosure. The male tiger happily wandered into the tiger enclosure and promptly made himself right at home

For the next several weeks, the tiger seemed happy to eat, nap, pace, and, of course, have sex. Then, as nonchalantly as he arrived, he escaped, scaling a two-story security wall in order to make his escape. To this day, the tiger remains at large.


Penguin 337 Escaped The Tokyo Zoo And Remained At Large For Two Months

In 2012, a Humboldt penguin named 337 managed to scale a wall and squeeze through a hole in the fence at the Tokyo Sea Life Park. It then remained at large in Japan’s capital city for nearly two months before it was recovered.

Perhaps most surprisingly, 337 was able to subsist in the urban landscape relatively unscathed. When he was spotted and recovered, a spokesman for the Tokyo Sea Life Park said the penguin was in good health and had even managed to hunt successfully, maintaining its weight throughout the ordeal.


175 Rhesus Monkeys Escaped A Long Island Zoo In 1935

Admittedly, there are conflicting reports on this story even in reputable newspapers, but the basic facts go something like this: Led by a rhesus monkey named Capone, more than 150 rhesus monkeys (the Chicago Tribune put the number at 175) escaped a Long Island Zoo for several days in 1935. 

Most reports agree that the monkeys’ keeper was going about his normal cleaning duties when the monkeys made their move. He placed a board across the moat that spanned the rhesus monkeys’ island and went to work. Meanwhile, the enterprising rhesus monkeys simply walked across the board to freedom. Again, reports here conflict. While the Tribune said the keeper was set upon by the horde, the Evening Post played the story a bit more wholesomely.

Ultimately, the zoo offered locals a free season pass (or just plain money) if they could return the missing monkeys to their home. It's unclear if all were returned.


Ken Allen, The Orangutan, Escaped To Taunt His Orangutan Enemy

During the summer of 1985, an orangutan named Ken Allen at the world famous San Diego Zoo repeatedly outsmarted his keepers for several months. He would escape by climbing the retaining wall that separated him from the public using a series of virtually non-existent handholds. Allen's industrious climbing stumped zoo employees and inspired a fan club that grew with each successful escape attempt.

The first time Ken Allen escaped, he wandered around the zoo staring at the other animals before he was led back to his spot. The second time, Ken Allen took the opportunity to visit a much-despised fellow orangutan named Otis in order to throw rocks at him. The third time, Ken Allen found a crowbar left behind by a zoo employee but didn't use it.

After that, employees began to keep watch on Ken Allen to figure out how he was climbing out of his enclosure. Like any good convict, Ken Allen stopped trying to escape when eyes were on him. Even when zoo employees went undercover as tourists, Allen still wasn’t fooled. The zoo had to hire expert rock climbers to figure out how he was getting out and then spent $40,000 to fix the rocks so he couldn't access his escape route anymore.



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Fri, 17 Mar 2017 08:58:04 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/wildest-zoo-escapes/justin-andress
<![CDATA[12 Theories About The Identity Of Supreme Leader Snoke In Star Wars]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/star-wars-supreme-leader-snoke-identity-theories/tamar-altebarmakian?source=rss

Who is Snoke? That's the question Star Wars fans have been asking before The Force Awakens was even released. While several people working on the production of the new Star Wars trilogy have supposedly debunked many fans’ theories, remember that creators can and do lie about the details of their projects, sometimes because they’re under contract to do so and sometimes for the sake of not spoiling a big reveal within a movie.

From the plausible to the downright nonsensical, there are some great (well, at least entertaining) theories about the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke. Theories and conspiracies abound everywhere from canon to the Expanded Universe (or Legends) – and before you say that they wouldn’t bring a character from Legends into the main canon, remember the non-canon character Thrawn was brought back into the Star Wars Universe with very few changes in the animated series Star Wars Rebels

Now, in the words of Old Ben Kenobi, let’s look at this from a certain point of view and try to uncover the truth about Supreme Leader Snoke’s identity.


12 Theories About The Identity Of Supreme Leader Snoke In Star Wars,

Snoke Is Palpatine

One of the biggest criticisms of The Force Awakens is that it recycled many plot points from A New Hope. Therefore, some fans might be upset if the following theory from Reddit user EpicEnder99 about Snoke being Palpatine turns out to be true. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Palpatine was thrown down the second Death Star’s reactor shaft, resulting in the Sith Lord’s death. 

However, if anyone were to survive that kind of fall, it would be Palpatine. He was one of the most powerful Force users in the galaxy, and if Darth Maul could survive a similar fall, chances are Palpatine could as well. Also, Snoke has what appear to be burns covering his face, which could be explained by the energy burst that travels up the shaft after Palpatine falls. 

There’s also the possibility that Palpatine managed to possess another being just before his body was destroyed. In the Empire’s End comics, Palpatine was resurrected when he transferred his spirit into one of the many clones he had created of himself. While this event is no longer part of the official canon, some of the movies and shows have set a precedent for borrowing material from Legends.


Snoke Is Darth Plagueis

Despite what J.J. Abrams and others involved in the production of The Force Awakens have said about Snoke not secretly being Plagueis, fans of science fiction franchises in general and Abrams in particular are familiar with this game – Khan, anyone? For those of you who (understandably) fell asleep during the prequels, Plagueis was Palpatine’s master. He was a supremely powerful Sith Lord who supposedly found a way to cheat death.

One compelling bit of evidence that supports the theory that Snoke is Plagueis is in the respective scores of Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens. As the video above illustrates, the music playing when Palpatine tells Anakin the story of Darth Plagueis is nearly identical to Snoke’s theme in The Force AwakensThis theory from Reddit user DatAEK971 operates on the belief that Plagueis knew Palpatine was going to attempt to kill him and somehow managed to trick Palpatine into believing he succeeded.

Some concrete facts we do know about Snoke is that he is a) old and, b) has been watching events unfold from the shadows. As is mentioned in the book The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Snoke says that he “watched the Galactic Empire rise, and then fall.” From this, it can be implied that Plagueis played a key role in the rise of the Empire.

He secretly orchestrated a number of key events that led to the formation of the Empire, most notably the building of the clone army and the appointment of Palpatine as the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. Also, the novelization of The Force Awakens describes Snoke as being “tall and gaunt” and “humanoid but not human.” Plagueis was not human, but a Muun – a species described as “thin, tall humanoids.” Although the cast and crew of the new trilogy have emphatically denied that Snoke is Plagueis, it remains the most compelling theory.


Snoke Is Gallius Rax

Some argue, like the above video, that Galius Rax from the canon Aftermath trilogy is actually Snoke. Rax was an admiral in the Empire who tried to rebuild the Empire after the events of Return of the Jedi. The most compelling evidence to support this theory is Rax’s close connection to Palpatine.

As a young boy, Rax snuck onto Palpatine’s ship. Upon finding the boy, Palaptine told him, “I sense in you potential. A destiny. Most people have no destiny.” Although Rax is killed in the final book of the Aftermath trilogy, many Star Wars characters have found a way around death, and that destiny Palpatine spoke of could be training Kylo Ren as the head of the First Order.


Snoke Is Just A Completely New Character

The reigning theory amongst the “who is Snoke?” theories is not a theory at all – some fans just think he’s an entirely new character. This would fall in line with what the cast and crew of the new trilogy have said about Snoke’s identity, as they’ve repeatedly debunked theory after theory.

Andy Serkis, who plays Snoke in the films, was quoted saying, “He’s a new addition to the storyline.” And Pablo Hidalgo, the creative executive at Lucasfilm, actually made some handouts that perfectly encapsulate his feelings on the matter. They read, rather succinctly, "Your Snoke Theory Sucks." 


Snoke Is The Original Chosen One

The novel Darth Plagueis describes how Palpatine’s master attempted to manipulate midi-chlorians to create a living embodiment of the Force. This supposedly resulted in the creation of Anakin Skywalker, who was prophesied as the Chosen One, the one who would bring balance to the Force.

There is a theory, however, from Reddit user dacalpha which posits that Snoke is a prototype of the Chosen One, inadvertently created by Plagueis’s experiments. This would explain Snoke’s malformed appearance, since he would essentially be a failed version of the Chosen One.



 


Snoke Is The Grand Inquisitor

Another popular theory, detailed in the video above, postulates that Snoke is actually the Grand Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels. The Grand Inquisitor was a Force-trained being who answered directly to Darth Vader, tasked with finding and eliminating the remaining Jedi. So, what are the tenants of this hypothesis? 

Snoke and the Inquisitor have similar facial features, and both are very powerful Force users. While the Inquisitor died on an episode of Rebels, just before his death, he told Kanan, “You have no idea what you’ve unleashed here. There are some things more frightening than death.” This ominous warning could have foreshadowed his return as someone greater and even more powerful, like Supreme Leader Snoke.


Snoke Is Galen Marek

Galen Marek, AKA Starkiller, was Darth Vader’s secret apprentice who eventually turned to the light side in the Force Unleashed video games. While the original Starkiller was killed by Palpatine, Vader made multiple clones of Marek and sought to make the most impressive of the clones his new apprentice. One theory, outlined in the above video, argues that Snoke is the cloned Marek that Vader attempted to make his new apprentice, or he's a rogue clone who escaped the cloning facility on Kamino.

If Snoke is intent on finishing what Vader started, just as Kylo Ren is, it would make a lot of sense for him to have served as Vader’s apprentice. Although Marek’s clone also eventually turned to the light side, he could have very easily turned back and decided to build his own Empire with the First Order. Snoke being Marek would explain his extensive knowledge of the Empire as well as the origin of the name Starkiller Base. 


Snoke Is Jar Jar Binks

As far-fetched as this theory from Reddit user Lumpawarroo might sound, there’s a lot of intriguing evidence to support it. The theory argues that Jar Jar is a highly intelligent and manipulative Force user who knowingly plays a part in the formation of the Empire and the rise of Palpatine. If turns out to be true, it would redeem George Lucas in the eyes of many fans who were outraged by Jar Jar as a character.

A big portion of this theory is based on the belief that Jar Jar is as skilled a warrior as the Jedi, outwitting his enemies with relative ease. His fighting style is supposedly modeled after a popular kung fu discipline called Drunken Fist wushu. This skill is used to deceive others into thinking you are uncoordinated and beating your opponents with sheer luck, but in truth each move is highly calculated.

The most convincing evidence that supports the Darth Jar Jar theory is the link between Palpatine and Jar Jar – they did come from the same planet – and the Gungan’s ability to convince the Senate to grant emergency powers to Palpatine, effectively ensuring the rise of the Empire.

According to Ahmed Best, the actor who played Jar Jar in the films, there was a deleted scene which gives credibility to the Darth Jar Jar theory. He said of the scene: "It was a very dark, very personal, very quiet scene, but for some reason, Palpatine decided to confide in Jar Jar that pretty much he was going to wreak havoc.” If the theory is correct, then it's entirely plausible that Jar Jar filled the power vacuum left behind when Palpatine died and established himself as Snoke. 


Snoke Is The Son Of Mortis

This Snoke theory comes from Reddit user ReptoidRyuu. The supposition is that the Son from The Clone Wars “Mortis” arc is actually Snoke. For the unfamiliar, the Son was one of three Force wielders Anakin met on the planet Mortis. These potent beings, also called The Ones, came from a species of highly powerful shapeshifting Force users. While on Mortis, the Son attempts to lure Anakin to the dark side by showing him his eventual fall, but he ultimately fails and is killed by Anakin.

So what do Snoke and the Son have in common? Well, many fans have noted the striking resemblance between the two. They’re both tall, thin, bald humanoids. Beyond that, there isn’t much evidence connecting the two characters. However, one interesting bit of speculation links the Ones’ ability to erase people’s memories with The Force Awakens.

In one scene, the Father erases Anakin’s memories of his future as Vader. In The Force Awakens, it seems as though Rey has had her memories of her family erased. Mind wiping is a rare Force power that is typically only performed by incredibly powerful Force users. If Snoke is the Son, he would have had little trouble erasing Rey’s memories of her family and early childhood.  


Snoke Is Mace Windu

A popular, if divisive, theory posits that Mace Windu is Supreme Leader Snoke. It’s no secret that the purple-lightsaber-wielding Jedi Master didn't exactly get on with Anakin Skywalker. The theory, detailed in the above video, claims that Windu survived the fall from Palpatine’s window and returned to seek revenge on the Skywalker family because he blamed Anakin for the fall of the Jedi and the Republic.

The most convincing piece of evidence to support this theory is the fact that Kylo Ren uses one of Mace Windu’s signature moves in lightsaber combat. This suggests that Windu, as Snoke, trained Kylo Ren in his favored lightsaber techniques. The theory also alleges that Finn is actually Windu’s son, though the evidence for that particular point is rather thin.



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Fri, 10 Mar 2017 03:38:38 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/star-wars-supreme-leader-snoke-identity-theories/tamar-altebarmakian
<![CDATA[What To Expect When You're Expecting To Turn Into A Werewolf]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-steps-of-transforming-into-a-werewolf/lyra-radford?source=rss

Folklore and pop culture has codified the steps of how you turn into a werewolf, and it's not pretty. While the end result might be cool, the steps of turning into a werewolf are all pretty painful for your human form to handle. There is usually a lot of screaming, snapping, stretching, and howling involved.

The most common version of a werewolf is a cross between a man and a wolf, usually depicted as a wolf-like creature capable of walking upright on two legs. However, in other variants, the transformation process turns a man into a wolf completely, and he retains no human features or mannerisms whatsoever.

Plenty of movies, television shows, and comics have demonstrated slight variations to the traditional werewolf transformation process, adding their spin on what happens when you turn into a werewolf, but the key steps tend to stay the same. This list walks you through the process of turning into a werewolf step by step in all its gruesome glory. 


What To Expect When You're Expecting To Turn Into A Werewolf,

Sharp Teeth Emerge

Every lycanthrope is sure to grow a brand new set of fangs, which usually begin forming at the same time as the snout. This is because you're getting more teeth than your human mouth can possibly accommodate. Your old teeth may begin to elongate, or in some cases, they’ll just fall right out of your face, as new fangs fit for flesh-tearing burst through your gums.


Your Face Contorts And Splits As Your Snout Forms

As the transformation process nears its completion, your face will push forward and split away as a snout forms. Your jaw dislodges to make room for a massive, deadly maw. It's as if someone just grabbed your face and yanked a new one straight out.


Your Skin Stretches And Tightens Over The New Form

Once your bones begin repositioning themselves, your skin has to move, too. While skin can be pretty elastic, it's likely your skin will shred in some places and stretch in others. But after the gooey mess is over, a new, tightened, fully-formed (albeit fuzzy) layer of skin eventually slides into place over your now stronger and more muscular physique.


Your Ears Become Pointed

Obviously, you’ll be getting new pointed wolf ears with enhanced hearing abilities - all the better to stalk your innocent prey. Unfortunately, the process looks just as painful as everything else. Your ears stretch up out of the side of your head like Laffy Taffy before taking their final form.


Your Eyes Turn Yellow

Whatever color your eyes were before, that's about to change - and it’s not just the iris that changes, your pupil changes, too. The yellow, glowing orbs of a predator radiate from your eye sockets, and your pupils dilate like a wolf's. Your eyes are now stripped of all humanity and replaced with the eyes of a hunter - usually including excellent night vision.


Your Bones Snap Into New Positions

Your entire body starts molding itself into its new werewolf shape, which is usually a lot taller and broader than a human and somewhat slouched. So bones begin to snap, lengthen, and pop through the skin and back into place. This creates an entirely new foundation.


Your Fingernails Grow Into Claws

What were once your normal human hands get mangled and your skin peels away like a banana. They are replaced with the large, hairy, dangerously clawed hands of a beast. Once your new body parts start popping out, a slimy, dog saliva-like substance oozes out along with blood from your snapping joints.  


You're Ready To Prowl

Your transformation into a devouring beast is now complete. Of course, in some PG versions, you're still wearing tattered pants.


Hair Sprouts All Over Your Body

Technically, the first step towards becoming a werewolf is surviving an attack from one, or being cursed by a some short of shaman or other mystical figure. However, the first sign of an onset of actual wolfie activity is usually hair. Sometimes it’s just strange patches appearing here and there on the newly infected for a few days until the full moon hits. Then it’s full-on fur sprouting from every inch of your body.



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Wed, 29 Mar 2017 06:42:55 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/the-steps-of-transforming-into-a-werewolf/lyra-radford
<![CDATA[18 Great Anime Series Most People Haven't Seen (Or Even Heard Of)]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-anime-people-haven-t-seen/anna-lindwasser?source=rss

So, you just got through your anime starter pack. You're wearing a Konohagakure headband and an Attack on Titan t-shirt, you write your grocery lists in a Death Note you bought on Amazon, and you know way more about volleyball than a person who doesn't play the game has any reason to know. It's understandable that you're eager to show off your newly acquired nerd cred, but not so fast — there's a ton of great anime no one knows about that you should watch.

If you want to be a true anime expert, you have to watch the obscure, high-quality anime that other people haven't seen. Try some of these criminally underrated anime, and see if you find something you like. And if you don't find anything, it's totally cool to go rewatch your favorite Miyazaki movie again. Hey, at least you tried, right?


18 Great Anime Series Most People Haven't Seen (Or Even Heard Of),

.hack//Sign

Fans of Sword Art Online should definitely consider checking out .hack//Sign, another (far superior) anime about the perils and pleasures of online gaming. While the animation may not be as slick, and the ideas about how online gaming works might seem antiquated, it's still a must-see. What makes .hack//Sign truly stand out is its exceptional soundtrack, written and performed by the inimitable Yuki Kajiura. 


Paradise Kiss

Paradise Kiss, an anime by the same folks who brought us the more popular Nana, is one of the few anime that takes an in-depth look at the process behind fashion design. If that's something you're into, Paradise Kiss is right up your alley.

Besides the unique subject matter, Paradise Kiss features creative character designs, fun interactions, and theme songs by the fabulous Tomoko Kawase and, unexpectedly, Franz Ferdinand.


Honey and Clover

If you enjoyed the smash hit March Comes in Like a Lion, you should check out one of the creator's older works, Honey & Clover. This coming-of-age series follows a group of art students as they struggle with romantic entanglements and self-discovery. With beautiful animation and intricately developed characters, Honey & Clover is a fantastic show to put on your watch list.


Haibane Renmei

If you liked Serial Experiments Lain, you should check out Yoshitoshi Abe's other project, Haibane Renmei. Haibane Renmei takes place in a dreamy, afterlife world where people wake up from "cocoon dreams" with a single memory that defines them for the rest of their existence as haibane, angel-like beings who live an ordered, isolated life. With gorgeous art and thought provoking ideas, this little-known series is one you should see if you haven't already.


Chihayafuru

Do you like the competitive aspect of the sports anime genre, but would rather they focused more on character development than cool new ways to smack a ball around? Would you have liked Yu-Gi-Oh! twenty times more if they'd spent more time showing you the actual relationships between the characters, instead of spending entire episode on a card game with no set rules that also inexplicably determined the fate of the world? Do you like awesome female protagonists? How about traditional Japanese poetry?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should watch Chihayafuru. The series takes us deep into the world of competitive karuta, a physically and mentally demanding card game based on Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, a Japanese anthology of one hundred poets.


The Eccentric Family

The Eccentric Family is one of the best anime you've never seen. It focuses on the Shimogamo family, a group of tanuki (mythological raccoon-like creatures who can transform into anything they want) struggling to cope with the loss of their father.

Boasting complex characters with nuanced and varied reactions to grief, colorful and exciting art, and scenes that range from madcap battles to philosophical debate about eating meat, this anime is one people have been missing out on for too long.


Welcome to the NHK

Tatasuhiro Satou is a depressed, paranoid shut-in who can't seem to get his life together. He eventually comes to believe that he's trapped in a never-ending cycle of porn addiction, joblessness, and suicidal thoughts because of a mass conspiracy perpetuated by the NHK, a television news network. With the help of Misaki, a neighbor girl with questionable motives, Satou gropes his way toward functional adulthood. 

What makes Welcome to the NHK so great is how painfully relatable it is. Now, most of us aren't hikikomori, but let's be real, the transition to from adolescence to adulthood is really hard. While the show's animation may be a little dated, the resonant stories it tells make it a gem of a series all the same. 


X/1999

X/1999 is one of CLAMP's lesser-known works. Originally produced in 1996, this movie focuses on life at the turn of the millennium. Kamui, the protagonist, must choose between aiding two powerful groups. One wants to protect the Earth, and the other wants to destroy it in a purification ritual.

Watching Kamui struggle to choose between the two factions is a delight, and so is seeing him finally make a decision in order to protect his childhood friends. 


Kodomo No Omocha

Kodomo no Omocha is worth watching for the opening theme alone. The shows starts with one of those songs that never gets old, even years after you finish the anime itself. Besides the song, Kodomo no Omocha is just plain fun.

The show focuses on Sana, a child pop star with a ton of energy, and her grumpy crush, Akito. While in many ways the sheries is your typical shojo romp, what makes it really stand out is Akito's tragic back story: his mother died giving birth to him, which created distance between him and the rest of his family. Instead of detracting from the upbeat nature of the show, this facet of Akito's life is handled compassionately and with respect, adding depth to all the characters involved. 


Charlotte

Yuu Otosaka, the protagonist of Charlotte, can slip into people's minds and control them for brief periods of time. He's not the only one with amazing powers — in fact, there's a whole school full of gifted individuals at Hoshinoumi Academy. Because the government is out to capture people with special abilities, Yuu and his friends track down and protect people with powers.

You'll like this anime if you liked Angel Beats, another (more popular) project by Charlotte's creator Jun Maeda. You'll also like it if you like X-Men, because Charlotte is basically anime X-Men. Except, you know, not terrible



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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:45:42 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-anime-people-haven-t-seen/anna-lindwasser
<![CDATA[13 Extremely Rare Historical Artifacts Discovered In Pawn Shops]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-objects-found-in-pawn-shops/brent-sprecher?source=rss

Pawn shops have always had the rather unsavory reputation of being places where unscrupulous store owners take advantage of desperate people in need of quick cash or as quasi-legal fronts for the sale of stolen goods. It hasn't helped that they are typically dimly lit, over-stuffed with an assortment of disparate items, and tend to have dangerous weapons on display. Thanks to popular reality shows that feature pawn shop owners and their customers – and due to the sluggish economy, which has forced record numbers of people to look for alternative sources of cash – pawn shops are experiencing something of a cultural resurgence.

It's not just the cash-strapped who are venturing into pawn shops today, either. Those looking to get rich have added pawn shops to their treasure-seeking circuits of flea markets and swap meets. Sure, you could go diving in the open ocean, dig around in dirty construction sites, or risk your life in abandoned properties looking for treasure, but why not just take a walk down to your local pawn shop, where you might find a historical object sitting on the shelf between kitschy tchotchkes. And found they have been; from archaeological rarities to priceless artifacts, pawn shop customers (and the FBI!) have come across all kinds of crazy historical objects in pawn shops. 


13 Extremely Rare Historical Artifacts Discovered In Pawn Shops,

Museum's Stolen WWI Gas Mask

For nearly a century, curators of the Wyoming State Museum were searching for a World War I-era German gas mask originally owned by US Army Sgt. Robert O. Pennewell, who donated the item to the museum. The gas mask went missing almost immediately upon being added to the museum's collection, along with several other items that disappeared while they were either on display or in storage in the building in the 1920s.

Thanks to the Internet, officials were finally able to track down the stolen object when a pawn shop owner from Rapid City, South Dakota, listed it for sale on eBay. Chris Johnson, the owner of the shop, acquired the gas mask from a man who had apparently owned it for many years and valued it at $300.

Johnson said that he got a "sinking feeling" after finding out the item was stolen, but said that he was happy to donate the mask to the Cheyenne museum, adding that "you can't put a price tag" on doing the right thing like sending a historical object "back to the rightful owners."


Archaeological Artifacts Smuggled Out Of Panama

Though he apparently thought of himself as an "Indiana Jones type," the FBI did not have the same opinion of John Shaw, a former teacher and pawn shop owner who smuggled countless pieces of pre-Columbian pottery and gold out of Panama during the 1980s. At the time, Shaw was teaching at a US military base in Panama and used his off time to unearth extremely rare and culturally significant items from an unknown site with his Panamanian wife, Fatima.

Back in the States, Shaw and Fatima sold items at their pawn shop in Klamath Falls, OR, at flea markets, and on the Internet. Despite Shaw's tendency to boast, no one discovered the smuggled loot until years after Shaw's death, when Fatima gave most of the items to an ex-boyfriend as collateral for a loan. The ex-boyfriend contacted the FBI, and Fatima handed over the stash without incident.

In a 2009 ceremony at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, the US government formally handed over the artifacts to the Panamanian government. Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, manager of the FBI's art-theft program, commented on Shaw's boasts, saying, "[this] is not an Indiana Jones story. The theft strips Panamanians of their cultural heritage."


Aaron Burr's Letters

A customer at a Vero Beach, Florida, pawn shop scored two pieces of American history when he purchased two letters signed by one of the most controversial politicians in American history: Aaron Burr. Burr was the Vice President of the United States under Thomas Jefferson and became notorious for killing Founding Father Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Burr was not charged for Hamilton's murder, but he was charged with treason in 1807 and lived the rest of his life in obscurity.

The letters were passed down through the generations by the Abbott family, who were clients of Burr's during his time as a lawyer. They were kept in "dime store frames to detract from their value" in the home of Leslie and Robert Abbott, but that didn't seem to fool the thief who stole them – and other items – and pawned them for $300. They were purchased only a few days later and, though police recovered many of the Abbotts's items, the Burr letters were never recovered.


Antique Arm Bands Used As Both Money And Protection

In the 1930s, one of the "largest private collections of unusual money" belonged to Howard D. Gibbs of Pittsburgh, PA. Gibbs's collection was so large and varied that it was once featured in Popular Science Magazine. Gibbs traveled far and wide to collect his unusual forms of wealth, but one of his greatest finds came from a pawn shop in Chicago, IL, where he purchased three antique Kurdish "coins" from the broker.

The Kurdish people – now predominantly living in portions of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey – have gained and lost territory for centuries. Because of their history of invasions and relocations, Kurdish "money" took a different form than other cultures' money. Instead of gold and silver coins or bars, Kurds fashioned their precious metals into bands, which they would wear on their arms if they had to pick up and move in a hurry. These arm bands were also used for defense from sword slashes and arrow strikes. 


A Priceless Hoard Of Gold, Precious Stones, And Jewelry

Construction work is a difficult job with few perks. Long hours and body aches are about the most that can be expected, especially for workers in London in 1912. It's not too surprising then that when a crew with pickaxes demolishing a tenement house near St. Paul's Cathedral found a box filled with gold, silver, precious stones, and jewelry, they didn't think twice about stuffing their pockets with the loot. After work, the crew took their stash to a local pawn shop owner named George Fabian Lawrence to unload the booty.

As it turns out, Lawrence happened to also be the inspector of excavations for the London Museum, and he recognized the hoard of 400 items as rare and valuable artifacts dating to the late-16th and early-17th centuries. Among the gold, diamonds, and other jewels, was an emerald-studded salamander, a bejeweled perfume bottle, and a Swiss watch set in a giant piece of Columbian emerald. The items, now called the Cheapside Hoard, are still on display at the Museum of London and considered quite "unique in the world."


The First Latin American Nobel Peace Prize

Carlos Saavedra Lamas of Argentina was the first ever Latin American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize when he was awarded the prestigious medal in 1936 for his role in brokering peace between Paraguay and Bolivia and ending the Chaco War. The medal no doubt held a place of honor in Lamas's home during his life, but it "fell into darkness" following his death.

The rare historical medal was considered lost forever until an American collector heard that it was up for sale in a South American pawn shop. The shop owner had purchased the medal for its value in gold bullion – a 23-karat medal weighs 222.4 grams and was worth more than $9,000 at the time – but knew that it was worth more for its historical value and saved it from being melted down.

Ute Wartenberg, executive director of the American Numismatic Society, called the find "an incredible rarity" and said, "I can't think of many public collections that have a Nobel Prize, never mind a Nobel Peace Prize medal."


John F. Kennedy's Oval Office Humidor

To honor John F. Kennedy on his inauguration day, Milton Berle had Alfred Dunhill of London create a unique walnut box for the future president, complete with a small plaque that reads: "To J.F.K. Good Health--Good Smoking. Milton Berle, 1/20/61." The box cost Berle between $800 and $1,000 at the time, which would be nearly $8,000 today.

The humidor was kept on Kennedy's desk in the Oval Office during his time as President and somehow ended up in the hands of a private collector after his death. The humidor was sold to a pawn shop in Las Vegas for $60,000, which was well below the seller's asking price. The seller got an even worse deal than he thought, however, because the humidor was auctioned off at Sotheby's for $575,000 in 1996 and is now in the collection of the publisher of Cigar Aficionado magazine. 


Stolen Artwork From One Of America's Greatest Artists

You don't usually go browsing in a pawn shop looking to find fine art. Well, maybe you do if you go shop at a Beverly Hills pawn shop. That's where four stolen oil-on-canvas paintings by N.C. Wyeth, considered one of the greatest American illustrators and painters, were discovered by a Beverly Hills Police Detective Specialist in a high-end pawn shop in 2015. The paintings are collectively valued at between $1 million and $2 million.

In total, six paintings by Wyeth were stolen from the private art collection of a Portland, Maine, businessman in 2013. Because of the value and importance of the paintings, the theft was considered "the most significant theft in the history of [Maine]," and the FBI in Los Angeles was notified to be on the lookout for them.

Detective Specialist Michelle Fieler discovered the paintings were at the high-end Dina Collection pawn shop while going through thousands of pawn slips from the 74 pawn shops in Beverly Hills. The remaining two paintings were not immediately recovered, so the FBI offered a $20,000 reward for tips leading to their recovery. They were later found in Boston. 


Reggae Legend Peter Tosh's Grammy Award

Even the casual fan of reggae music knows the name Peter Tosh. For 11 years, from 1963-1974, Tosh was one of the core members of The Wailers, alongside Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley. Tosh eventually went solo, and his 1976 track, "Legalize It," became a marijuana legalization anthem that still resonates today. He was murdered in his home in 1987 and posthumously won the 1988 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Recording for his album No Nuclear War.

In 2016, Tosh's Grammy was found sitting in the storefront window of a Boston pawn shop. The priceless piece of music history had apparently been given as collateral on a loan by a Tosh family member. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences forbids the sale of Grammy Awards, so the pawn shop owner is hoping that the increased sale of items from curious fans taking selfies with the award will make up for any potential losses for receiving it.


Pre-Historic Wooly Mammoth Fossil

Most people who walk into a pawn shop to take out a short-term loan against their collateral bring with them gold, jewelry, electronics, musical instruments, or firearms. But the customer that walked into Nathan Segal's Virginia pawn shop in 1996 looking to borrow $600 brought in something far rarer as collateral: the fossilized tooth of a wooly mammoth, which could be tens or even hundreds of thousands of years old.

The customer never returned for the tooth, but don't expect to buy the unique piece of pre-history for yourself because Segal's not selling it: "Things like this, I just have to keep for myself."



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Fri, 07 Apr 2017 05:03:20 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-objects-found-in-pawn-shops/brent-sprecher
<![CDATA[Photographer Captures Amazing Invisible Light Plants Emit With UV Photography]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/photographer-captures-amazing-invisible-light-plants-emit-with-uv-photography/katejacobson?source=rss

Plants can do some pretty incredible things. From root systems that grow for miles to vines that can literally kill you, plants are some of the world's most complex organisms. And for photographer Craig Burrows, one of the most amazing things about plants is the invisible light they emit under ultraviolet light.

Burrows, who specializes in ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence photography (UVIVF for short), just released a new collection of spectacular photos that show another side of plants. Using ultraviolet light, Burrows captured colorful organic material on flowers and plants usually unseen to the human eye. By putting plants under UV light, Burrows created plant photography like none other. 

"In the same way a T-shirt glows under a black light, most organic material glows at least a little with UV stimulation and in all kinds of color," Burrows wrote. "These photos capture something we always see, but never can observe."

To see more of Burrows's ultraviolet light photography, check out his website


Photographer Captures Amazing Invisible Light Plants Emit With UV Photography,

Koelreuteria

Narcissus

Jade plant

Juvenile Blanket Flower

Calla Lily, Part Two

White Hollystock

Angel's Trumpet

Kangaroo's Paw Flower, Part Two

Evening Primrose

Purple Alyssum


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Wed, 12 Apr 2017 01:35:07 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/photographer-captures-amazing-invisible-light-plants-emit-with-uv-photography/katejacobson
<![CDATA[16 Underrated Historical Monuments That Should Be Wonders of the Ancient World]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/underrated-ancient-monuments/carly-silver?source=rss

There are only seven official Wonders of the Ancient World, but considering all of the amazing things you can find on planet Earth, it's a true wonder there aren't more. There are tons of other ancient wonders that are intricate in their execution and stunning in their size that also have great historical significance. While there are plenty of modern structures worthy of the moniker Wonder, the ancient places below are truly sites of awe-inspiring beauty.

Among these ancient wonders of the world that didn't make the list - the official one, anyway - you'll find the ancient Persian capital city of Persepolis, the monumental stunner that is Machu Picchu in Peru, the majestic pyramids of Meroe in modern Sudan, and ancient Rome's own Colosseum. Surely, all these amazing monuments are things that should have been ancient wonders, just as they stun the modern eye.


16 Underrated Historical Monuments That Should Be Wonders of the Ancient World,

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat was the former epicenter of the Khmer kingdom in what is now known as Cambodia. This massive temple complex is the largest religious monument in the world. The temple complex and the surrounding city began construction in the 9th century, but its main temple was erected in the 12th century. Khmer King Suryavarman II transformed the temple from a monument to the Hindu god Vishnu to a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century.

The complete complex is absolutely massive. It is about 402 acres, equipped with a 213-foot-tall tower and surrounded by a giant moat. The nearby city was also quite large at its height - nearly a million people lived there. 


Ciudad Perdida

Ciudad Perdida - located in Colombia - literally translates from Spanish to "the Lost City." It was built 300 years after Machu Piccu - another ancient Latin America site - and spread out over 75 acres. It has 200 buildings that can be accessed by a 1,200 step staircase. But it probably wasn't a ceremonial center like Machu Picchu. It most likely served as a residential city where only a few thousand people lived. It remained occupied until the Spanish conquistadors invaded and massacred the inhabitants about 400 years after it was built.

It was rediscovered in 1972 by a group of treasure looters who found the stone staircase. Inside the city, they found gold figurines and ceramic urns, which they sold on the black market. Archeologist discovered the artifacts, and four years later made their way to the lost city. Local native tribes said they always knew of the city's existence but kept quiet about it. 


Colosseum

Now known as the Colosseum, this giant amphitheater in Rome began construction under the reign of Emperor Vespasian in the 70s CE. His son Titus finished it up a few years later, celebrating with 100 days of games and fights. The huge arena inside was covered in sand, perhaps dyed red to conceal blood, and played host to gladiatorial combats, sea battles (they flooded the arena for these), and wild animal fights. Also called the Flavian Amphitheater - named for Vespasian and Titus, whose family name was Flavius - it could seat between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. 


Great Wall of China

Emperor Qin Shih Huang Di - the first emperor of a united China who built himself a terracotta army for eternity - also commissioned the Great Wall of China. While his vision wasn't the wall we all know today, it was the framework for it. Successive emperors of later dynasties constructed the other major portions of it.

Some of the original construction actually dated before the Qin emperor, and were regular military garrisons. Qin ordered various northern walls all be linked up to create one mega-wall to protect his empire against "barbarians" and feudal lords. Overtime, the wall grew to be 12,500 miles long, much of which still stands today.


Hadrian's Wall

Named after the man who ordered its construction, Hadrian's Wall marked off the northwestern end of the Roman Empire for a long time. Extending 73 miles and measuring eight feet wide, the wall is peppered with little forts to house soldiers. Its purpose? To separate the "barbarians" from the Romans

Emperor Hadrian - the leader of the Holy Roman Empire - commissioned the wall in 122 CE. It crossed Britain from the town of Wallsend on the River Tyne to the North Sea at Solway Firth. Along the wall's path are turrets and Roman forts meant to act as patrol bases. At the time of its conception, Hadrian was experiencing pushback from Brits to the north. Fearing rebellion, he build a wall to keep a possible uprising out. It's common misconception the wall is the border between England and Scotland. While the Scottish border is actually less than a mile from the wall, they have nothing to do with one another. 


Machu Picchu

This stunning complex located in the mountains of Peru is comprised of 200 religious and ceremonial structures. Perhaps once a sacred retreat for Incan royals, Machu Picchu boasted incredible masonry techniques - its granite blocks were fitted together without mortar - and even a sacred sundial. The city was eventually abandoned after the Spanish brutally slaughtered the Inca, but it was uncovered again in 1911 by American historian Hiram Bingham. In 1981, Peru declared the site as a historical sanctuary, and two years later the United Nationals Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization named the site as a World Heritage Site.  


Terracotta Army

Qin Shih Huang Di, the first official emperor of a united China, was an extraordinary, yet brutal, ruler. Born Ying Zheng, Emperor Qin took to the throne at age 13 in 246 BCE. He believed in military power, and rapidly expanded China's borders with force. He is also credited for building the first part of what is now known as the Great Wall of China. 

Through his life, Qin was on a quest for immortality and was obsessed with death. Almost immediately after ascending to the throne, he commissioned his tomb to be built in modern-day Xi'an. He employed 700,000 workers to build a personal army of 6,000 terracotta statues of soldiers and horses, each one with individualized features and insignia of rank. Uncovered in the 1970s, this "terracotta army" would accompany the king in life just as they did in life.


Petra

This stunning city served as a crossroads between many different trade routes in the late 1st century BCE, but what makes this city truly unforgettable is its amazing architecture. Many of its tombs and other buildings are made with intricate stonework. While some buildings are free standing, many are carved out of the side of mountains and rockfaces. It also has a complex hydraulic engineering system throughout the city. The people that lived here during its early years were known for their skilled craftsmanship of textiles, metals, and pottery. 

In modern times, the city is most recognized from the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The city still has gorgeous temples, including Al-Khazneh, or "the Treasury." Builders of this ancient city combined diverse cultural influences from the many travelers residing there or passing through. Because of this, Petra features a diversity of buildings, ranging from theaters to dining rooms, cut from the living rock.


Ziggurat of Ur

The Ziggurat is a stepped pyramid constructed with a series of mud and brick platforms in ancient Mesopotamia. At the end of the 3rd millennium BCE., King Ur-Nammu of Ur, a Mesopotamian city-state, began to build monumental temple-towers in the form of ziggurats. Surrounded by a double wall and containing a sacred space dedicated to the god Nanna, the moon god on the top, the entire complex once occupied 124 acres. Basically, the higher up you went, the more sacred and exclusive the space. 


Pyramids of Meroe

Located in modern Sudan, these pyramids are relics of the Kushite civilization of ancient Nubia. They're different than their northern counterparts - steeper and a bit smaller - and there are about 200 of them all together. While their pyramids are different from the Egyptian pyramids, the residents of ancient Nubia interacted with the Egyptians to their north, creating a cultural and ideological exchange.

These were built between 2,300 and 2,700 years ago. Their design elements include cultural influences from Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Tourism used to boom in this region, but in the past 30 or so years has slowed down substantial. This is partly due to civil war in the country and the conflict in Darfur. 



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Wed, 21 Sep 2016 03:00:21 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/underrated-ancient-monuments/carly-silver
<![CDATA[Navigating The Treacherous Straits Of Elizabethan Manners]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-elizabethan-etiquette-rules/justin-andress?source=rss

England was the clear winner of the latter half of the 16th century. Flourishing under the reign of their industrious and stylish monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, it was between 1558 and 1603 that England emerged as the world’s first real superpower. 

Elizabethan England also saw the birth of a cultural and courtly movement that makes even the most stringent and alien ritualized historical decorum look like totally reasonable practices. Sure, England was winning history at the time, but some of the rules of aristocratic etiquette they and the rest of the world operated under were straight up bananas. Their social decorum and crazy Elizabethan manners belied the growing strength of Elizabeth’s England. It’s almost as though the monarch needed an outlet for silliness just to keep her head on straight while she was busy taking over the rest of the world.


Navigating The Treacherous Straits Of Elizabethan Manners,

Manners Were Much More Than Simply Rules Of Proper Conduct

In Elizabethan England, proper manners were more than just how you addressed higher classes or how you picked up your fork. “Manners” were the sum total of a person’s social actions, taste in fashion, and sense of refinement. Even the skill with which someone danced could be lumped in with the perception of their manners.

In Elizabethan society, when people were praised for good manners it was the highest compliment that could be paid. If word got around you had bad manners, it meant being ostracized from “proper” society, a fate that brought not only shame but real social and economic consequences.


Good Manners Were Physically Beaten Into Elizabethan Children

While day-to-day manners were practiced most rigidly by the upper class, even the poorest children were introduced to the importance of proper social behavior at an early age. From the ages five to seven, most English boys were enrolled in local petty schools

It was in this initial introduction to education that proper manners were taught alongside basic language skills and “good Christian” values. Those skills were (horrifyingly) reinforced by a rigorous 12 to 13 hour day as well as liberally applied beatings. This early, intense indoctrination to basic Elizabethan values was intended to help the young not only conform to society, but also respect the rigid formula of manners to which the nobility adhered.


There Were So, So Many Wrong Ways To Remove Your Hat

Anytime someone found themselves in the presence of a cultural superior, good taste dictated that they remove their hat. Of course, it wasn't as simple as getting your hat off your head, you had to take it off exactly correctly, and then hold it in a respectable manner.

In order to get the move correct, gentlemen needed to grab their hat by the brim with their right hand and then drop their arm directly. Then, gentlemen should pretend to kiss their left hand. “For since this is the hand belonging to the heart, he thus performs an act of cordiality; consider also that by this behavior he will not only appear attractive and gracious to all observers, but will also escape any appearance of imperfection …” Once the hat was doffed, it had to be held facing the right thigh, so as to cover up a potentially sweaty hat band.


Courtly Reverence Was A Matter Of Physical Safety

Any person who was hoping to take a few steps up the social ladder in Elizabethan England eventually needed to meet the monarch. When doing so, there was a rigid series of steps required to display your respect for the nation’s ruler. These were not just due to the king or queen’s inflated ego, however. They were intended to keep the monarch safe.

So when you approached the king, you had to make sure that you kept your hands down at your sides. If you were wearing a cloak or riding cape, it was important to see that it was an even length on both sides, and - when you knelt before the king or queen - to grab it with your hands and hold it slightly aloft.

This seemingly irrational and ostentatious display was actually to meant to assure the monarch that visitors weren’t hiding a weapon. The various bows were meant to not only display their reverence, but give the guards several angles on the visitor.


Wedding Rings And Vows Were Popularized In Elizabethan England

Happiness was a luxury that not even the richest people in England could afford. As a result, falling in love wasn’t usually a big part of being married to someone. Even at lower socioeconomic levels, marriage was largely a business arrangement. Boys were pushed into marriage as early as 14, while girls were married off as early as 12.

It was in Elizabethan England that wedding rings and vows were introduced into the ceremony as well, ostensibly as symbols of the impending union and its good intent. In reality, the rings also served as a kind of final payment for the bride. 


Dinner Was A Minefield Of Potential Mistakes

When you sat down to dinner at a fancy party in Elizabethan England, the odds were good the uninitiated were going to screw up. When in doubt, though, just keep in mind that the general rule of thumb is to avoid comfort and fun at all costs.

Keep your elbows off the table. Make sure your hands and nails are clean before sitting down. Absolutely wear tails, and make sure they’re an even length. Don’t blow on your food. Take your hat off. Resist the temptation to stroke any dogs or cats that pass by. Don’t scratch yourself.

Perhaps because eating is the most slovenly thing that we all do in public, table manners were extremely important in Elizabethan England. The sheer volume of books, periodicals, and children's literature focusing on table manners is one clear sign that they were invaluable in Elizabethan society.


You Always Had To Keep The Upper Class On Your Right

In Elizabethan England, the right side was considered a place of honor, while the left side was for the masses. When meeting the king for the first time, visitors were compelled to kneel several times after entering the room before actually reaching the monarch’s presence. At each bow, people were instructed to keep the king or queen on their right side, lest the monarch be led to believe that their visitor has notions of superiority. 

The monarch was also often seated just to the right of center at banquets and formal functions, in order to signify his or her prominent place in society. In the moments when the monarch did a Sorkin-style walk and talk, their partners were instructed to walk on the monarch’s left while also keeping a step or two behind their glorious leader. If the monarch wanted to make a left, their visitor actually had to take a step backward in order to maintain their inferior position.


Only Certain Classes Could Wear Certain Materials

If you were stuck among the lower classes of Elizabethan England, then more often than not you were happy to simply find some clothes to put on your back. The nation’s swelling population and economic stagnation caused poverty to run rampant through common society. 

Among the upper class, however, fashion was an integral part of “proper manners.” Not only was fashion used as a means of social acumen (as in knowing which styles were “in” and which were “out”), it was also used as an outright display of social status. 

As a result, there were rules regarding which types of clothing could be worn by various social classes at public functions. Royalty were the only people allowed to wear clothes trimmed with fur, for example. For the nobility, silk and velvet in bright colors were a symbol of your family’s prosperity (and they didn’t detract from the monarch’s pelts).


There Were No Rules For Women To Govern Behavior Across Genders

There were piles of rules governing the ways in which men could interact with other men. There were even more that told men how to lead a meeting with a woman. Indeed, there were also a ton of rules informing women how they could speak to and act around other women. However, there were no rules to guide women in how to converse or communicate with a man in public, presumably due to the assumption that proper women need only interact with other women

In the best case scenario, this lack of regulation made the rare time that men and women were allowed to interact kind of awkward. Worst case scenario, Elizabethan society implicitly put the power largely in the hands of the gentleman. After all, for upper class women, there were written rules of conduct for any conceivable situation, except meeting a dude. So what to do when there’s no guide? You could either let the man play out his script, or risk being shunned because of your bad manners.


Kissing Your Own Hand Was A Sign Of Respect

These days, the practice of kissing your own hand as a sign of deference and reverence for the upper class has obviously gone out of fashion. During the height of Queen Elizabeth’s rule, however, it was not only encouraged, forgetting to kiss your hand made you look like an ungracious jerk.

In fact, the practice of kissing one’s hand as a means of public deference was so common that some writers of the period actively complained about pretentious people going overboard with the kissing gesture whenever they met someone. It’s also important to remember that there was no actual kissing going on. The gesture was purely symbolic and even the kiss was meant to be “pretend.” 



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Thu, 09 Mar 2017 09:57:46 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-elizabethan-etiquette-rules/justin-andress
<![CDATA[The 13 Most Harrowing Superhero Origin Stories]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/most-harrowing-superhero-origin-stories/ranker-comics?source=rss

It’s safe to say most characters don’t become superheroes because they possess a great life. If anything, most superhero origins take root in the character's dissatisfaction towards their life, if not all-out tragedy. But the saddest origin stories of superheroes take the tragedy of everyday life and twist the knife until nothing's left to bleed. The characters on this list haven’t simply led a hard life, they’ve had the hardest life. Either their parents were murdered in front of them, or the one thing cherished most was ripped away from them, leaving them a broken mess of a person. Keep reading to learn about even more sad superhero origin stories.

For much of the golden era of comics, superhero origins were based around dead either dead parents or science gone wrong – or in the case of one character on this list, both – but as the decades moved on the origin stories got more complicated, and some of them became even more depressing. As you read this collection of the most depressing superhero origin stories prepare to sigh heavily, think about your parents, and maybe even have a stiff drink. But remember, the characters on this list took the world’s biggest lemons and turned them into lemonade, and that means that you can too. But before you turn your life around, don’t forget to vote on the most traumatizing superhero origin stories.


The 13 Most Harrowing Superhero Origin Stories,

Batman

As a child, losing your parents is one of the worst things imaginable, so watching it happen in front of you could completely destroy your fragile psyche. While walking through crime alley after a movie, Bruce Wayne and his parents were robbed gunpoint by a common street thug. Rather than give into the criminal's demands, Bruce's father attempted to fight the thief off, but his attempt was futile and Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered before Bruce’s eyes. Left in the care of his butler, Alfred, Bruce grows up doing nothing but obsessing over that night and training to destroy the crime underworld that took his family away. 


Daredevil

Daredevil's origin story proves no good deed goes unpunished. According to the first issue of the series from way back in 1964, Matt Murdock was walking home from school when he saw a blind man about to be hit by a truck. Rather than let the inevitable happen, Matt jumps in and saves the old man, but in the process is sprayed with radioactive chemicals, blinding him for life. They also gave him superpowers, but if you get hit with some radioactivity in a comic book, residual powers are to be expected. 


Doctor Manhattan

Born Dr. Jonathan Osterman, or rather Jonathan Osterman because no one is born a doctor, Dr. Manhattan lived a fairly normal life until things became a real drag after being accidentally locked in an intrinsic field experiment test chamber in 1959 and blasted with radiation. That may seem fairly normal for a comic book, but the fact remains his colleagues essentially allowed him to vaporize rather than risk their lives to save his. It could be noted that this was the first moment that separated Manhattan from the rest of humanity. His sadness may be slow burn, but it's not any less sad. 


Rocket Raccoon

Before he was the baddest space mercenary in the Keystone Quadrant, Rocket Raccoon was just a regular ol' raccoon who was happy to eat garbage and run through the forest. But then he was kidnapped by scientists (possibly alien, maybe Weapon-X) and turned into 89P1. They gave him cybernetic implants and the mental capacity for self-awareness and consciousness, creating a killing machine who's aware he's the only one of his kind. 


Spider-Man

Spider-Man's origin story pretty much defines sadness 101, it's kind of a miracle that he didn't turn into a spider-themed supervillain. In case you've been living under a rock, super nerdy teen, Peter Parker, got bitten by a radioactive spider on a field trip, and things felt super cool for a couple of weeks. He even made some cash off of his powers, but after purposefully avoiding a fleeing thief, he arrives home hours later to discover the criminal he ignored murdered his Uncle Ben. Wooooooof, that's got to be tough.

Weighed down by his uncle’s death, he took to heart the last piece of advice Ben gave him: "With great power comes great responsibility," and decided to use his powers to protect people rather than for financial gain. 


Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing's origin has everything you need to get truly bummed out while reading a comic: science, explosions, and infidelity. One might say it's Shakespearean. Scientist Alex Olsen gets blown up in a lab explosion because his co-worker is trying to get him out of the way so he can marry Olsen's wife, Linda, and then kill her. But that plan fails when Olsen is physically altered by the chemicals and bonds with the swamp to become a gruesome monster. After saving Linda from her fate, she rebuffs him for his hideous features, and he returns to the swamp. 


Rorschach

Rorshach's origin feels so sad because he could have been something better than a homeless vigilante who only sees the world in black and white. Born Walter Kovacs, he was a bright child who excelled in his classes and showed interested in religious education, but his mother was a prostitute, and his father an abusive monster who beat any desire for knowledge out of Kovacs. This domestic violence slowly turned Kovacs into a tightly coiled snake waiting to strike.


Superman

It's easy to ignore Superman's origin story because he was a baby when his home planet exploded, killing everyone who loved him along with a world full of people. While there's no way he can fathom the weight of his birth, it doesn't mean what happened had any less impact. As Superman grew up, he slowly understood what it meant to be the only survivor of an explosion that destroyed his entire race. 


spawn

If you have a PhD in comic book math, then you know the spookier the character, the sadder the origin story. Before Spawn was Spawn, he was Al Simmons, a contract killer who got double-crossed by his best friend and murdered while on a job. From there, his soul was sent to Hell, and then he was unceremoniously dropped back on Earth as Spawn. If that weren't bad enough he would shortly learn that while he was dead his wife, Wanda, married his best friend and fathered his child.


Eric Draven

Eric Draven's story in The Crow gets excruciatingly dark, and what makes it even sadder are its roots in a real-life tragedy. In the comic, Eric and his girlfriend Shelley return from a romantic getaway when their car breaks down. Then a local gang stops by, shoots Eric in the head, and forces him to watch them rape and murder his girlfriend before he dies a few hours later. The whole comic came from author James O’Barr who created the character as a way to cope with the death of his girlfriend, who was killed by a drunk driver.

 

 



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Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:08:48 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/most-harrowing-superhero-origin-stories/ranker-comics
<![CDATA[The Greatest Superheroes Who Are Also Magicians]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/greatest-superheroes-who-are-also-magicians/jacob-shelton?source=rss

Not every superhero gets to be Tony Stark, some of them need a side gig to pay the bills, and that is where these superhero magicians shine. Comic book magicians are some of the coolest characters in fiction because move in and out of the most intriguing stories across multiple titles. And any time that something really weird happens you know you’re going to get to spend some time with a magical superhero. Is Captain America going to another dimension? You better call Doctor Strange. Aside from their captivating supernatural origins, many of these characters possess powers that defy reality itself, much cooler than some scientifically rational radioactive exposure. 

It’s important to note that not all of the superheroes who do magic have the same powers. For instance, while Captain Britain might be able to sense when someone is using a cloaking spell, a hero like Doctor Fate can cast a spell to mix things up, or straight up cast lightning at you. Deciding on your favorite magical superhero depends on what your favorite flavor of magic is: do you prefer someone who can go ham and jump into another dimension? Or do you prefer you magic to be little more grounded in reality? Each of these mages rocks a different shade of magic, and you get to choose who casts the most impressive curses


The Greatest Superheroes Who Are Also Magicians,

Brother Voodoo

Daimon Hellstrom

Doctor Fate

Doctor Strange

Scarlet Witch

Etrigan the Demon

Zatanna

Forge

Voodoo

Bo

Sleight



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Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:28:53 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/greatest-superheroes-who-are-also-magicians/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[The Bittersweet Story Of Jumbo, The Most Famous Elephant On Earth]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/story-of-jumbo-the-elephant/cynthia-griffith?source=rss

Meet Jumbo - the 13,000 pound African elephant who inspired musicians, circus goers, illustrators, and the world. Jumbo is considered one of the world's most famous elephants. He was the star of Barnum & Bailey Circus who inspired the Disney movie Dumbo. But what happened to Jumbo? 

The story of Jumbo is an incredible one that features terrible abuse, fame, and a heroic deed that cost Jumbo his life. Jumbo’s story, much like his stature, was larger than life. Behind the circus tent, the shimmering lights, and the adoration of a global fan base, sat a humble, happy elephant who smiled in the face of a series of catastrophic events. The true story of Jumbo is bittersweet and every bit as endearing as the animal himself.

So step right up ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, and witness Jumbo the elephant, the world’s most famous elephant.


The Bittersweet Story Of Jumbo, The Most Famous Elephant On Earth,

Jumbo Was An Alcoholic

While this doesn't sound real, it's actually quite true. As a baby at the London Zoo, keepers used to feed Jumbo alcohol-soaked biscuits to calm him down. The problem with this, though, was that giving Jumbo alcohol soon became the only way to make him docile. His keepers said he loved whiskey and champagne, and that on his journey from London to the US, he was given a daily allotment of whiskey to keep him cool. 


Jumbo Was Born In Africa And Was Orphaned Thanks To Hunters

For the most part, circus elephants tend to be of Asian descent. Jumbo’s African upbringing is just one more thing that made him a unique addition. Jumbo was tragically separated from his mother, his birthplace, and all that was familiar to him at a very young age. He was born around Christmas Day in 1860 and shortly after his mother was killed by hunters. He was originally kidnapped by Sudanese elephant hunter Taher Sheriff, who offered to sell the elephant to the highest bidder. 


Much Of The Circus Concessions You See Today Are Named After This Legendary Elephant

Here is one of the many examples of how Jumbo left his imprint on the circus. His name can still be found on concessions like soda and popcorn. We assume that "jumbo" is just a description of the size of the refreshments which, at the circus, are often quite large. The reality is these labels have a deeper significance for anyone who knows the history of Jumbo. They were branded in connection with the star's image because of his popularity. Their size also happened to be large, which took on the double meaning of "jumbo."


Jumbo Was - And Still Is - The Heart Of The Barnum & Bailey Circus

Jumbo joined the circus in 1881 and he quickly became a staple in the Barnum & Bailey Circus show. He became a fixture of the circus, appearing on their branding and as a main event at their shows. Soon elephants - specifically Jumbo - became key to the company's circus shows, and when P.T. Barnum dreamed up the "Greatest Show On Earth," Jumbo was the star.

In reality, it was Jumbo that help put the circus on the map in the first place. Before buying the elephant from the London Zoo, their show was essentially a collection of sideshow performers. It was Jumbo who made the circus what it is today. In his six weeks in America, he made the circus $336,000 - about $7.5 million today. 


Weighing In At Seven Tons, Jumbo Lived Up To His Name

Everything about Jumbo was larger-than-life in some way or another, but his size was undoubtedly his most prominent feature. As a young elephant, Jumbo showed no significant signs of super stardom. He was simply a good-natured elephant. But while transitioning into adulthood, Jumbo experienced a rather unexpected growth spurt and he rapidly grew into the seven-ton, 13-foot pachyderm we see emblazoned on vintage circus posters to this day. As a gentle giant, Jumbo captured the hearts of all who surrounded him.


Jumbo Was In The Zoo For Longer Than He Was In The Circus

The height of Jumbo’s fame might have been the circus, largely due to P.T. Barnum’s marketing genius. But the heart of this colossal elephant will forever belong to the London Zoo, where Jumbo spent the vast majority of his life. He came to the zoo when he was just four, and, when he arrived, he was in very poor health. A antelope keeper named Matthew Scott nursed him back to health. 

Because of his gentle nature, Jumbo was trained to give rides to children. Jumbo could be seen carrying up to 100 youngsters on his back across the zoo grounds. For Jumbo, the zoo was the closest thing he had to a home. To put things into perspective, the famed elephant spent approximately 16 years in the zoo, compared to his three-year stint in the circus.


The Word "Jumbo" Means "Large" Because Of Him

When we think of the word "jumbo" today, we picture something that is incredibly large. But that's not the origin of Jumbo's name. In truth, this word became synonymous with extraordinarily big things because of Jumbo. Jumbo was marketed as the most mammoth land creature on Earth. Prior to Barnum & Bailey’s marketing of the beloved elephant, Jumbo was a combination of two words in Swahili (the language of Jumbo's native home) - “Jumbe” which means "chief" and "jambo" which is a Swahili greeting. 


He Was Mercilessly Beaten His Entire Life

While Jumbo was a beloved animal, he wasn't spared ruthless beatings by his captors. While at the London Zoo, he was beaten by his keepers at night. While in Barnum's care, he was hit with sledgehammers, spears, and pointed hooks to beat him into submission. This was common practice for elephant keepers. 


Barnum Purchased Jumbo For $10,000, Angering The Queen Of England And Jumbo

Jumbo was a beloved staple at the London Zoo and nobody wanted to keep him in England more than Queen Victoria. Following a huge growth spurt, the zoo feared Jumbo could injure their guests. He was sold to P.T. Barnum for $10,000 (about $250,000 by today’s standards) which was quite a handsome sum for any animal. What followed was a heightened interest that swept the globe and would later be referred to as “Jumbomania.”

Everyone, including the Queen of England, was apprehensive about his departure, but none more than Jumbo himself, who refused to enter the tiny, confined box that was meant to transport him from England to the US. He eventually had to be bound by chains, which only served to intrigue the public more, drawing a great deal of sympathy as the 12-and-a-half ton iron box holding Jumbo was hoisted into the air. It is rumored that by the time Jumbo arrived in New York, the largest crowd ever seen in the city gathered around, scaling walls and standing on top of one another just to get a glimpse of the legendary mammal.


After His Death, His Stuffed Body Was Paraded Around Town

Jumbo was killed in a tragic train accident in 1885 in Canada. But Barnum & Bailey weren't about to let go of an opportunity to make a buck off their star elephant. They sent Jumbo's body to Henry Ward's Natural Science Establishment in New York. It took five months for Ward and his team to reconstruct Jumbo with taxidermy, but they did it. And they found a lot of crazy stuff in his stomach. A report from the time said he had whistles, keys, rivets, and English pennies in his stomach. A year after his accident, Jumbo's body was put on display at a gala in New York and then shipped up and down the coast as a roadside attraction. He was on tour for four years. Eventually the elephant's body ended up at Tufts University, and became the schools mascot. 

He was put on display at the university until 1975, when faulty wiring ignited a fire in Barnum Hall, where Jumbo's body was on display. His hide was completely incinerated in the blaze. 



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Fri, 17 Mar 2017 09:32:55 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/story-of-jumbo-the-elephant/cynthia-griffith
<![CDATA[15 Video Game Character Designs With Strange And Hilarious Origin Stories]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/video-game-character-design-origins/nathan-gibson?source=rss

One of the most important aspects of any game is the design of its characters. While a title may have brilliant gameplay and an engaging story, players are unlikely to engage with it unless there is an eye-catching protagonist or villain who can initially draw them into the world. Most famous video game characters go through an extensive process of evolution and alteration, with artists constantly changing their creation to come up with the best iteration that they can.

While this is usually a very deliberate method, sometimes other factors can play a huge role in deciding on video game character design. The answer as to why particular characters look the way they do can often come down to a collection of bizarre reasons. Whether it is a strange inspiration for a particular protagonist, an accident that led to the creation of popular villain, or even technical limitations causing certain elements to be introduced to a character, designers occasionally just sort of stumble upon the ideal appearance for their creation. Here, then, are some of the strangest reasons behind video game character design. 


15 Video Game Character Designs With Strange And Hilarious Origin Stories,

Kazooie

Many platformers feature some sort of double jump or glide that lets the player reach areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. When Rare were first developing Banjo-Kazooie, they wanted to have a similar system. This flutter jump was integral to the gameplay, but they couldn’t think of a logical reason for the bear to be able to jump again in the air.

After toying with the idea of adding folding wings into a backpack, they eventually settled on the idea of adding a secondary bird character that could help Banjo on his adventure.


Kirby

The pink blob that is Kirby was originally created by Japanese developer Masahiro Sakurai in the early 1990s. However, the character’s final design was initially only intended to be a placeholder sprite so that the team could work on gameplay while a better design was drawn.

As development progressed, Sakurai became more and more fond of the placeholder graphics, and felt the simplistic ball-like appearance served the character and game well. In the end, it was decided that the design would stay in the final version of the game.


Lara Croft

It could be argued that Lara Croft was the first real sex symbol in video games. The Tomb Raider star became infamous for her notoriously large breast size. While you may think this was a design choice from the very beginning, the character only got her huge boobs as a result of an accident by artist Toby Gard.

When he tried to increase the size of Croft's breasts by 50%, he accidentally enlarged them by a whopping 150%. By the time he had realized his mistake, other members of the team had already seen the model and decided it should stay as is. Thus, an enduring nerd fantasy was born. 


Mario

Although he is arguably gaming’s most famous and popular character, Mario was designed fairly quickly. In fact, certain elements of the character were chosen to allow Shigeru Miyamoto and other developers to quickly render the plumber into the game with relative ease.

For example, Mario wears a hat because Miyamoto didn't liking drawing hair. The hat also saved designers from having to animate the character's hair. Mario was also given a mustache, as his original sprite was too small to include a detailed mouth.


Samus Aran

Metroid is one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, and its initial release in 1986 gave fans a twist ending when it was revealed that the character they had been controlling, Samus Aran, was in fact a woman. This design change in the character only came about midway through development, however.

The creators wanted to include a female protagonist not only due to their love of the movie Alien, but also because the reveal would act as a surprising reward for fans. The fact she appears at the end in a bikini was the result of technical limitations, as the sprite couldn’t be too detailed, so beach wear was the easiest way to show Samus was a woman.


Pac-Man

In case you have never noticed before, Pac-Man somewhat resembles a pizza that is missing a slice. This is no mere coincidence, as the creator of the character, Toru Iwatani, explained that he came up with the design while trying to think of something that could be associated with eating – a concept he believed would appeal to everyone. Ironically, this design was suggested to him while he was eating a pizza, noticing the simple appearance of the food when a slice had been removed.

"While thinking about the word 'eat' when taking a piece of pizza, I saw that the rest of pizza looked like a character, and that’s how Pac-Man’s iconic shape was created," says Iwatani. "I realized that although keywords such as 'fashion' and 'love' would appeal more to women, my opinion is that the word 'eat' is universally appealing and would attract their attention as well. That’s why I went with this idea." What a revealing, if weirdly sexist, look behind the curtain. 


Rayman

The titular hero from Rayman is best known not for his fighting ability or heroic deeds, but rather his lack of limbs. This lack of arms and legs haven’t stopped him from going on to become an important figure in gaming, with his distinctive design doing some heavy lifting to make him an instantly unique character.

Interestingly, the appearance of Rayman was never intended to lack limbs. The truth is that developers were having difficulty in animating his limbs in proportion to the rest of his body. While experimenting with a lack of arms and legs, they stumbled upon the idea of limblessness allowing Rayman to throw his fists much further. They decided to keep the new design in place for the final product.


Bayonetta

One of the most striking things about Bayonetta is that the main character from the series is unabashedly sexy. The designers set out from the very beginning to create an attractive witch character, rather than try to disguise their true intentions.

One of the elements of Bayonetta’s design, though, resulted from the fact that the protagonist needed to be taller than most other women who appear in action games (due to game mechanics and design restrictions at the time). This forced Mari Shimazaki to alter Bayonetta's proportions, so her arms and legs are much longer than they would normally be.


Crash Bandicoot

When creators Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin were trying to come up with a new character to compete with the likes of Mario and Sonic in the platform genre, they initially settled on either a wombat or a bandicoot. After going through various different designs, and hiring professional cartoonists from Hollywood, they eventually settled on the design we know today.

They chose the orange color simply due to a process of elimination, as it was the only one not being used by another major video game character that also wouldn’t clash with the levels they had created (or look bad on televisions at the time).


The Creepers In Minecraft Were The Result Of A Coding Error

Out of all of the characters and creatures in the hugely popular Minecraft, perhaps the most dreaded and familiar to players is the Creeper. While they have a very distinctive look, their appearance was largely the result of a coding error by game creator Notch. When trying to insert a pig into the world, he typed in the dimensions incorrectly and that led to the model being disfigured. Liking the look of the new creature, he simply changed the coloring of it and turned it into the Creeper we know today.

"The creepers were a mistake" he said in a documentary. "I don’t have any modeling programs to do the models, I just write them in code. And I accidently made them (the creepers) tall instead of long, so it was like a tall thing with four little feet. And that became the Creeper. As opposed to a pig."



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Thu, 23 Feb 2017 05:17:58 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/video-game-character-design-origins/nathan-gibson
<![CDATA[Who Will Be The 2017 American League MVP?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/american-league-mvp-2017/ranker-baseball?source=rss

Every year, the MLB names one player as the American League MVP, for the one player who truly stepped up to the plate, no pun intended. One of the highest honors in sports, the American League MVP goes to the best players in the game, whose skills, determination, and leadership propelled their teams to victory. Make your 2017 American League MVP predictions below! 

So who will be the 2017 the American League MVP? Will Mike Trout win the trophy for the third time, or will it go to Josh Donaldson for his second? Can Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts become the AL Most Valuable Player after returning from his surgery? Other notable AL MVP contenders include Manny Machado, Carlos Correa, and Francisco Lindor. This, of course, doesn't even cover the National League MVP predictions, which you should also take the time to consider.

Take a look below and vote up the players you think have the best odds of winning the 2017 American League MVP trophy.


Who Will Be The 2017 American League MVP?,

Starlin Castro

Chris Sale

Manny Machado

Mike Trout

José Altuve

Carlos Correa

George Springer

Francisco Lindor

Aaron Judge

Mookie Betts


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Mon, 10 Apr 2017 04:24:00 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/american-league-mvp-2017/ranker-baseball
<![CDATA[The Best Cities For Millennials]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-cities-for-millennials/reference?source=rss

For Millennials, traditional cities don't have the allure they used to have. Monster metropolises cost a fortune and have become playgrounds for the rich and famous. Thus, the younger generation, instead of moving home, have decided to put down roots in cheaper, burgeoning locales that stretches their hard earned dollars. While they still will leave in places like New York City and Chicago, and even California cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, Millennials tend to favor smaller cities in places where rent or owning a home won't cost them their first born.

Plenty of Southern and Western cities make this list of the best cities for Millennials. The kids seem to moving to places that are affordable, have vibrant cultural scenes and promising job markets. Add that to the cheap land and proximity for traveling to other cities, you have the formula to why Millennials rank the cities on this list in the way they do.


The Best Cities For Millennials,

Denver

Long Beach

Nashville

New Orleans

New York City

Portland

Raleigh

San Diego

San Francisco

Seattle


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Wed, 05 Apr 2017 02:07:41 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-cities-for-millennials/reference
<![CDATA[7 Secret Rules That Govern The Magic Castle]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/secret-rules-that-govern-the-magic-castle/jacob-shelton?source=rss

Unbeknownst to most citizens, a secret society of magicians exists all around the world. Instead of plotting coups or world domination, they simply wish to entertain an audience and maybe saw a woman in half. Magicians, mentalists, and sleight of hand artists all live by a code of secret magic rules governing the way they perform and go about their daily lives. And while it’s against the bylaws of their society to discuss their lifestyle, the magician rules are a must know for anyone who wants to break into the highly secretive world of magic. Whether a newcomer to the world of magic or simply an interested party, you'll find something to learn on this collection of the secret rules that govern the Magic Castle.

If you don’t know, the Magic Castle is a Los Angeles clubhouse for members of the magic community, and they take their lifestyle very seriously. Not only is a strict dress code enforced, Magic Castle performers adhere to rules that go unsaid to anyone in attendance. Most magicians know, or should know, these rules, as they form the basis for their entire lifestyle. Some of the rules are simple common sense, but the rest are impossible to know unless you’re actually in the magic community. Or they were impossible to know until now. 


7 Secret Rules That Govern The Magic Castle,

Always Leave The Audience Wanting More

This remains important for any performance artist, but especially true for magicians: don't overstay your welcome. Yes, you're excited about showing the audience all of the cool things you can do, and maybe they're having a great time, but how long do you expect an audience to sit still before they riot? When just starting out, it's crucial to hit the audience with something good and leave early, rather than wowing them straight out the gate and then boring them 15 mediocre tricks


Practice Practice Practice

To be a good magician you must practice every day. To be a great magician you use every spare moment that you have to practice and refine your act until you have something an audience wants to pay to see. Just because you accomplished a specific trick doesn't mean you've mastered it. If you want to be your best magician, you should just be practicing (and reading this list). 


Never Give Up The Secret

While all magician's rules are important, the most imperative one states that you don't reveal how you perform your illusions. If you reveal how a trick is performed, you spoil the illusion for an audience, and not just your own. While it may not seem that big at the onset of the reveal, this revelation ruins the trick for any audience member who sees a magician perform that trick in the future. Also, it defeats the purpose of being in a secret society if you go around telling people how the sausage is made. 


Don't Learn Too Much At Once

When you first get into any hobby, from magic to making wooden clogs, it's completely normal to want to learn it all at once, but that's not how you become accomplished at anything. If you really feel passionate about something, you want to take things slow; such is doubly true when performing magic tricks. Practicing magicians around the world agree it's better to learn one trick until you can do it with your eyes closed rather than learning a bunch of mediocre illusions. 

 


Figure Out Something To Say

After mastering a couple of tricks with your eyes closed, you then must figure out how to present them. You can't just walk on stage, silently perform your bits, and GTFO; you've got to keep the audience engaged. Hone in on the crowd's energy, make up a story about where you learned the trick, or simply tell some jokes. When you first begin performing you're not going to know what kind of performer you are, which is why it's important to go to open mics, book backyard shows with your friends, or do something placing you in front of people. Like the rest of magic, speaking to an audience is something you develop the hard way. 


Respect Other Magicians

No matter what community you're a part of, you should respect the people around you. This adage doesn't just apply to magicians who can help you get a leg up in the industry; you should respect people in every facet of the industry. Do you remember how lost you felt when you were just getting into the magic community? Make sure you treat people how you would like to be treated; even if you're not the best magician in the game people won't hate you. If anything, they'll want to help you. 


Don't Steal Routines

This should be common sense, but due to the competitive nature of the magic scene, act theft remains an unfortunate thing which happens all too often.  Most people respect that if someone does a trick in their act that you shouldn't do the exact same trick, especially if it's something greater than "pick a card, any card." If you're on a show with someone and you think you have a similar routine, it's not out of the question to put your heads together and discuss which one of you should perform the trick. This rule feeds directly into respecting other magicians. The community will definitely appreciate you not being a copycat with your act, and if you drop a trick, that's an excuse to learn something new.



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Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:23:46 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/secret-rules-that-govern-the-magic-castle/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[Horrifying Restaurant Foods You Can Actually Order In The USA]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/horrifying-usa-foods/laura-allan?source=rss

We all have that one weird food that we love even though some people might think it's gross. Maybe you like mayonnaise with your PB&J, or maybe you like everything doused in ranch dressing - no judgment. Rest assured, you're not alone. There are plenty of disgusting things you can eat - and some of them are even available as restaurant delicacies around the world. But you don't need to travel to France or China to get a taste of these recipes. Some of these extremely cultural cuisines are offered in restaurants all over the US. 

There are some nasty things you can eat at restaurants that would make most people cringe. In some parts of the world, you can order just about any thing. And some of those horrifying meals are offered as disgusting restaurant foods in right in your backyard. Some of the grossest foods in the world are considered signature dishes in the restaurants - including some restaurants right here in the US of A. And hey, who knows, maybe after reading this you'll find something you never knew you wanted to try (or not.) 


Horrifying Restaurant Foods You Can Actually Order In The USA,

Bird's Nest Soup

Surprisingly, bird's nest soup doesn't involve real birds nests. In reality, the recipe is so much grosser. In order to make bird's nest soup, chefs take the saliva of a bird then dry it periodically into a solid substance. Then it's used as a flavoring and texture additive to soup, and it supposedly is pretty delicious. That's right, whenever you eat this soup, you're actually eating bird spit. 

It's expensive and uncommon, but you can find it in some Asian restaurants in the United States if you know where to look. Some cultures also believe the soup is used to strengthen the immune system and help with digestion, though whether that's true is up for debate.


Jellied Moose Nose

Go ahead, read that title a few more times - it says exactly what you think it does. Jellied moose nose is actually a classic and culturally traditional recipe for hunters, specifically in Alaska, though it is served in restaurants in several other states as well. The two main ingredients are vinegar and time (well, and a moose nose,) and it's definitely an acquired taste. To make this dish, you take a moose's nose and you cook it into a jelly, then wait until it's a cool, jiggly Jello-like dish. You can make it yourself at home, which might be a good idea, because it's very expensive in restaurants. 


Balut

Many people eat eggs, but few people eat eggs that actually have a baby animal inside. That would be gross, right? Not to those who enjoy balut. This dish usually takes fertilized duck eggs and leaves them to incubate for 18 days until there's a well-developed fetus inside. Then the egg is cooked and served, and you just eat the whole thing, bones and all. The flavor is supposed to be a strong one, the texture is less than palatable, and the food is very rich. You can buy the eggs to prepare yourself in some Asian markets, but a few restaurants in New York and California still have it on the menu. 


Testicles

If you've seen Rocky Mountain oysters on a menu before, you've been to a restuarant that serves bull testicles. These delicacies are usually deep fried or baked, but either way, you're eating bull balls. They're on the menu in many Southern and Midwestern cities, and some people actually really enjoy them. Bull testicles aren't the only type of balls people enjoy eating in the United States. Goats, lambs, roosters, and even ducks have their gonads served up in various dishes.


Escamoles

While this dish is extremely rare in the United States, there have been restaurants that have made it at least once. A few high-end chefs have brought in small stashes of escamoles for tastings in restaurants because they're considered a delicacy south of the border.

Escamoles are a dish served more commonly in Mexico and are known by a much more distressing name: ant eggs. What is escamole? It's basically ant caviar - edible larvae and pupae of ants. When eaten, tt is known to have a sensation much like that of some fish caviar, where the eggs actually pop in your mouth and have a lightly peppery flavor. As we said, this is a bit of a delicacy, even in Mexico, so it'll be a serious search to find it. If you want to find it, that is.


Live Octopus Parts

When you cut up a live octopus, parts of it don't exactly die. In fact, they continue to squirm around, wiggle, and even try to grab things. This knowledge alone is pretty horrifying, so that makes the fact restaurants actually serve still-squirming octopus parts as a dish even more so. At some high-end sushi restaurants, as well as at Korean restaurants where it's called Sannakji, you can order a plate of tiny octopus tentacles completely raw and still moving. The parts will try to cling to your face and throat as you try to swallow, and you'll feel them wiggle all the way down. Er... yum? 


Pig's Blood Ice Cream

When you think of ingredients for an ice cream sundae, what generally comes to mind? Cream, sugar, maybe chocolate or some other tasty flavor. What doesn't come to mind is pigs blood, but that's exactly what you can get at one small Washington DC restaurant. The Pig is a restaurant that uses all parts of the pig including the blood, and it's actually pretty well-known for this dish. Most people say the ice cream is pretty tasty. The owners say the blood is only really used as a thickener, and you don't really taste any blood in it. If you're in the area, and you're bold, you'll just have to taste it and see if the critics are right.


Drunken Shrimp

You might think this menu item that involves beer-battered shrimp, but that's not these kind of drunken shrimp. A plate of drunken shrimp is a Chinese dish that's pretty hard to find in the United States, but if you look hard enough, it's there. The dish is made by soaking live freshwater shrimp in booze until they're good and tipsy. This stuns them and makes it harder for them to move around. Then they're spiced and served. That's it. No cooking. You just grab a shrimp and eat it down raw, if you have the nerve for it. 


Ikizukuri

Ikizukuri is a dish that involves taking a live fish or lobster, fileting it while it is still alive, then serving it while it is still squirming and its heart is still beating. You then eat its meat, little by little, enjoying the fish before it dies. In some cases, chefs even return the animal to the tank to recover a little before you finish eating it. It's hard to find any place in the United States that serves this dish, and there's a huge push to have it banned entirely. But if you're in New York, the Jewel Bako does serve Ikisukuri sometimes. 


The Quadruple Bypass Burger

Pretty much everything at the Heart Attack Grill could honestly be on this list. The Las Vegas restaurant uses butter in milkshakes, fries their fries in lard, and has one of the most horrifying burgers in the existence of the world. The Quadruple Bypass burger is the world-record holder for the highest calorie burger at a whopping 20,000 calories. To eat this, you have to sign a waiver. The reason for this is that people have, in fact, died eating this burger before, and it can cause serious health problems. Still, this doesn't stop this mass of fat and meat from being a bucket list item for many people.



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Mon, 07 Nov 2016 08:30:55 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/horrifying-usa-foods/laura-allan
<![CDATA[Outstanding Disney/Marvel Mashup Fan Art]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/marvel-disney-mashup-fan-art/crystal-brackett?source=rss

Ever since Disney bought the rights to Marvel, you've been dying to see some sort of sweet, sweet mashup of character universes. Well, hypothetical geek-culture fan, you're in luck! These artists made mashup dreams come true through their astounding fan artwork of Marvel and Disney characters combined. They cross worlds to bring stunning recreations of two different fandoms to life, with Disney characters reimagined as Marvel heroes, Marvel comics characters as Disney characters, and even some treats in-between! Talent abounds in these pictures, so whether you're looking for a geeky fix or you're searching for some artistic inspiration, this Marvel Disney mashup fan art have you covered!

With limitless mediums and a plethora of colorful and original Disney and Marvel characters to choose from, these mashup artists grabbed their pens, pencils, and digital art tablets and took to the drawing board to show off their skills. Perhaps they'll even inspire a Marvel/Disney mashup of their own. Disney, as seen in Kingdom Hearts, makes a fantastic crossover partner.


Outstanding Disney/Marvel Mashup Fan Art,

Mickey Mouse / Wolverine

This Mickey Mouse / Wolverine hybrid is a beautiful design by GraphicGeek!


Kida / Storm

This epic digital-art fusion of Kida and Storm was done by none other than the talented IsaiahStephens.


Stitch / Venom

This creepy combo transforms the cute Stitch into the vile Venom in 13nin's Disney/Marvel mashup.


Mr.Incredible / Hulk

Mr.Incredible becomes Mr.Incredible Hulk in theCHAMBA's radical digital art!


Jasmine / Apocalypse

Jasmine and Apocalypse are one Killer combo in Bryan-Lobdell's innovative mashup concept!


Buzz Lightyear / Ironman

Some awesome photomanipulation from bruno-sousa fuses Buzz Lightyear and Ironman together in an all new way!


Ariel / Dark Phoenix

Bryan-Lobdell's digital mashup of Ariel and Dark Phoenix is truly fearsome.


Anna Elsa / Loki Thor

Frozen's Anna and Elsa are flipped into Loki and Thor in briannacherrygarcia's awesome digital art!


Rapunzel / Spider-Man

Rapunzel hangs around with Spider-Man in briannacherrygarcia's traditionally drawn fan art.


Simba Nala /Gambit Rogue

VixieArts smashed together a smash-hit masterpiece in this fusion of Simba and Nala with Gambit and Rogue.



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Thu, 30 Mar 2017 06:27:43 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/marvel-disney-mashup-fan-art/crystal-brackett
<![CDATA[13 Things That Are Instinctively Scary To Humans (And Why)]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/things-instinctively-scary-to-humans/cynthia-griffith?source=rss

While it's been said humans have nothing to fear but fear itself, it turns out there are a lot of things in our DNA that dictate what we fear. Why are certain things scary? Some things are scary because they bring us back to negative memories, while others are scary because of the physical response they illicit in our bodies. And while some phobias are downright weird, there are lots of things that are instinctively scary to humans, and for good reason. Fear is a pivotal component to everyday survival, engrained in us from our long lost ancestors. Some of these fears turn to full-blown phobias.

But there's no denying there are universally scary things in nature. Some scientists have suggested fears are passed down through DNA, meaning there are certain things we are born to fear. 


13 Things That Are Instinctively Scary To Humans (And Why),

Blood

A lot of people fear blood. Some people don't fear blood, but get queasy when they see it or have it taken from them. Why is that? Science seems to suggest that people who faint or get dizzy at the sight of blood are reacting to an evolutionary fear reflex.

When some people blood, the vagus nerve that runs from the human head to the heart is triggered. It sends a signal - called a vasovagal scope - to the heart that tells it to slow down, which reduces the bloodflow to the brain. This signal happens for a lot of reasons - not eating enough, low blood sugar, lack of sleep. But why does it happen when people see blood?

From an evolutionary standpoint, visible blood typically means someone is hurt. In our hunter-and-gatherer days, this was probably a result of an animal attack. To avoid being killed by an animal (or by another human) our body shuts down and "plays dead." The vasovagal scope kicks in, telling our heart to slow down and play dead, causing us to faint. The more a person sees blood, however, the less this response kicks in, which is why doctors and nurses can stomach the sight of blood better than, say, a little kid. 


Small Spaces

Typically, claustrophobia - or the fear of small spaces - is considered a learned phobia. But researchers are beginning to believe this fear could come from our ancestors. Whenever a human is faced with an obstacle or high-stress situation, the natural evolutionary response is known as fight or flight. This is triggered in the adrenal medulla, which sends hormones to the rest of our body that tell us to either leave the situation quickly or fight it. Claustrophobes experience anxiety in small spaces, turning on the fight or flight response. And those who are not able to quell their fear are thrown into a full-blown physical response to the fear.

Some scientists believe avoiding small spaces is an instinctual survival mechanism, and those who experience the fight or flight response in small spaces are reacting to a dormant evolutionary means of survival. 


Snakes

Ancient human beings were tree dwelling mammals who all too often became food for vicious snakes. Since the beginning of time, we've been afraid of snakes. Because of that, our eyes evolved to see colors more vividly - not so we could take beautiful rainbow pictures and post them on Instagram, but rather to avoid our snake predators. To prove this, a 2011 study showed children can find snakes faster than they can find flowers. In fact, it is our neural fear module that signals this ability. It's like having a built in snake alarm.


Eyes

Do you find yourself avoiding eye contact with that overly friendly passenger on the train? You might just be following an ancient instinct. Even infants instinctively look away when a pair of eyes they don't recognize looks at them. 

There's a reason we call the eyes the windows to the soul - they communicate a lot to other people. A pair of eyes emoting fear or sadness can trigger someone who sees them to react. When your brain picks up on emotive eyes - especially negative ones - it rapidly reacts to the possibility of danger by releasing a flood of aggressive hormones. Similarly, if we see someone looking at us, our brain is also triggered. Called scopophobia, the fear of being watched is an anxiety disorder that was first observed in 400 BCE. Humans are instinctively trying to evaluate other animals, including people. The idea of being watched can initiate fear, and affects women at a higher rate than men

Staring comes instinctively as well. Staring contests in the wild establish dominance, and humans are still reflexively trained to do this to other humans. 


Spiders

The fear of spiders is another built into our DNA thanks to our ancestors. Spiders posed a much bigger threat to humans in ancient times. Even a non-venomous bite could be lethal. Archeology suggests the ability to recognize and fear spiders resulted in more surviving offspring for our ancestors. Arachnophobia, or the fear of spiders, is often interlinked with the fear of snakes.

What's more interesting is that this fear disproportionately affects women. Female babies (some as young as just 11 months) are already four times more likely to fear spiders when compared to boy babies of the same age. This is likely due to the fact that during our hunter-gatherer days, if a woman were bit by a spider, her offspring would likely die without her. At a time when men were warriors and women were caretakers, a spider posed a much bigger threat to women and their children. 


Sudden Movements, Sounds, Or Surprises

As it turns out, you can actually be scared to death. That's because humans are hardwired to have physical reactions to being scared by sudden movements, sounds, or surprises. When we're in a normal, undisturbed state, our body is at rest, so to speak. When something occurs - a noise, someone suddenly coming into a room, feeling your surroundings move unexpectedly - it triggers our startle reflex, something we've developed as a means of survival.

This is an intense chemical reaction where adrenaline floods the body and your brain, causing a reaction. Some people love this feeling, which is why haunted houses are so popular. But some people are unable to stop the adrenaline from flowing and are left with a full-blown panic attack. 


Heights

A fear of heights is triggered when your inner ear feels an exaggerated gravitational pull and tells your other senses about it, alerting your body of the distance that exists between you and the ground. If said distance exceeds 30 feet or so, your body goes into panic mode as the eyes send visual signals to the brain.

The fear of heights is fascinating because while our body is wired to experience a shift in gravitational pull, we don't develop this fear at birth. A study conducted by scientists from the University of California, Berkley and Doshisha University in Kyoto managed to pinpoint the exact stage of development when this fear initially surfaces. According to them, this fear is developed after a baby begins to learn locomotor skills such as crawling or scooting. People only learn to be scared of heights when they begin to get a perception of space and movement. 


Public Speaking

Public speaking isn't just a fear of awkward high schoolers - it's a universal fear felt by people worldwide. Even people who aren't terrified of public speaking get some of the symptoms associated with the fear: butterflies in the stomach, sweating, have trouble sleeping the night before. And that's because the root of this fear is built into our DNA. 

This fear comes from our amygdala - the part of our brain that regulates emotion - reacting to the emotions displayed on each and every face in the audience, picking them apart to see which, if any, people pose a genuine threat. Specific configurations of facial features can be interpreted as threatening on a primitive level. The end result is crippling stage fright that most of us have been through at some point in our lives. Our instinct when faced with a sea of faces - especially if they're unfamiliar ones - is not to continue with the presentation, but rather to win what our mind has interpreted as a staring contest. That's why some people, when faced with the reality of public speaking, simply stare blankly into the crowd. For this reason, many people will picture something bizarre, like picturing the audience in their underwear, to overcome their glossophobia.


Flying

The fear of flying is a universal phobia like no other. And that's because fear of flight is a combination of multiple fears that a lot of people have, including a fear of heights. The fear of flying has nothing to do with the fear of crashing, it's the perception your body has of being high above the ground and in a compact space. While some people develop a fear of flying after a particularly bad flight, most people have the innate fear of being up so high in the air. Though, like many other fears, this can be helped through stress-reducing mental exercises. 


The Dark

A lot of kids (and a lot of adults) are afraid of the dark. Before kids are taught that bad things go bump in the night, they inherently fear the dark. Why is that? This fear stems from the fact that pre-evolutionary humans were most often hunted at night and at that time, there were in fact, beasts.

Predatory animals like lions, tigers, and bears are known to hunt at night. Some bigger predators use the darkness as a cover to stalk their human prey. And we humans still hold onto that fear we're being hunted by a big beast in the night. So when a little kid spends half the night scanning the closet and under the bed for glowy-eyed creatures, they’re simply reacting to an age-old instinct to fear the darkness.



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Thu, 02 Mar 2017 06:18:14 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/things-instinctively-scary-to-humans/cynthia-griffith
<![CDATA[Documentaries About Movies That Are Better Than The Actual Movies]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/documentaries-about-movies-better-than-actual-movies/jacob-shelton?source=rss

For a particular subset of nerd, there’s nothing better than movies about movies, specifically documentaries on movies that show the nightmare behind creating a piece of art. Documentaries about making a film reveal the story within a story and offer a new insight into not only the process of building something from the ground up, but also offer a catharsis for the people involved. It lets them create a horcrux in which they can forever hold their 30 (or 400) days in Hell.

Hearts of Darkness is possibly the most famous film about a film. That isn’t to say that Apocalypse Now is a bad film, but it’s a piece of art that needs to be put in a context outside of “war movie” to be fully understood. The documentary could have just as easily been called Someone Get Francis Ford Coppola a Snow Plow for All That Powder, but the more manageable title it has not only offers an allusion to the work it’s adapted from, but also tells the audience that no one is coming out of the film unscathed. All of the films about films on this list are worth watching, however, not all of their subjects are quite as spectacular as Coppola’s masterpiece. 

Be it kismet, or a canny producer, many documentaries better than their subjects exist in the world and the films on this list are the best of the best when comes to movies about movies that are better than the movies they're about. While you wrap your brain around that sentence, prepare yourself for the movie (movie) marathon you’re about to undertake.


Documentaries About Movies That Are Better Than The Actual Movies,

American Movie

If there's a greater love letter to the pain of artistic creation, it has yet to be unearthed. American Movie follows Mark Borchardt as he tries to make a horror film in his native Wisconsin. Borchardt is an instantly recognizable character who plays a composite hero and villain throughout the piece. He does everything within his power to get the short film Coven off the ground.

At times it's painful to watch the filmmaker borrow money from his ailing family, or beg the members of this trailer park community to help him on the film, but American Movie never dips into the pitch black realm of depression a lesser film would revel in. Despite failing to set the world of cinema on fire, Borchardt eventually triumphs by finishing what he started, (mostly) on his own terms. 


Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmakers's Apocalypse

Before you start screaming at your monitor and writing furious emails about how people don't understand Apocalypse Now the way you do, relax. Your Masters in film studies was totally worth the money and you're right, Apocalypse Now is a modern masterpiece and one of the greatest war movies ever made. The way that Coppola blends surrealist nods to Buñuel with the realism of a documentary is truly the work of an artist at the apex of their career.

But also, the movie was a carnival of nightmares from the start and Hearts of Darkness, filmed by Eleanor Coppola (Francis's wife), takes the audience inside the myriad production issues, including loss of funding, sets being destroyed, and just Marlon Brando in general. Throughout the documentary, the audience sees Apocalypse Now continually falling apart and, by the end of the doc, no one looks good. Hearts of Darkness isn't simply a recording of whatever lucky mojo Coppola had throughout the '70s, it's a testament to how hard it is to actually make a film, especially when the universe has a grudge against you. 


Lost in La Mancha

Like Jodorosky's Dune, Lost in La Mancha is a tale of what could have been. Visionary director Terry Gilliam has been trying to make an adaptation of Don Quixote for decades, and when he finally put together his cast and crew in the '90s he allowed a small documentary crew to tag along.

The film that came out of this excursion is one of the most heartbreaking, yet somehow completely appropriate, pieces of cinema ever made about human imagination and how our will can only take us so far. Throughout the documentary Gilliam becomes Quixote, and the rest of the cast and crew (including Johnny Depp) turn into versions of Sancho Panza, enabling him at every step. 


Overnight

A lot of people like The Boondock Saints, a copy of a copy of a Quentin Tarantino pastiche which is likely a copy of some unseen Hong Kong gangster film from the '70s - and that's fine. Like what you like, it doesn't matter. That being said, The Boondock Saints is a terrible movie. It's a film that so badly wants to be cool that it might as well have been called My Dad Never Hugged Me.

On the other hand, Overnight is one of the greatest documentaries to ever be made. It's up there with Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years in that it follows a man with an overinflated sense of self as he sabotages himself at every turn. The film follows Troy Duffy, bartender turned screenwriter and director, (he also has designs on being a rock star, since good things come in threes), as he shoots to stardom after the script for Boondock Saints is purchased by Miramax. When Duffy begins his journey he's already a douchebag, but the moment he gets a little bit of money and clout it goes to his head and everything explodes in his face. 


Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy

At a certain point, every horror fan hits a wall where they have to admit a lot of the movies they like aren't very good. For instance, parts 2, 4, 5, and 6 of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Maybe they're good to watch with a bunch of friends when you're in the mood to goof on a bad movie, but taken at face value they're not very good.

However, Never Sleep Again breathes new life into these films by providing insight into one of the most important horror movie franchises of the 20th century. The documentary is a staggering four hours long, but it really never drags. Once the documentary begins to delve into the homoerotic minutiae of Freddy's Revenge, or the fact that Stephen Hopkins was throwing everything at the wall and hoping that something stuck in The Dream Child, you'll be glad that the folks at 1428 Films spent as much time on the film as they did. 


Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau

How does one begin to explain a film like Lost Soul? The meat of the story is that Richard Stanley, hot off of a couple of low-budget science fiction and horror films, was given the opportunity to direct an adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau. Over the course of the next few years he fought with his production company about who would star in the film, where to shoot it, and what the tone of the overall piece would be. Then he was fired from the set a few days into filming.

He went off to live in the jungle, snuck back onto set, and actually appeared in the film. Hold up, that's barely a quarter of the story. This documentary dives into how Marlon Brando took control of the set once he noticed a power vacuum, a wiccan curse, and Val Kilmer's desire to do nothing on set while making as much money as possible. You never need to see The Island of Dr. Moreau, but Lost Soul is required viewing. 


Jodorowsky's Dune

Technically, Jodorowsky's version of Dune was never made, and it exists only in a massive tome of collected storyboards designed by the visionary Chilean filmmaker. But there's definitely multiple versions of Dune out there (you can argue amongst yourselves about which is the worst - they're all bad in their own ways) and this documentary is better than all of them.

Among other things, this documentary introduced audiences to the real voice of H.R. Gieger, which sounds exactly how you think it should, and gave viewers a glimpse of what could have been. Well, if Jodorowsky had an unlimited budget and no governing production body to tell him no. The film itself is more about the unbridled artistic energy this true cinematic singularity possesses than it is about a movie with sand worms, but it's inspiring and fulfilling none the less. 


Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story Of Cannon Films

Admittedly, this is a bit of a cheat for multiple reasons: Not all of the Cannon films are bad (The Last American Virgin and Barfly are totally serviceable), and even the films that are bad are incredibly entertaining (specifically about a quarter of their output from 1980 - 1989), but the story of near misses, bad decisions, and incredibly goofy producers that populate the film are better than anything the production company ever released.

The film never shies away from showing how bad the team of Golan and Globus were at making decisions, but all that does is make you want to go watch their films to see exactly what you missed. 


Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape

When VHS came to Britain in the early '80s, movie fans were overjoyed because they could finally see a film without having to go to the cinema, or (in the case of most B-level horror films) buy it out of the back of a magazine. These films flooded the market before there was a way to apply a rating system to the movies, so anyone with a couple of pounds could rent whatever they wanted, be it Blood Feast or The Driller Killer.

Video Nasties examines the controversy and debate around these films, and the turmoil they inspired in the UK. It's kind of doubly hilarious, as the movies people risked their reputations to buy often wound up being terrible. As with every rule, however, there are a few exceptions. Ground breaking films like The Evil Dead, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are covered in the documentary, but so are films like The Burning and Frozen Scream - which are absolute wibbledy-gook (that's British for f*cking terrible). 


30 Days In Hell: The Making Of The Devil's Rejects

Rob Zombie is a thoughtful, intelligent guy who, for a long time, single-handedly carried the horror genre on his shoulders. His first two films, House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, get a lot of love because of his persona as the "cool" horror guy, but they're not great.

However, Zombie's stories of making those two films are legendary. This comprehensive look at the filming of Devil's Rejects is essentially one of his many straight to point, no waffle interviews but in film form. The audience not only gets to see the nightmare tied to dealing with a large production like this, but they get to watch Zombie work. Also, regardless of the end product he's someone who loves what he does. That's just nice to see on film. 



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Tue, 14 Mar 2017 05:11:19 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/documentaries-about-movies-better-than-actual-movies/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[17 Teen HBICs You Loved To Hate Watch]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/teen-tv-show-hbics/rebecca-shortall?source=rss

Teen TV dramas hold a special place in many a heart. They're a nostalgia trip, whether you're a millennial, a Gen Xer, or whatever you call the current crop of 'youths.' But what do you remember when you cast your mind back to those heady days of drama-infested CW minefields? Whether it's from TV or film, you remember the mean girls, the antagonists, the HBICs.

You love to hate them. You love to watch them. You can't get enough of their Machiavellian machinations and manipulations, the things that allow them to reign over their social hierarchies uncontested and unchallenged. No one occupies the memory space dedicated to the best teen dramas quite like the most loveable betches on TV do. So let's take a look back at the best HBICs of all time.  


17 Teen HBICs You Loved To Hate Watch,

Blair Waldorf

Blair may not have originated in the character archetype, but she certainly came to define it in a post-Gossip Girl world. This HBIC doesn't just have her perfectly manicured claws dug into her private school's power structure, she also has a firm grip on all of the Upper East Side, nay, Manhattan. Who else could banish a girl, Little Jenny Humphrey, from an entire city?

Ruling a high school? Your average, run-of-the-mill HBIC can do that in her sleep. Blair takes this whole deal to another level. She's a literal 'Queen' B. When any other mean girls can claim to run a city, then maybe Blair will watch the throne, but, until then, Manhattan is Blair's to run, and nobody had better cross her.   


Cordelia Chase

Sassy, and petty, and snarky, oh my! The moment you saw Cordelia hitting the hallways of Sunnydale High, you knew she was in charge. Buffy may have been the once-in-a-gernation-Chosen-One completely adept at dealing with demons, but you can't stake a betchy head cheerleader. You've got to try and out maneuver her with harsh words and ice-cold teen girl games. And that’s maybe scarier than any Vampire.

Cordelia was so betchy that she managed to create an entire alternative universe purely from the power of her betching out Buffy.  


Manny Santos

Manny Santos wasn't always a HBIC. Oh no, for two long seasons she played second fiddle to her meddlesome, holier-than-thou best friend Emma Nelson. For too long was her shine stifled by her sanctimonious friend, a friend who did not like Manny running out from under her shadow to join the Spirit Squad or buy thongs.

But Manny had a transformation in Season 3. Sick and tired of being regarded as 'cute,' she decided she was going to emerge from her adorable cocoon to become a hot butterfly. And how does one become hot? By buying a bedazzled thong and wearing low-rider jeans that show off that whale tale. And when there are complaints about said thong, simply forego the underwear and show your crack in science class. Quite the power play, no?  


Paris Geller

Paris comes from the school of your Tracy Flick-type HBIC. She rules every school and college she attends with not just betchery but also academic excellence. And that is one powerful concoction to ensure that your place at the top of the school food chain remains unchallenged.

Whether Paris was telling someone to "Tie [their] tubes, idiot!" so the continuation of genes riddled with stupidity would be immediately halted, or menacingly hissing Shakespeare sonnets at Rory as some weird form of intimidation, Paris was always top of the heap.  


Veronica Lodge

No stranger to the world of betchery, Veronica probably predates every mean girl in contention for title of HBIC from her appearances in Archie comics. She originated the trope of being the bad-girl antagonist to the demure good girl. But she is a recent addition to the world of teen TV Drama.

From the moment she blows into Riverdale in a gust of all black everything and pearls for days, she attracts the attention of everyone in school. And not much else says HBIC quite like having the entire school population fall at your feet when you join their cheerleading squad.  


Naomi Clark

90210, the criminally underrated reboot of Beverly Hills 90210, debuted one of the best head betches of the 2000s. She came in the form of Naomi Clark. Like her fellow HBICs, she's confident; she's wealthy; and she loves revenge.

She's a petty betch that picks out the blandest, drippiest, wet lettuce to ever stroll through a high school hallway, Boring Annie, and she puts her right at the top of her hated list. She's mean; she's rich; and she's shady as all get out. And her hair is amazing.


Alison DiLaurentis

Oh? Did someone say sociopath? Allison DiLaurentis had a hold on everybody in Rosewood. Manipulation comes as easy to Allison as breathing does to mere mortals. Whether she's messing with her gay bestie who's harboring a serious crush on her, stirring the pot with her big stirring stick, or threatening to spill the town's secrets, she's always being an extremely charming betch.

The list of people she's blackmailed is as long as the cast list. She drifts around the town in soft-focus flashbacks, cornering people with their secrets, and demanding rewards for keeping quiet. Up until her Rosewood reappearance, she haunted her former clique in hallucinations. Her friends could never quite shake this HBIC.    


Santana Lopez

Sure, Glee was on a deep, deep sliding scale of quality ever since its pilot aired, but the one constant, the only thing that kept a strong subset of the internet watching, was Santana Lopez. As bad as Glee got, her character went from strong to stronger.

The comebacks, the putdowns, the threats of violence... All of these pushed her ahead of anyone else in the glee club in contention for title of HBIC. No one else brought the betchery quite like Santana.  


Madison Montgomery

Emma Roberts's portrayal of Madison Montgomery is masterclass in betchery. Roberts has really carved out a niche for herself playing unrepentant sasses on Ryan Murphy properties. Say what you will about the man, but he knows how to write for mean girls.

Madison is like Chanel Oberlin, if you gave that betch magic powers. And she leaves her fair share of dead bodies in her wake too. She flips a bus full of frat boys and attempts to murder anyone in contention for the title of Supreme. Oh, and at one point in the series she comes back from the dead, meaner than ever. Perhaps, when you're both dead inside and out, there's nowhere for your personality to go other than the hellish depths of betchery.   


Chanel Oberlin From Scream Queens

No one knows how to sling a hateful line like Chanel Oberlin. One has to wonder if there's a Dorian Gray-esque portrait of her hanging in the attic of her sorority house, decaying with every torrent of scorn she lets spill from her mouth.

Chanel goes the Heathers/Jawbreaker route of leaving a body count trailing behind her. But remorse? That's not on the menu for Chanel. Though, neither is anything but alcohol and cotton balls by the looks of it.  



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 02:52:15 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/teen-tv-show-hbics/rebecca-shortall
<![CDATA[22 Insane Stories About Andy Kaufman That Prove He's An All-Time Legend]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/weird-andy-kaufman-stories/jacob-shelton?source=rss

More than any other performer, Andy Kaufman was able to create an air of mystery around himself that never dissipated even after his death. Most, if not all, Andy Kaufman stories feel totally unbelievable until they get so crazy that you feel like they might be completely real. Weird Andy Kaufman performances were the norm in his unfortunately short career, so it’s not hard to make the mental jump to believing that he pretended to kill himself on stage after opening for The Temptations, even though there’s no visual proof of that ever happening. If you’ve only heard about the genius that is Andy Kaufman, or you’re afraid to ask “who is Andy Kaufman?” then keep reading and discover the weirdest stories that he was ever involved in. Like the man who would go on to portray him in film, Jim Carrey, Andy Kaufman stories are anything but what you'd expect.

Some of the most bizarre Andy Kaufman stunts weren’t even performed for an audience; his weirdest acts were done in crowds of people with no cameras, and they were never repeated. Maybe. It turns out that Andy Kaufman lied quite a bit in his interviews, and that Andy Kaufman art performances may have been completely staged, with no improvising whatsoever. Are these stories real? Or are they just made up to mythologize an okay performer? You be the judge. 


22 Insane Stories About Andy Kaufman That Prove He's An All-Time Legend,

He Had To Have A Safety Net To Protect Him From Audience Missiles

While opening for Rodney Dangerfield under the guise of Tony Clifton, Kaufman went out of his way to infuriate the audience. But it's not like he was winging it as he went along; the man had a plan. On his third night, he showed up 25 minutes late and said that he wouldn't perform until all of the cigarettes were extinguished. When he finally got on stage, he lit a cigar and blew smoke into the audience and began singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" as people began to throw tomatoes and eggs at him. When someone threw a banana at him, he shouted, "Drop the net!,” and a protective barrier came down to block him from the audience. When someone threw a coin at him, he donned a SWAT helmet and yelled at everyone from the wings. 


He Never Rehearsed On Taxi

Despite starring on Taxi for six years, Kaufman never rehearsed with the rest of the cast. According to co-star Tony Danza, the producers hired a stand in to rehearse with the cast. Danza remembered: "He didn’t rehearse. He never rehearsed. You know. When he did come to rehearsal, he was always late. And, by the way, when his alter-ego,Tony Clifton, did the show - he constantly wanted to rehearse and he was always early. He was a real pain..."


Andy Made The Producers Of Taxi Fire His Alter Ego In Front Of The Cast

One of Andy's conditions for working on Taxi was that the producers had to hire his alter ego, lounge singer Tony Clifton, as well. When Clifton was on the show, Kaufman would only appear in character and would never acknowledge himself. Does that make sense? As Tony Danza told an audience at the Gotham Comedy Club, as much as the cast thought Kaufman was a pain, they hated Tony Clifton. So one day when Clifton showed up with two prostitutes, the cast persuaded the show's producer, Ed Weinberger, to fire Clifton. That's when things got ever more confusing, Danza explains: "Ed Weinberger went to Andy and he said, ‘Andy, or Tony, I have to fire you. I’ve got to let you go. This is not good for the show, to go on.’ And Andy, Andy loved the show. And he was not going to do it. But he could not resist the chance to do something with that. So evidently he told Ed that you can fire me, but you have to do it in front of everybody."

The day Clifton was fired Danza happened to have his Super 8 camera with him and filmed the "wrestling match" that broke out when he was kicked out of the studio, and a week later they watched the footage. 

"We’re all on top of one another, everyone’s in there, the cast, the crew, some of the producers, everybody’s in there. And we’re watching it. And just as this fight is starting to break out, the door opens up and out the door, Andy walks in. It was like the air was sucked out of the room. We’re all standing there. And we watched him - I watched him - watch the film. And then the film ran out. It just ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch. You know that thing, because it was on film? So I reached in, and I turned the film off. And we stood there for a second and Andy went just like this, he shrugged and went, ‘Geez. What an assh*le!’"


Kaufman Worked As A Busboy While He Was On Taxi

The story that Kaufman worked as a busboy is an interesting part of his mythology, but was it actually true? Or was it just one of his lies that went over like gangbusters? Multiple articles say that Kaufman was a busboy, but none of them can agree where he worked. Grantland reported that "[after] he was famous, he took a night job as a busboy at the Posh Bagel restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard, just to see what would happen." But a 1981 People Magazine article said that he worked "one night a week as a busboy at Jerry’s Famous Deli in Studio City." Maybe it never even happened. 


He Let A Group Of Nurses Beat Him In A Wrestling Match

Andy's brother Michael, who has tried to keep some mystique around Andy's life since his death, told a story in a Vice interview about how sweet Kaufman could be - even when he was being super weird. Michael said: "Andy went to visit a girl who was dying. She was a fan of his, and when his plane was delayed in Chicago on its way to Washington, he drove out to Demotte, Indiana, to visit her. Word got out at the hospital and Andy wrestled three people. I have pictures. They were supposedly nurses and maybe one patient's mother. It's the only time he ever lost a match. He let them beat him. And then there's a letter from the mother, thanking Andy for doing that. Seven weeks after his visit, she died. That whole correspondence will be there. Andy never told anyone about that. I only knew about it because I went through the stuff."


Towards The End Of His Life, He Received Psychic Surgery

The story of Andy Kaufman's death is truly sad. According to his friend and the best straight man he ever had, Jerry Lawler, Kaufman died three months after he was diagnosed with a highly aggressive form of lung cancer. Kaufman, an early proponent of natural and organic foods, sought out any form of medical help that he could get from chemo to something called psychic surgery.

Essentially, psychic surgery was a hoax perpetrated by a man in the Philippines who would pretend to remove a foreign body from his patient's innards, thus "healing" them. Think reiki combined with slight-of-hand magic. One would believe that Kaufman, a practiced prankster, would be able to note a fake when he saw one, but he still went through with the process and claimed to have been cured. Unfortunately, he passed away shortly after going through with the "surgery." Was he actually interested in this, or was he just playing a final prank? 


He Cried On The Dating Game

Before Andy Kaufman was established as the Loki of the comedy world, he was just working out his act in New York City. While he was still working out his "foreign guy" character that would later be fully exploited on Taxi, he was booked as a guest on The Dating Game, and he was 100% amazing. The two hot '70s bros that he was playing against were really into hooking up with a woman on TV, and Kaufman went out of his way to make the audience stew in the awkward soup he made. After the swingin' '70s babe picked dude #2, Kaufman burst into tears and protested that he correctly answered all the questions.


He Once Took An Entire Audience Out For Milk And Cookies After A Show

In 1979, rather than end a Carnegie Hall Show in some old-fashioned, outdated way (by just ending it), Kaufman took the entire 2,800-person audience, which included Tony Danza, out for milk and cookies. And if that wasn't enough Kaufman for them, he invited anyone who was interested to meet him on the Staten Island Ferry the next morning where he continued the show. 


His Brother Thought Andy Ruined His Career When He Appeared On Fridays

After a while, Andy's brother Michael said that he didn't want to know when Andy was pranking people anymore because he didn't like lying to people about Andy's intent. Michael says that at the famous Fridays taping - where Kaufman stopped a sketch, saying on camera that he "felt stupid," acting stoned, and freaking everyone out - he thought that his brother had ruined his career. Michael was in the audience and cautiously went backstage to see how his brother was doing.

"I approached his dressing room with trepidation because I thought he was going to be very angry. I had to open a door to a bigger room before getting to his dressing room, and when I did there was music and a great mood going on. I thought, This is in poor taste. Andy's in there packing up like he's got no career and you guys are having a great time. That feeling lasted about four seconds, because I looked up and saw that Andy was one of the people celebrating. He was high-fiving people and dancing around."


Seeing Kaufman Was A Great Way To Hear F. Scott Fitzgerald

In the late '70s, Kaufman was a regular guest on Saturday Night Live while it was still on the cutting edge of comedy, but even for the show's cool downtown audience, he was a bit too much. One night, rather than performing his "foreign man" character that had become a hit, he came out onstage, spoke with an English accent, and read from The Great Gatsby. When the audience began to boo, he asked if they'd like to hear some music instead, when they answered with an emphatic yes, he put a record on, and it was just his voice reading the words he had just read



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Tue, 21 Mar 2017 08:37:47 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/weird-andy-kaufman-stories/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[The Most Unhinged And Entertaining High Speed Chases]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/craziest-high-speed-chases/harrison-tenpas?source=rss

Who doesn't love high speed car chases? Admit it, when whatever daytime television program you're watching is interrupted by local news reporting some criminal eluding authorities down the interstate, you don't exactly look away. Crazy things always seem to happen on live television - and police chases are no exception. There's an element of danger to high speed chases - which are almost always caught on video - that is uniquely fascinating: you know it's going to end badly, it's just question of how violent and destructive it's going to get.

This list explores some of the craziest, most wild police pursuits caught on tape. From escaped mental patients, to magicians, to nudists, it turns out all sorts of people are the type to run from Johnny Law when in a pinch. Let's take a look at some of the most unhinged and entertaining high speed chases.


The Most Unhinged And Entertaining High Speed Chases,

O.J. And The White Bronco

In June of 1994, O.J. Simpson and his accomplice Al Cowlings led the Los Angeles Police Department on what is maybe the most famous car chase of all time. Simpson was planning to turn himself into authorities after being charged with the murder of his ex-wife, but he had a change of heart and decided to make a break for Mexico. As he and Cowlings fled in the now infamous white Ford Bronco, authorities were tipped off, and what followed was a chase across several LA freeways in a sensational event broadcast live all over the world. 

Luckily, no one was hurt and the chase came to peaceful resolution at Simpsons's home in Brentwood, CA, where he (reluctantly) turned himself into authorities. 


Naked Woman Goes On SUV Joyride

In Baytown, TX, police officers got a unique show when they pulled up next to a speeding SUV. Peering into the window to get a look at the driver, officers were surprised to see that: the driver was a woman, and, in the parlance of the lone star lawman heard on the video above, "she's naked as a jaybird."

As the pursuit continued, the exhibitionist driver's maneuvers became more erratic, and an off-duty officer joined chase in his pick-up truck. She eventually got caught on a two-lane road, and her freedom ride came to an end.


BMW Eludes Police At 150 MPH

In February 1998, a Shawnee County, KS, teen led authorities on an insane high speed pursuit that regularly got up to speeds of 150 mph. The 15-year-old - who smoothly maneuvered in and out of oncoming traffic like a Formula One driver - barreled away from police officers in a 240 horsepower BMW. Officers in pursuit, however, also had high-speed vehicles - cruisers with Corvette engines, a fortuitous break - and were able to keep up with the teen as he dodged spike strips, and almost forced to squad cars into a head-on collision. 

Unfortunately for this young thief, the engine on the stolen German vehicles eventually crapped out and authorities were able to make an arrest.


Mentally Unstable Trucker Attempts Suicide By Cop

An 18-wheeler on the run represents a unique challenge for police officers. Such a massive vehicle requires a coordinated effort to corral, and as seen in the video above taken in Moab, UT, it is no easy task - especially when the driver is unstable. 

A fleet of police cars attempt stop the mentally anguished man in 2002, who makes it clear he'd rather die than be taken alive. Police officers attempt to shoot out the truck's air lines and incapacitate the vehicle to no avail before the driver ultimately loses control and smashes into an off-road fence. Though the disturbed man makes a request for suicide-by-cop, he is eventually taken peacefully to a nearby hospital.


Man Gets Stopped, Steals Police Car

In August 2001, a cornered Denton, TX, man tried to elude police in a rather unconventional way. As the video above shows, authorities stopped the man in question in a drug store parking lot, and for whatever reason they left their cruiser unattended. The man took that opportunity to hop in and steal the cruiser. This is a pretty tough maneuver to execute successfully, and this bold car thief didn't end up making it too far, with police catching up to him shortly thereafter. Points for thinking outside the box, though.


An Alleged Magician Seeks His 15 Minutes Of Fame

Everyone is looking to get noticed in Hollywood, and this enterprising alleged magician certainly found a way to create a spectacle when he led LAPD on a slow speed chase in 2005. In the above video, a man in a colorful cape can be seen performing stunts and hanging out the window of his vehicle as a flock of police cars trail behind him. His magic runs out, however, when he decides to inexplicably pull over for a cup of coffee, leaving his vanishing act incomplete. 


Man Downgrades Stolen Cars, Is Quickly Caught

In September 2011, a 23-year-old man took Queensland, Australia authorities on a wild ride when he stole a bright yellow Porsche and bolted down the M1. A fugitive thought to be connected to several burglaries, the young man had been doing well at outpacing the cops in his newly acquired sports car - until he hit a guardrail, screwed up one of his front tires, and had to change vehicles.

In a pinch, the car thief had to settle for the inferior Nissan Navara as his next ride. This modest Japanese vehicle's lack of horsepower eventually led to the cops tracking him down, where he finally surrendered but not without a fight. 


Insane Texas Biker Chase Goes Through Six Cities

In some ways, a motorcycle is an ideal vessel for eluding authorities - it's compact, agile nature allows one to dart in and out of traffic with ease, and slip through narrow corridors that would prove impenetrable for a full-size car. In the above video, a Texas biker used all the strengths of his bike to evade authorities in an insanely long chase that went through six different cities, finally ending at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. At certain points of the pursuit, the bike hit speeds of 100 MPH, and at one point he nearly bumped an officer giving chase on his own motorcycle. Give this guy some credit, it's a pretty well-executed getaway attempt.


Teenage Car Thief Crashes Into Pond, Attempts To Swim Away

In 2001, a teenage car thief took off from an electronics store in Indianapolis, IN and led authorities on a high speed chase through a quiet, residential neighborhood. In an attempt to avoid spike strips, the young bandit loses control of the vehicle while careening at dangerous speeds, and after hitting a patch of green grass, the driver finds himself crashed into a retention pond.

Not willing to admit defeat and surrender, this driver attempts an even more slippery getaway and begins to swim away from police on the scene. Michael Phelps, he is not, however, and he is quickly apprehended. 


A High Speed Chase Turned Into A Deadly Situation

Hong Il Kim took off in his Toyota 4-Runner on Valentine's Day 1996, and began recklessly driving through Orange County, CA, cutting off motorists and running through red lights. When a suspicious police officer attempted to pull Kim over, he led authorities on a 30-mile high speed chase that soon drew the attention of local news cameras. Once Kim was finally cornered in a strip mall parking lot, he began revving his engine and ramming his car into police cruisers. He was greeted with a hale of bullets, which killed him on live television. The shooting went down as a controversial judgment call, and though Kim's family brought a wrongful death suit against authorities, their claim was ultimately unsuccessful. 



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Wed, 08 Mar 2017 08:49:23 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/craziest-high-speed-chases/harrison-tenpas
<![CDATA[18 Non-Japanese Shows People Always Think Are Anime]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/american-shows-that-are-basically-anime/crystal-brackett?source=rss

When a cartoon on American television looks like anime, the average person usually assumes it's anime. Given anime's ever-expanding global popularity, it's easy to deem shows with anime characteristics as authentic forms of the genre. But in order to be anime, the series must be made in Japan, and the titles below, though stylistically influenced by anime, are not. But hey, that was the intention, right? These popular series are American shows that seem like anime. They're inspired by the anime genre's physical attributes, fight scenes, and of course, beautiful women.

From full-fledged series on popular channels such as Cartoon Network to titles on streaming services such as Netflix, these Western cartoons that look like anime definitely fooled someone into believing they were actually anime at some point or another.


18 Non-Japanese Shows People Always Think Are Anime,

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Batman Beyond

Code Lyoko

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi

Samurai Jack

The Boondocks

Totally Spies!

Teen Titans

Avatar: Legend of Korra

RWBY


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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:50:30 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/american-shows-that-are-basically-anime/crystal-brackett
<![CDATA[Why Women Are Drawn To The True Crime Genre]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/why-women-love-true-crime/katia-kleyman?source=rss

A 2010 study in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science found that women love true crime more than men. Why women like true crime can be boiled down to a host of reasons that include their ability to relate to its storylines and the necessity they feel to prepare for the worst. It's definitely not just some desire to join the illustrious ranks of other terrifying female serial killers. As such, women disproportionately ingest true crime when compared to men. For example, the host of the true-crime podcast Sword and Scale, Michael Boudet, said that 70% of his fans were female between the ages of 25-45.

So, why exactly do women eat up this true crime stuff? Read on in the list below to find out.


Why Women Are Drawn To The True Crime Genre,

Because Women Can Relate To The Victims

How often have you read or watched true-crime fiction and the line, “she was just a regular girl, it could’ve happened to me,” was said? A bunch, right? That’s because true-crime is extremely relatable. Most of the time the victims of true-crime fiction aren’t derelicts or sex workers. They didn’t “have it coming” (not that anyone does), but these women did not put themselves in harm’s way. Women are also able to empathize more with the victims of true crime than men, says Dr. Howard Forman, a forensic psychiatrist at Montefiore Medical Center.

“By the time you get to adulthood, women are able to empathize to a greater degree than men on average,” Forman told Tech Insider. “That may lead to true crime being more interesting to women than men, simply because if you empathize more with the victim, it may be more relevant to you and more gripping.”


It Helps Women Learn Tactics To Survive And Prevent Becoming A Victim

In the 2010 study, the researchers found that the primary motivation women had for reading true-crime novels was so that they could watch for signs of a potentially murderous situation. Reading this material allowed them to learn how to look for signals of potential violence in a jealous boyfriend or spouse. They also read the novels so that they could learn ways to escape, in case they ever found themselves bound and gagged in the back of some van.

And that's totally fair. Women are far more likely to be the victims of sexual violence than men. In fact, one out of every six women in the United States has been a victim of an attempted or completed rape. Women also account for 70% of the victims of serial killers who murdered between 1985 and 2010, and that is primarily because there is a sexual motive behind most mass killers. Those statistics are staggering, and it makes sense that a woman would want to know what to do to survive in a situation like that.

Men might be more likely to find themselves on a deserted island with limited resources. So, they’re probably more likely to watch Man vs. Wild to learn how to survive than they are to be taking notes from The Fall. Women, are far more likely to fall into the hands of a sociopathic predator. So what do they do? They read true-crime.


So They Can Understand The Justice System And Play CSI Specialist

Come on, there is an entire TV show called How to Get Away with Murder?, and the main character is a strong female lead, played by Viola Davis. It’s not so much that women want to actually study how to commit a crime, but it can be pretty fun to pretend. Women enjoy playing the role of the detective and CSI specialist.

Shows like Making of a Murderer, Jinx, and the podcast Serial, have also given the American public a deeper understanding of the justice system. It’s not every day that you get an inside view of a courtroom and see the unfolding of the legal process. This is something that deeply intrigues women.

“I think the real reason we’ve become so obsessed with true crime is more about wanting to understand why the legal system works the way it does. Most of us have never been in a courtroom, let alone a murder trial, and our knowledge of the legal system doesn’t encompass much more than a few episodes of Law and Order or The Good Wife,wrote Molly Fosco for The Huffington Post.


So They Can Face Their Fears

Some people enjoy being afraid. Fear can be a rush, and the emotion can actually release the hormone dopamine. Some women can get off on feeling scared, and true crime represents many women’s greatest fears. Women are already more conscious of their surroundings then men are; they don’t feel as confident walking home alone at night, for example. They may also keep their keys in their hands, ready to gash a potential attacker’s eyes out. Reading true crime can make that fear tangible, but it’s still at comfortable distance. Once they put the book down or turn off the TV, they feel more confident or empowered because they’ve “experienced” a situation and survived it. However, women reading true crime out of fear can have adverse effects, the study found:

“It is possible that reading these books may actually increase the very fear that drives women toward them in the first place. In other words, a vicious cycle may be occurring: A woman fears becoming the victim of a crime so she turns to true crime books in a possible effort to learn strategies and techniques to prevent becoming murdered. However, with each true crime book she reads, this woman learns about another murderer and his victims, thereby increasing her awareness and fear of crime.”


True Crime Fiction Takes Seriously Things The Broader Culture Looks Down On

True crime fiction addresses important issues to womanhood that the larger society pays little attention to. It emphasizes the imbalance of power in the home, and it explains how that could lead to potentially violent situations. In addition, it takes on the idea of self-doubt in terms of motherhood and child rearing.

Women are often portrayed in culture as naturally caring and born-to-be mothers. As true crime shows, in the many cases of women killing their children, this is not always the case. Many women feel trapped by motherhood and are ambivalent towards their children. True crime shows that women do not always bounce back from heartbreak, and they can actually become calloused and irreparably damaged. These are things that women come in contact with on a daily basis, but they don’t have the opportunity to hear or read about in the broader culture. For these reasons, true crime can feel like a safe space where it's OK to admit that the mundane aspects of your home life are actually different than they may appear.


Some Women Get Turned On By It

People can discuss whether violence and rape fantasies are normal (or healthy for that matter) until the cows come home, but it doesn’t change the fact that some women are turned on by acts of violence. For the most part, these fantasies remain just that... fantasies. These women would never want these things to really happen to them in real life, and they publicly decry violence against women. But in the privacy of their own minds lurks a secret they would never share with the world; there is something that arouses them about violence. It is not uncommon for women to have rape fantasies. When Daniel Bergner posted asking women to share their fantasies on his DoubleX Desire Lab blog, he got a lot of responses from women who have had rape fantasies.

You've probably also seen that real-life serial killers get huge fan followings made up of primarily women, the very group of people that they’ve brutally murdered. Does this mean that these women have a death wish and want to be murdered by them? Probably not. While on trial for murder, Ted Bundy got hundreds of letters from “groupies” and even married and fathered a child with one of his fans while in prison. For some women, the “bad boy” (that is taking that term very lightly in the case of Bundy) persona is just too irresistible.


It's A Chance To Inhabit The Role Of The Smart Woman

Not all crime novels are about a man stalking a woman, terrorizing her, and bringing her under his control. Sometimes, it is the exact opposite. In Dorothy B. Hughe’s In a Lonely Place, the reader sees a man, the killer (Dix Steele... Yes, that was his real name), become unraveled by the power of the smart woman. There are in fact two smart women in the novel: the wife of the police detective on the case and the killer’s love interest. Both women inspire hatred from the killer because they can see him for who he truly is, not a man of absolute power, but a weak, vulnerable, and damaged person.

This theme is often seen in true crime fiction. Take the role of Stella Gibson in The Fall. Stella, played brilliantly by Gillian Anderson, can understand the killer, Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), for who he really is. He is a broken boy, driven to kill because of his deep-rooted misogyny. Stella is the only legitimate threat that stands in Spector’s way. Spector is obsessed with Stella, and at the same time hates her immensely because of her intellect and position of power, something that Spector was never able to achieve in his unremarkable life. For female viewers and readers, this inversion of the power dynamics between men and women can be highly appealing.


It's An Opportunity To Understand Other Women's Psychology

Some women don’t read true crime because they get off on the gore and violence. For them, it's more of an opportunity to understand how seemingly “good” women can just snap. There’s a whole TV show on Oxygen devoted to that called Snapped because women love watching it so much. It’s interesting to understand the steps that led to a break in these women’s psyches. For example, what made those young peace-loving hippy girls become slaves to and commit brutal murder in the name of Charles Manson in Helter Skelter? Could you be so easily led?



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Thu, 16 Feb 2017 09:07:39 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/why-women-love-true-crime/katia-kleyman
<![CDATA[10 Unbelievably Badass Stories Of Real Samurai From Ancient Japan]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/awesome-samurai-stories/justin-andress?source=rss

For nearly 700 years, the power of the samurai held sway over feudal Japan. These Japanese warriors forged a legend unique among the history of the world. Before the Western world made contact with Japan, the country was segmented into a number of feudal states. Technically there was an Emperor, but for most of the last millennium, the Emperor ruled in name only. It was the daimyo, the individual leaders of each city-state, who really controlled the country. And at the beck and call of the daimyo were the nearly unstoppable samurai, a group of highly disciplined warriors who upheld the tenets of hard work, loyalty, and respect that have formed the foundation of modern Japanese society.

First and foremost, though, samurai were fighters. Utilizing a set of tools that made Medieval knights look like total chumps, badass samurai loomed large in Japanese society from the 12th century all the way until the late 1860s. Here are some of history’s crazy samurai tales, featuring the men and women who helped mold the Japan that we know today.


10 Unbelievably Badass Stories Of Real Samurai From Ancient Japan,

Miyamoto Musashi Was An Invincible Swordsman Who Went Into Battle With Two Swords

At the age of 13 (around the year 1595), Miyamoto Musashi killed his first opponent, a samurai from a neighboring village. Though Musashi was armed only with a wooden practice sword, he killed the other guy inside a minute, throwing him to the ground and hitting the samurai in the throat so hard that he died vomiting blood. Shortly after, Musashi began to travel the country in the hopes of perfecting his technique and becoming Japan’s greatest swordsman. 

Before the age of 20, he’d distinguished himself by fighting ferociously in several battles and walking out unharmed each time. He’d also begun his tradition of wandering the country and seeking out (then murdering) anyone who was regarded as a master of the sword. He even single-handedly destroyed a famous clan of swordsmen, the Yoshioka family, in a series of duels. The last of those saw Musashi cut through dozens of men after the Yoshioka family sprung a trap.

Around this time, Musashi began to wield two blades in combat, a technique completely unheard of at the time. By around 1613, Musashi had made a real named for himself, cutting through some of Japan’s most famous duelists. It was then that he encountered Sasaki Kojiro, a man considered to be Musashi’s most fearsome opponent. Musashi made quick work of Kojiro, but the duel left him upset. It was at this point that Musashi swore off lethal duels forever, because he couldn’t bare to rob the world of any more artists.

Musashi’s story goes on like that until 1645, when the old man began to feel his end coming. Rather than sit and wait for it, Musashi moved into a cave and began writing his famous Book of Five Rings, which serves as the definitive text on classical Japanese swordplay. He also managed to crank out a guide to being self-reliant, the "Dokkodo," before dying.


Tomoe Gozen, A Female Samurai, Once Took Home Seven Heads In One Battle

In a field that was entirely dominated by men, Tomoe Gozen began her life as a concubine to one of history’s most famous daimyo, Lord Minamoto no Yoshinaka. Adept with both the bow and arrow and the long sword, Tomoe Gozen went into battle at the head of Yoshinaka’s army. In the Battle of Yokotagawara in 1181, Tomoe Gozen reportedly collected the heads of seven mounted warriors. That’s basically the ancient equivalent of Lebron James getting a triple-double and scoring a 100 points in game seven of the NBA Finals.

In the Battle of Uchide no Hama in 1184, she went total Thermopylae and led 300 of her troops into battle against an army of 6,000 enemy soldiers. She emerged as one of five survivors. Finally, in a battle before she was ordered to quit the field, Tomoe rode head on into a pack of 30 soldiers, promptly beheading their leader in one swift movement. Badass doesn't even begin to describe it. 


Honda Tadakatsu Had Giant Horns And A Legendarily Sharp Sword

To begin with, samurai armor makes Medieval knight gear look like rusty garbage. In addition to the primary weapon, the katana, samurai also carried two smaller ceremonial blades, the shortened tanto, and mid-sized wakizashi. The latter of the two was used in ritual suicide, or seppuku

Equally as impressive as the armaments was the armor that samurai wore into battle. Iron plates were dipped in a thick lacquer, and then sewn together with silk cord. The result was lighter and more durable than English chain mail. Samurai could actually wade through waist-deep water and still be ready to fight.

When he hit the battlefield in the 1560s, Honda Tadakatsu used his armor to strike fear in his opponents. To the top of his helmet, he affixed towering stag antlers that made him visible from anywhere on the field. He also eschewed the traditional katana in favor of carrying what became known as the Dragonfly Cutter, a name earned because the blade was reportedly so sharp that any insect landing on it would instantly be sliced in half. This huge, bladed polearm could apparently through several opponents with a single swing. 


Tsukahara Bokuden Touted An Unbeaten Record, Both In Duels And Battle

Born in 1490, Tsukahara Bokuden is one of the most prominent figures in samurai history. Over the course of 19 duels and 37 battles, Bokuden went completely undefeated, garnering a reputation as the most deadly samurai during the Warring States Period. 

Then, at the age of 37, Bokuden became convinced that the true challenge was settling disputes without combat. In one famous tale, Bokuden reportedly incurred the wrath of a young samurai while traveling on a boat. When Bokuden attempted to explain the virtue of solving arguments without violence, the young samurai insisted that the boat’s captain pull up to the nearest island so he and Bokuden could duel.

When the boat docked and the young samurai jumped out, Bokuden simply grabbed the boat’s reigns and led it out into deeper water, stranding the young samurai and laughing as he left, shouting, "Here is my no sword school!"


Date Masamune, The Ruthless One-Eyed Dragon

Born in 1566, Date Masamune, the son of a regional warlord, contracted smallpox as a child. Rather than let the infection spread, he's said to have plucked out his right eye himself. Thereafter nicknamed the "One-eyed Dragon," that was the last time Masamune would let anything get the better of him. He was a blooded battlefield leader at 14 and the outright ruler of the Date clan by the time he was 17.

Masamune wasn’t someone you wanted to mess with. In response to Masamune leading his soldiers around on a rape-and-pillage tour, a rival warlord named Hatakeyama Yoshitsugo took Masamune’s father hostage, even going so far as to use the old man as a human shield on the battlefield.

Masamune’s father, by the way, shouted at his son to open fire, even though it would mean his own death. Masamune hesitated, and his father got his throat cut by Yoshitsugo. Of course, Masamune responded by ramming his army down Yoshitsugo’s throat and then torturing and killing his entire family. 


Kusunoki Masashige Used Guerrilla Tactics To Fight A War For His Emperor

Kusunoki Masashige was born in relative obscurity, becoming the leader of a small fief in Japan. In 1331, Japanese emperor Go-Daigo called Kusunoki to fight a losing battle for the kingdom. Though emperor Go-Daigo was captured by a swarm of shogunate forces shortly after Kusunoki joined the fight, Kusunoki managed to escape to Japan’s mountainous countryside. He then led a small group of men in a series of guerrilla-style raids that helped to turn the tide of the war. In 1332, he captured Chihaya, a fortress in central Japan that proved to be of critical strategic importance.

The emperor got wind of the victories, bribed his jailers, and returned to Kusunoki, igniting a wave of nobles to switch sides and support the emperor’s rise to power. Everything went fine until 1336, when an internecine struggle for the throne of Japan saw Go-Daigo threatened by an overwhelming army commanded by Ashikaga Takauji. 

Kusunoki recommended a strategic retreat, but the emperor wouldn’t hear of it. Go-Daigo insisted Kusunoki meet the superior army in battle. Out of sheer loyalty to his emperor, Kusunoki led his troops to their doom. His unwavering loyalty in the face of outstanding odds has cemented Kusunoki’s place as one of the earliest examples of the ideal samurai.


Togo Shigekata Created A Fearsome Fighting Form Called Jigen Ryu

A samurai’s most important tool on the field was his katana, a sleek instrument of death that was forged during an intensely personal ceremony. Unlike the hammered steel of the Western world, Japanese steel was hammered thin and then bent back onto itself time and again to create a thin, flexible blade that sliced through enemies with ease. A brand new blade was expected to slice a body in half. 

One of the major schools of combat training utilizing the katana was created by famed warrior Togo Shigekata. The practitioners of Shigekata’s martial art howled fiercely like a monkey when in combat. Reputedly, Shigekata’s school of training equipped its students to attack their opponents so viciously that when they trained with wooden swords on wooden targets, the targets themselves began to smoke.


Minamoto No Tametomo, The Greatest Archer Who Ever Lived

It was said that Minamoto no Tametomo was born with one arm six inches longer than the other, a genetic deformity that enabled him to pull off more powerful archery shots than any other man. On horseback, he was incredibly fearsome.

Over the centuries since he was active (around 1156), Minamoto no Tametomo has since moved largely into the realm of legend. For example, he allegedly once sunk a Taira ship simply by shooting it below the waterline.

He's also said to have traveled to Okinawa and fathered a son with the daughter of the island’s leader. On his return trip to Japan, he encountered superior Japanese forces and, rather than being taken captive, he committed seppuku.


William Adams, The First Western Samurai, Was More Politician Than Solider (But Still Insanely Cool)

William Adams didn’t exactly distinguish himself on the battlefield so much as contribute to Japan’s war technology in a big way. He was revered for his brilliance, and became extremely close with the supreme military leader of Japan, shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. 

Even before he took up with the shogun, Adams was already a tough dude, sailing out from England into the Eastern unknown in 1600. The voyage across the ocean was plagued with illness, ultimately killing 90% of the crew. Adams was one of nine crew members who survived the voyage. 

After initially being imprisoned by Ieyasu, Adams ultimately became the shogun’s chief advisor, talking his way out of prison by teaching Japanese craftsman how to make Western-style sailing ships. Adams levied that success into becoming Ieyasu’s diplomatic advisor and interpreter. Though he wasn’t technically allowed to leave the country for a decade, Adams still managed to become one of the richest, most powerful men in Japan, despite the fact he started his time there as a prisoner on the edge of death.


The Tale Of The 47 Ronin Is The "Citizen Kane" Of Samurai Stories

The ultimate expression of Japanese honor and the national tale of Japan is Chushingura, or the story of the 47 Ronin. It begins in 1701, when two daimyo got into a kerfuffle after they were asked to entertain an envoy to the shogun. 

Asano Naganori was a young leader from the country who commanded immense respect from his men. Asano was repeatedly insulted for his rural upbringing by another daimyo named Kira Yoshinaka. After being pushed to the limit, Asano lashed out with his tantō (a type of short sword), slashing Kira. Though the wound wasn’t really that bad, Asano committed a huge offense by drawing his weapon in Edo Castle. For his aggression, Asano was ordered to commit seppuku.

For 47 of Asano’s 300 samurai, the forced suicide of their master was unforgivable. At first, however, the men made no attempt to get retribution. They quietly let go of their samurai titles, adopting the title of a samurai without a master, or ronin. For over a year, the loyal ronin laid low. Their leader, Oishi, took to hitting bars and brothels and generally engaging in distinctly un-samurai-like behavior. Then, one snowy December night, the 47 ronin assembled and quietly stole into Kira’s castle, murdering him and his entire household.

After the murder, the ronin turned themselves in before carrying out the ordered sentence of seppuku.



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Fri, 18 Nov 2016 08:24:42 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/awesome-samurai-stories/justin-andress
<![CDATA[The Very Specific Conditions It Takes For You To See a Fire Rainbow]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/how-to-see-a-fire-rainbow/jonathan-sherman?source=rss

A fire rainbow - more scientifically known as a circumhorizontal arc - is one of the rarest occurring optical phenomena on earth. Their rarity is only matched with their beauty, as people lucky enough to see it need to be in the right place and the right time. 

What is a fire rainbow, and how exactly do you see one? These amazing fire rainbows need the perfect conditions to be seen, and when they are, they are fantastic. While they're not technically a weather phenomenon, it requires exact weather conditions in order to appear. If you're not lucky enough to see one in person, check out these facts and pictures of fire rainbows. Maybe one day you'll be lucky enough to see one. 


The Very Specific Conditions It Takes For You To See a Fire Rainbow,

Fire Rainbows Are One Of The Rarest Optical Phenomena Known To Man

A fire rainbow is the common name for one of the rarest optical phenomena, scientifically known as a circumhorizontal arc. The beautiful display occurs when light from the sun or moon reflects off ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. While “fire rainbow” is what it is commonly called, it is a somewhat misleading name as they have nothing to do with fire or rainbows.


Fire Rainbows Are Massive

The circumhorizontal arc is actually just that - an arc. Because of the necessary variables to make them visible to the human eye, we are often left with the ability to only see a fragment of the entire arc. Circumhorizon arcs are so huge their colors often appear to be those of the sky itself rather than an ice crystal halo. In the above shot, the true size of a fire rainbow can be seen when it dwarfs an airplane flying across the sky.
 


When We See Fire Rainbows, Our Brains Are Playing Tricks On Us (Sort Of)

Something to remember, not only with fire rainbows but with all optical phenomena in the sky, is the array of colors in the sky exist at all times. But based on how they're reflecting in the sky, we don't necessarily see them. This is why it's a rare occurrence for the human eye and brain to isolate and identify certain colors, like those seen in a fire rainbow. As senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen explained:

"In clouds, iridescence is a by-product of sunlight being diffracted by water droplets or ice crystals, causing the various wavelengths of light, which we see as colors, to emerge at different angles. As they reach the observer's eye, the observer perceives a pattern of various colors as those different wavelengths reach his or her eye from distinct directions, rather than being jumbled together and appearing whitish."


They Look Very Similar To Iridescent Clouds

While they look similar, be sure not to confuse fire rainbows with iridescent clouds. While the two phenomenon can produce a similar effect, iridescence often occur in altocumulus, cirrocumulus, and lenticular clouds. Iridescent clouds look similar to what you might see when oil is spilled in water puddle - a rainbow-like, pastel splash of colors. These occur when the light of the sun or moon goes through semi-transparent clouds where water droplets are present. 

The biggest difference between an iridescent cloud and a fire rainbow is the presence of large ice crystals. Iridescent clouds don't have large ice crystals, while circumhorizontal arcs do. 
 


Fire Rainbows Take On The Shape Of The Cloud

Fire rainbows are entirely dependent on the light hitting the ice crystal cloud formations, the colors will take on the shape of the cloud themselves. This can create braided fire rainbows, wavy fire rainbows, streaks, rivers, and more. The diversity is what makes for an array of amazing fire rainbows.


Fire Rainbows Are Actually Similar To Sunsets

While fire rainbows are incredibly rare, you can see a similar optical phenomenon many days out of the year by watching a sunset. The science that creates fire rainbows is very similar to the science behind the most beautiful sunsets. As a ray of sunlight travels through the atmosphere, the colors are scattered out by air molecules and airborne particles, changing the final color of the beam. Because the shorter wavelength components, such as blue and green, scatter more strongly, these colors are preferentially removed. So at sunrise and sunset when the path through the atmosphere is longer, the blue and green components are removed almost completely. That leaves the longer wavelength orange and red hues we typically see.


Light Has To Hit Ice Crystals At The Perfect Angle To Make A Fire Rainbow Appear

A fire rainbow is formed when light enters horizontally-oriented, flat, hexagonal ice crystals vertically and leaves through them horizontally. The 90 degree shift from the light rays' entrance and exit forces the separation of the spectral colors. The ice halos occur only when the sun is at least 58 degrees above the horizon


Fire Rainbows Are More Frequent At Certain Latitudes And Longitudes

The frequency of fire rainbows depends entirely on the location and latitude of the observer. While fire rainbows are relatively common throughout the United States, they are rare in northern Europe for several reasons.

Not only do the ice crystal-containing clouds need to be in the right position in the sky, the halo requires the light source must be at an elevation of 58 degrees or higher. In London, England the sun is only high enough for 140 hours per year, between mid-May and late July. In contrast, in Los Angeles the sun is high enough for 670 hours per year, between late March and late September.


They Can Only Occur In Two Types Of Clouds

Fire rainbows can only occur in cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. These cloud types both occur in high altitudes, and are made up of thin, wispy strands. Cirrus clouds can occur anywhere between 16,500 and 45,000 feet, and cirrostratus occur between 18,000 and 21,000 feet.

Interestingly, cirrus clouds form on planets other than Earth, including Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and possibly Neptune. This means fire rainbows may also exist on alien planets.



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Fri, 31 Mar 2017 06:04:29 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/how-to-see-a-fire-rainbow/jonathan-sherman
<![CDATA[All The Colors The Hulk Has Been (And Why)]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/all-the-colors-the-hulk-has-been/l-zane-pinnock?source=rss

Greenskin. The Green Goliath. The Jade Giant. The Incredible Hulk has had a variety of nicknames over the years, but one thing has always come through in his various monikers: the Hulk is green. Most people, in fact, think he’s always been green. Ask the average person on the street what they know about the Hulk and “he’s green” will probably come up, along with "get out of my face, nerd, I'm just trying to go to work."  

The color has been synonymous with the character pretty much since Hulk’s inception in 1962, and it's really one of Ol’ Jade Jaws’s most defining characteristics. But as any comic fan worth their poly-bagged, unopened copy of Superman v2 #75 knows, it hasn’t always been that way.

One of the most powerful comic book characters ever, the Hulk has seen a multitude of changes since he was first conceived by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and some of those changes have been in coloring. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who knows every color the Hulk has been; there are a few that only the most devoted comic book historians would know. Prepare to join those hallowed ranks and learn every color the Hulk has been over the course of comics history.


All The Colors The Hulk Has Been (And Why),

Metal Hulk

The Hulk was first seen as a bluish, metal robot in 1960’s Strange Tales v1 #75. While no writer is credited for the story drawn by Don Heck, both Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were published in the selfsame comic. The story in question concerns Albert Poole, a brilliant, diminutive scientist who is both obsessed with and enraged at his height.

While his intelligence is massive, his puny size and lack of strength leaves Poole angry and determined to get even with the world. Poole uses his genius, and his assistant Blake, to create the Mighty Hulk, a bluish, metal, 15-foot-tall monstrosity Poole was going to use to take over the world. He might’ve made it work, too, had he not blown up at his assistant. Blake accidentally drops and damages the audio impulse regulator, a vital piece of the Hulk’s components.

Poole angrily fires the assistant and, after sending him packing, locks himself into the Mighty Hulk and prepares to conquer humanity. The problem is, he left the key to metal monster on his workbench, and had no way to control or exit the Hulk. The story ends with Poole trapped in the Hulk for over three days, praying that Blake comes back to work. Marvel later changed the robot’s name to Grutan to avoid any confusion.


Green Hulk

In The Incredible Hulk v1 #2, the Hulk moved forward as a green hued behemoth, but that wasn’t the end of the color changes for Bruce Banner’s alter-ego. Throughout the years, the type of green changed with creative teams, storylines, and even stylistic trends. Early on, Hulk had a flat, green color that was easily printable and reflected the personality of the surly behemoth as he stomped through military bases and fought alien toad creatures.

As the Hulk’s persona evolved into that of a petulant child on the ultimate temper tantrum, however, the intensity of his coloring changed with him. The green became a brilliant shade of emerald that was pleasing to the eye and easily digestible by the young people comics were marketed to at the time. As storylines progressed into the sophisticated character studies of the '80s, the bright green became more nuanced, with subtle tonal changes that really made the art pop off the page.

Moving into the '90s, and following the advent of computer coloring, the Hulk’s skin tone changed again, beginning to feature dark and light greens, plus flashy highlights and lighting effects that would have been impossible to render in earlier decades.


Gray Hulk Redux

After 20 years of the Hulk as a rampaging, nearly mindless beast, the Hulk underwent a transformation that brought him back to the Gray Hulk... with a twist. It was established that Bruce Banner was suffering from some substantial mental issues well before he became the Hulk. So, when Gray Hulk made his return in The Incredible Hulk v1 #324, it was as a disturbing glimpse into the broken psyche that made it possible for Hulk to exist in the first place.

Peter David brought a new spin to the original Hulk theme: new Gray Hulk was as churlish as his gray predecessor had ever been, but sported a cunning intelligence, an amoral leaning, and a vicious mean streak. It didn’t take long for this relatively de-powered Hulk to become the ultimate Las Vegas leg-breaker. He was still frighteningly powerful, and people stepped lightly when Joe Fixit (he went by a different name as the Gray Hulk, it was not even a little confusing) was around. When Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man is hired to put Mr. Fixit and his boss in their place in Incredible Hulk v1 #348, Creel manages to hold his own against this new weakened Hulk. Eventually, however, Creel is beaten literally to pieces by the mean spirited enforcer.


Gray Hulk

Lee and Kirby rolled the dice twice in 1962 with characters named "the Hulk," and this time the name stuck. Drawn from mythic figures like the Hebrew Golem, and inspired by literary influences like the monster from Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stan Lee wanted to have this Hulk be gray in color, so as not to be evocative of any particular ethnic group.

Despite misgivings, the rest of the creative team went with it and when The Incredible Hulk v1 #1 debuted, it featured a rather pallid gray Hulk. This Hulk seemed confused and decidedly surly, as opposed to the child-like constantly raging persona he adopted later. Problems persisted as colorist and veteran Archie Comics artist Stan Goldberg had difficulty keeping the coloring of the Hulk consistent for the sake of the printing presses. The shades of gray varied wildly from panel to panel, and at times even veered off into green.  


Red Hulk

“Who killed the Abomination?” was the "Who shot J.R?" of the 2008 comics world. A joyfully brutal, flame-eyed red doppelgänger of the Hulk beat the Abomination to a pulpy, blue mass, and then shot him in the face with a gigantic handgun. It could’ve been anyone in Bruce Banner’s retinue of supporting characters, and theories abounded. The red Hulk seemed unstoppable, destroying everyone and everything in his path, from S.H.I.E.L.D to Thor, with frightening ease.

All the while, Bruce Banner languished in a cell specifically designed to contain the awesome power of the Hulk. At the epic culmination of the mystery in Hulk v2 #23, the true identity of the red Hulk was revealed to be none other than Bruce Banner’s most dedicated and devoted archenemy, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross. After the death of his daughter (who was poisoned by the Abomination), and Ross’s expulsion from the military, Ross became consumed by his hatred for Banner and the Hulk.

Allowing himself to be used as a guinea pig for M.O.D.O.K and the Leader, Ross was infused with energy that had been stolen from the Hulk. It turned Ross into a crimson monster with the power to crush anything and anyone who dared stand in his way... including the Hulk.


Orange Furry Metal Hulk

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby went to the Hulk well a third time in 1962’s Journey Into Mystery v1 #62 with the eye catching title, “I Was A Slave Of The Living Hulk.” Lee and Kirby, along with inker extraordinaire Dick Ayers, told a beautiful and entertaining sci-fi horror tale of Joe Harper, small town electrician, and hen-pecked husband. Late one night, Harper gets called to help a neighbor fix a malfunctioning machine, and despite protest from his wife, heads out to assist.

As he passes Blacktree swamp, Joe discovers the unconscious body of an orange, furry, metal android and the wreckage of the ship the thing crash-landed on planet Earth. Believing that reviving the creature will somehow advance the cause of humanity, Joe Harper takes the thing back to workshop, forgetting all about his unfortunate neighbor and his wife. Once he revives the creature, he finds the he’s actually rescued an extraterrestrial criminal known as Xemnu the Living Hulk, who means to use his telepathic powers to enslave mankind.

The creature forces the humans to build him a new spaceship that will carry him back to the stars and destroy the Earth in the process. Soon Harper is the only human left not under the control of Xemnu, and manages to stop the creature by rewiring the ship, sending it into orbit around the Sun forever. Much like the Mighty Hulk (Grutan), Marvel opted to rename the character to the shortened Xemnu or Xemnu the Titan to avoid any confusion.


Orange Blob Hulk

In July of 1961, Marvel Comics Group’s Tales to Astonish #21 hit newsstands around the country. Toward the end of the book, there was a small story about people going to see a horror movie. The audience walks past a bold marquis the screams out “The Hulk” in big, block letters as a loathsome, orange blob of a monster menaces them from a movie poster. The audience watches the movie with wide eyes, shocked at the tableau playing out in front of them.

After the movie ends, the crowd files out of the theater, and no one sees the orange Hulk as it steps off of the screen, and into the empty theater. It’s revealed, however, that it’s really just another movie... until the monster steps off of that screen, too. Just as viewers are sure the monster really just on the screen, it reaches out, breaking the panel border, and forcing readers to ask themselves, exactly where is the line between reality and fantasy?


White Hulk

Amalgam Comics was a Marvel/DC crossover event that was released in two separate print runs a little more than a year apart. The two companies took some of their most popular characters and blended them together to create brand new iterations of the superheroes. Generally, the characters who were mixed had some aspect of their characterization in common.

In Doctor Strangefate #1, Charles Xavier (AKA the Sorcerer Supreme) is seeking a man known as Access, who holds the keys that could destroy Dr. Strangefate’s universe. He commands three super-humans, all of whom are beholden to Xavier in some way, to procure the man, and to bring him to Xavier. One of the super-humans is Bruce Banner. Years earlier Banner, a brilliant scientist, suffered a lethal dose of gamma radiation in the process of saving a foolish young Solomon Grundy. Instead of killing him, Banner is cursed to become a superhumanly powerful, white-skinned behemoth called "Skulk" under times of extreme stress.


Orange Hulk

Putting the Incredible Hulk in Hell is an interesting concept in and of itself. In Incredible Hulks Annual #1, readers are treated to a parallel universe in which former scientist Bruce Banner has become the Sorcerer Supreme, and finally managed to magically separate himself from his monstrous alter-ego.

As a side effect, the now personified savage Hulk is relegated to the depths of Hell, where in time the creature is corrupted into something no one could possibly have foreseen - an Infernal Hulk with an evil heart as black as its skin is orange. The Infernal Hulk is turned loose on the world, where it proceeds to stalk Bruce Banner with the intention of beating the sorcerer to death. It's only through getting tricked into punching a green version of the Hulk (holding the Eye of Agamotto) that the Infernal Hulk is sent back to Hell where he belongs.


Blue Hulk

Captain Universe is the embodiment of the awesome Uni-Power. This cosmic force, which emanated originally from the sub-atomic dimension of the Microverse, has been channeled by hundreds of people over the years. When the Uni-Power finds a noble spirit during a time of crisis, that person becomes the manifestation of Captain Universe. Among the people who have possessed its power is Bruce Banner.

When Captain Universe came seeking Banner in Captain Universe #1: Hulk, he is able to repress Banner’s transformation, reducing the creature to a surly, disembodied voice in Banner’s head. At the behest of the Captain Universe, Banner seeks out the foremost authority on the Uni-Power, the mousy and unassuming Dr. Gilbert Wiles, a former wielder of the Uni-Power.

When Wiles’s assistant David Barnes tries to steal the Uni-Power he knows is inside of Banner, he gets far more than he bargained for. So does the Hulk. A sustained weapon blast of Delta radiation reverses the position of Bruce Banner and the Hulk relative to the Uni-Power, resulting in a bright blue Hulk with shredded white pants who hears the voice of an ironic Bruce Banner in his head. Blue Hulk crushes the attack droids assisting Barnes, while Dr. Wiles deals with Barnes himself.



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Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:15:56 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/all-the-colors-the-hulk-has-been/l-zane-pinnock
<![CDATA[16 Examples Of Shoddy Police Work In Films That Are Downright Laughable]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/worst-movie-police-work-ever/eric-conner?source=rss

Movies about brave boys (and girls) in blue seem to have one thing in common: straight-up awful police work. The history of terrible cops in cinema is not a short one: how many times has Rookie Red Shirt been unable to keep even one eye on the killer handcuffed next to him? If Retiring Officer Rotund could run up three steps without getting winded, his police drama would have been gone in 60 seconds. There's certainly no shortage of movie cops who are really bad at their jobs.

Who qualifies as the worst movie cops? Well, Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) makes some pretty amateur mistakes in Point Break, but, hey, they serve the plot, so who's counting? Basic Instinct, for all the cleverness of the plot, social satire, and oo-la-la sexy moments, has some awful movie police work. Whether it be a result of deus ex machina, poor character work, or scenes that were left on the cutting room floor, the cops on this list need to be put on leave stat, pending a review of their snafus. Because there's not enough suspension of disbelief in the universe to justify the following shoddy police work.  


16 Examples Of Shoddy Police Work In Films That Are Downright Laughable,

Basic Instinct

"He got off.  And then he got offed."  *Laughter from officers*   

No, this is not a Friars roast. It's San Francisco's finest in the middle of a grisly crime scene. Even David Caruso would keep his sunglasses off for that kind of talk, and remind them to act like they've been there before.  

This scene is foreplay for Basic Instinct's ultimate set piece, a showcase for Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) and her juice box in an artfully lit interrogation room. The cops present, who include Wayne Knight AKA Newman AKA Nedry AKA "Ah, ah ah. You didn't say the magic word!", demonstrate class and decorum befitting a fraternity pledge class watching their first porn without fear of being caught by their mommies.  

Seriously, these guys are grizzled homicide cops. They see naked women all the time. Dead ones. They're surrounded by misery and violence and spend their entire lives figuring out whether or not people are lying to them, and every single one of them is seduced by a novelist with a sexy voice, a female lover, and some genitalia on display. In Basic Instinct's defense, the movie is in part satire, but no matter how you slice it, that's just straight up garbage police work. 


Die Hard

When getting kidnapped in Los Angeles, pray the stars of Moonlighting and Family Matters are there to rescue you. In the world of Die Hard, they're the only two policemen who know their backsides from a bearer bond.  These guys, John McClane (Bruce Willis, duh) and Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson), seem to have a pretty good idea of how to handle a very delicate situation.

Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson (Paul Gleason), the officer in charge, makes a huge mess of things when he orders a sneak attack with a tank right on the front steps of Nakatomi Plaza, the building in which terrorists have a lot of hostages. Because tanks are so sneaky. Then you have the feds, led by FBI Special Agent Big Johnson (Robert Davi) and FBI Agent Little Johnson (Grand L. Bush), whose element of surprise consists of an even quieter helicopter. Against bad guys using massive firepower clearly capable of blowing a chopper out of the sky.  

Even assuming these vehicles were able to subdue the terrorists, isn't there some worry of hurting hostages, too? Maybe a quieter breach next time? 


Heat

Police officers deserve to be as highly paid as any member of the Cleveland Browns. But in reality, a cop like Al Pacino must be crooked or a trust fund baby to afford his sleek Michal Mann style clothes, fancy car, and apartment.

Yet the most questionable police moment in Heat involves Chris Shiherlis (former Lizard King Val Kilmer). He shoot a few dozen cops in broad daylight in a heist gone wrong,  so the po-po descend on his estranged wife, Charlene (Ashley Judd). Despite the swarm of cops in the neighborhood, Shiherlis drives right up to her building. She sees him and gives him a signal from the balcony, so he knows there are cops around. He then hops back in his car and manages to escape, passing a police check with the help of a fake ID, his only disguise being a haircut. Terrible police work, guys. Terrible. 


Kindergarten Cop

Ironically, Detective John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a much gentler kindergarten teacher than what many of you probably experienced. His work as an educator is well above average. However, at the center of this equal parts charming and violent family comedy is the darkest premise in the history of cinema. "Let's use a class full of adorable five year olds as human bait for a drug-pushing murderer. And we'll throw in a ferret for some laughs."  

Ferrets are creepy. And that's horrible, horrible police work. Plus why is John Kimble  Austrian? Has anyone ever bothered explaining that? 


Point Break

Moments after a bloody bank heist, surfer messiah Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) discovers  new bestie Johnny Utah is an undercover FBI AGENT, and Utah knows he knows. What does Johnny do next? Go into hiding? Witness protection? Hole up in the police station? Step in a time-traveling phone booth? Nah. He returns to his girlfriend’s apartment. Since Bodhi would never look there. By the by, in case you forgot, Johnny's gf is Bodhi's ex, so, like, come on, dude. 

When J-Ute is inevitably kidnapped by Bodhi and his luxurious hair, it's kinda like, um, “duh.” And this is hardly Utah's first snafu. Remember when he assumed a group of Nazi surfers were the Dead Presidents bank robbers, even though the Nazis are a bunch of hapless fools, not a group of professional, well-organized criminals? And then an FBI raid on the Nazi's house screwed up a DEA investigation. Bro. Come. On. 

Note: Agent Utah redeems himself at the film's end, by letting Bodhi ride one last great wave instead of arresting him for murdering Agent Pappas (Gary Busey). When Utah finally throws his badge down in the sand, all of us can breathe a sigh of relief.


The Godfather

Captain McClusky (Sterling Hayden) is a two-bit hood who breaks Michael Corleone's  pretty little face, so expectations for his abilities as a police officer are low.  But when he tells his squad the location of a "secret" meeting with Corleone and Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo (Al Lettieri) knowing full well several of the officers in question are on the take from Corleone, well, that's just plain dumb.

What could have been a well-executed sting or the carefully controlled flow of information to give McClusky the upper hand turned into a bullet through his face. 


The Silence of the Lambs

Ignoring the artistry and technical craft of 99 percent of Silence of the Lambs, have a look at the moment piss-poor police work ensured Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) wouldn't miss seeing an old friend for dinner. Late in the film, Lecter is moved to a government building, where he inhabits a solitary cell is in the middle of a massive, well-guarded, otherwise empty room.

Yet, for some reason, when he's brought his meals, which requires opening his cell, there are apparently only two cops in the entire building, and once he overwhelms them, he's free to walk away. There's no back-up guard at the door, no surveillance system such as cameras, no security guarding wondering who the man in the prisoner outfit with blood all over his face stalking the halls might be. 


The Usual Suspects

SPOILER ALERT:  If, after 20 years, you still don't know the Keyser Soze twist, your friends really don't watch good movies. Or you're seven years old. In which case, go to bed, kid. Come on. Seriously.

Anyway, you've been warned. Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey) spends the entirety of Usual Suspects lying through his teeth to officer Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri), using names, locations, and other random information from open police cases and other notices pinned to the wall behind Kujan.

Now, in Kujan's defense, he's based in New York and interviewing Kint in Los Angeles. So, it's not his office. But. He's an FBI agent. These are all FBI cases. There's not a single name amongst any of them he recognizes? It doesn't occur to him for one second to look any of these details up, to see whether there are arrest records or other information in FBI databases to corroborate Kint's story? Come on, man, that's just lazy. 


The Dark Knight Rises

Yes, it's the story of a depressed billionaire who dresses as a bat, so expectations for the quality of police work should be tempered. But, since Christopher Nolan elevated the comic genre with his remarkable Dark Knight trilogy, grounding the films in all-too-realistic Pittsburgh, the police must be held accountable. Lest you forget, Nolan also directed Insomnia, a thriller about cops. He must be brought to task.

So what goes wrong in The Dark Knight Rises? Well, the entire police force gets trapped underground, except for Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and Foley (Vision Quest star Matthew Modine). Not a well conceived plan. There really wasn't a single person on the Gotham police force who could've said, "Hey, guys? Maybe we should leave, like, at least maybe a dozen guys above ground, just in case Bane is tricking us or lying?"

Meanwhile, Bane is in the football stadium when he blows it. Guys. Seriously. WTF. You suck. 


Suicide Squad

Alfred Hitchcock* + Shawshank Redemption + Glenn Close = Zero Oscars  

Suicide Squad - 1 Oscar

Let that percolate. Then consider Suicide Squad's most egregious of many artistic, creative, and dramatic sins: FBI or CIA or CPA or MBA or whatever it is agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), hatches a fool-proof plan to keep the world safe: release the most violent super criminals in government captivity, just in case. There aren't any serious global threats kicking around, but, hey, you never know, right?   

It's not long before one of Waller's parolees, Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), becomes that "just in case" threat the Suicide Squad faces. It feels a bit like the really confusing logic in Terminator 2 (if the first Terminator hadn't gone back, Skynet wouldn't have been developed, so where'd Skynet come from in the first place?). Except, in this case, it's not a philosophical quandary posed by writers for you to consider after the movie, but a decision of overwhelming stupidity made by a character.  

* - Okay, technically this isn't true. He won the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, but that's basically a consolation career achievement award, which is an insult for someone who did as much for cinema as Hitchcock. 



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Thu, 09 Mar 2017 08:17:32 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/worst-movie-police-work-ever/eric-conner
<![CDATA[The Best Netflix Original Movies]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-netflix-original-movies/ranker-tv?source=rss

Here are the best Netflix original movies currently streaming online on Netflix, ranked from the most popular to the least by the Ranker community. This list shows the most entertaining Netflix original movies on Netflix Instant. Also check out the funniest Netflix original stand up comedy specials and the best Netflix original TV series.

The latest and newest Netflix original movies feature Hollywood's biggest stars like Idris Elba, Donnie Yen, Paul Rudd, Selena Gomez, Maisie Williams, Bill Murray, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Adam Scott, John Boyega, Adam Sandler, and more. Must-watch Netflix original movies include The Discovery, Beasts of No Nation, Okja, and The Ridiculous 6.   

Sometimes there's nothing better than to just binge watch Netflix originals and chill. Which Netflix original movie is the best? From I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore to Imperial Dreams, they're all here for the Ranker community to vote on. If there's a Netflix original movie that you don't see, feel free to add it to the list, but make sure that it's currently streaming on Netflix. Vote up your favorites and vote down the ones you don't think are so good.


The Best Netflix Original Movies,

Beasts of No Nation

Okja

The Do-Over

Spectral

I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore

Sandy Wexler

The Fundamentals of Caring

The Siege of Jadotville

Tallulah

Pee-wee's Big Holiday


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Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:32:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-netflix-original-movies/ranker-tv
<![CDATA[14 Video Game Accessories You Forgot You Bought]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/specialty-video-game-peripherals-that-time-forgot/collin-flatt?source=rss

People love buying strange stuff. That's just a fact. They especially want to get their hands on junk associated with their favorite brands. Therefore, the best video game systems of all time have had some profoundly bizarre add-ons available. It was a great way to make a few bucks and litter the cultural landscape with some fascinating detritus.

Sold alongside successful flagship consoles like the Atari 2600 and Sega Genesis were some weird video game peripherals that didn't have much use, didn't make much sense, and sometimes didn't work at all. Some were specific peripherals for games like the Nintendo Mouse in Mario Paint or the Dreamcast Microphone for Seaman. There are classic add-ons we love and remember like the Power Glove and Power Pad, but there are also plenty of unloved gaming system peripherals that need some long-overdue recognition.


14 Video Game Accessories You Forgot You Bought,

SegaScope 3D Glasses

Few people remember the 8-bit Master System, Sega's answer to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Even segafewer remember the SegaScope 3-D Glasses. While Nintendo was sending out paper anaglyph red-and-blue spectacles with Rad Racer, Sega released active LCD shutter goggles that really worked.

They were super expensive and only compatible with a handful of games, but the 3-D effect was very dramatic and way ahead of its time. The SegaScope became obsolete once Sega redesigned the Master System, removing the necessary card slot in version 2.0.


GameBoy Camera & Printer

In 1998, Sega released the next-gen 128-bit Dreamcast. In response, Nintendo released a terrible digital camera for the GameBoy. It could barely take a recognizable picture with a paltry resolution of 256 x 224 dpi.g

But, with the Game Boy Printer add-on (which required six AA batteries), you could print that blurry image on thermal paper. The commercial spot featured bullying, lecherous teenage boys, and an x-treme teenager with a goatee and Oakleys. It essentially marketed itself to terrible human beings. 


Starpath Supercharger

There was a time when videogames were loaded off of an audio cassette. The Atari 2600 employed this less-than-efficient method. The Starpath Supercharger was a long cartridge with a handle (!) that plugged directly into the console to increase memory. 

The Atari came loaded with a (now) paltry 128 bytes of RAM, but the Supercharger expanded that number to 6000 bytes, a near 50-fold increase in space. As such, the games developed for the Supercharger had better graphics and sound than their cartridge-based counterparts. It retailed for around $70 in 1982, a little over a third of the price of the 2600 itself ($199). Very few games were developed for the Superchager expansion, and it was discontinued in 1984.


R.O.B.

Nintendo used R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) to help sell their nascent flagship product to nervous retailers who got burned in the video game market crash of 1983. Promoted as a futuristic toy (as opposed to a video game console), R.O.B. responded to flashes on screen and interacted with the game through a separate controller.

The adorable plastic peripheral only worked with two early NES games, Gyromite and Stack-Up, but has since become a Nintendo fan favorite. He's even a playable character in both the Mario Kart and Smash Bros. franchises.


Konami LaserScope

Because the official NES Zapper just wasn't enough, Konami released a cheap plastic head-mounted light gun called the LaserScope. It featured a cross-hair lens which covered your right eye, and a microphone that was supposed to shoot on-screen every time the user yelled "FIRE!"

In reality, it fired all the time because the microphone was sensitive to ambient noise and would go off if, say, your dog barked too loudly. And what parent wouldn't be excited about their child yelling "FIRE" at the top of their lungs for hours on end?


Sega Dreamcast Fishing Controller

Sega was a consistent trailblazer in the video game industry, first to market with next gen consoles and gambling on odd titles like Seaman and ToeJam & Earl. They were never shy about introducing off-beat ideas and trusting gamers to jump on-board.

They introduced the fishing rod controller with the very popular fishing sim, Sega Bass Fishing. The rod was motion-controlled and simulated the action of casting and reeling in a fish. Sny time one snapped on the line, it caused the peripheral to vibrate. There were third party versions from competitors like Mad Catz, but the official Sega fishing rod controller was head and shoulders above the rest.


Aura Interactor

While the ad campaign for the Aura Interactor might have been insanely stupid, the technology worked. Sort of. It was the first wearable force-feedback device of its kind, and had moderate commercial success with both the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo.

In reality, it was just a cheap subwoofer that strapped to your body and rattled your bones if you turned the "volume" knob up too high when playing Mortal Kombat 2. The force-feedback vest market never really took off, tough. Shocking. 


Wu-Tang "W" Controller

The licensed Wu-Tang video game, Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style, was surprisingly good. Critics loved the unique fighting engine, and fans loved it because Wu lore and style are front and center. One of the bonus pack-in items for the Collector's Edition was a special controller, which was not only ugly, but also had less functionality than standard DualShock controllers.

There were no analog sticks on the "W" controller, either, which were necessary for moving freely about the 3-D environment of the game. It was, indeed, nothing to eff with. 


Sega Activator

Sega (along with Interactive Light) developed the Activator, considered to be the first full-body motion controller available for consoles. The commercial showed gamers punching and kicking in the air and the action on-screen responding in kind.

In reality, the Activator ring reacted to player movement breaking infrared beams as a button press, regardless of what stylistic roundhouse kick you did to set it off. And even that didn't work so well. This giant octagonal piece of garbage retailed for $80 in 1993.


"Wireless" Atari 2600 Joysticks

The wireless Atari 2600 controllers were way ahead of their time in 1982. They were supposed to make gaming more convenient by removing cumbersome cords, but all they really did was make the (already) clunky Atari joystick heavier and more unwieldy.

Also, if the 9-volt battery died in the middle of your best Pole Position run ever, that was just too bad. In addition to the car battery-sized controller itself, the wireless system required a receiver base that ran on a separate power supply. That's a whole lot of plugs and batteries for a little "convenience."



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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:28:03 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/specialty-video-game-peripherals-that-time-forgot/collin-flatt
<![CDATA[15 Laughably Wrong Things People Used To Think About The Dinosaurs]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/things-we-used-to-believe-about-dinosaurs/anna-lindwasser?source=rss

Dinosaurs have fascinated mankind since their existence was first discovered. As with all things scientific, however, simply being fascinated by something didn't mean our love was based in fact. We had no idea what we were talking about at all. There were some wildly incorrect things we used to believe about dinosaurs.

In fact, there are some pretty hilarious facts about dinosaurs we thought were real. Did you know scientists used to believe some dinosaurs had two brains, one of which was in their butt? It's also not true dinosaurs were killed by caterpillars, their own farts, or eating too many eggs. It's also surprising how many animals today evolved from dinosaurs - something else you probably didn't know. The biggest myth, though, is what dinosaurs really look like. So turn off Jurassic Park, throw away your brontosaurus memorabilia, and get ready to have your mind rocked by these totally wrong things we used to believe about dinosaurs. 


15 Laughably Wrong Things People Used To Think About The Dinosaurs,

Dinosaurs Farted Themselves To Death

Gather round, five-year-olds of the Internet, because this dinosaur extinction theory is for you! You could even say ex-STINK-tion theory. Or not, because that’s a terrible joke. Sorry.

Anyway. There's a real theory that dinosaurs had so much flatulence they created a methane cloud that killed them off. Researchers calculated how much methane gas enormous sauropods could have produced in their lifetimes, and figured it could have been enough to warm the planet. While this might have been enough to influence the climate, the researchers were not intending to imply this actually killed any dinosaurs. However, the media jumped on the study, misinterpreted it, and the idea that dinosaurs farted themselves to death took hold.


Dinosaurs Look Like The Lizards From Jurassic Park

When most people think about dinosaurs, they think of gigantic, scaly lizard beasts like those in the Jurassic Park franchise. These images, while iconic, aren’t terribly accurate. Rather than lizards, dinosaurs most closely resemble birds

That’s right, birds. According to evidence from fossils, dinosaurs were probably covered in feathers. Not only did dinosaurs have feathers, but they also had respiratory systems that work the way that birds’ respiratory systems work today.  If you’re upset by this news because you think it makes dinosaurs look less bad-ass, take comfort in the words of paleontologist Robert Bakker, who describes the velociraptor as “the 20,000 pound roadrunner from Hell.”


They Went Extinct From Eating Too Many Eggs

According to an early 20th century paleontologist named George Wieland, the dinosaurs died off from eating too many eggs.

No, this doesn’t mean they were all poisoned to death by bad egg salad. It means carnivorous dinosaurs ate so many fertilized dinosaur eggs from other species that dinosaurs as a whole went extinct. While there is some evidence that some dinosaurs did prey on eggs and even hatched baby dinosaurs, there’s no evidence it happened at such a extreme rate that it brought the whole species to its collective knees.


The Elasmosaurus Had A Snake Neck

One of the first interpretation of the elasmosaurus was actually pretty cool looking, if totally inaccurate. Othniel Charles Marsh believed the elasmosaurus’s long neck was “snake-like” meaning not only did it look like a snake, but it had the same incredible range of motion. We now know that because the elasmosaurus had only 71 vertebrae in its very long neck, its range of motion was far more limited. It could only move side-to-side or up-and-down.

We also thought the elasmosaurus crawled out of the ocean to give birth on land, but because of its inability to move efficiently, it most likely just gave birth in the ocean. 


Humans And Dinosaurs Lived At The Same Time

Actually, a lot of people still think this one is true. Creationists believe that all life on Earth was created by the Christian god, and that it all happened within a week. While some creationists don’t believe dinosaurs ever existed, some do attempt to account for fossil evidence by saying humans and dinosaurs lived together. The Institute for Creation Research claims “God had told Noah to bring pairs of each kind of land animal on board the Ark, including, evidently, the dinosaurs.”

According to the University of California Museum of Paleontology, “the last of the dinosaurs - with the exception of the birds, which are dinosaur descendants - died about 65 million years ago. There is no reputable evidence of human life at the time, or at any time until about 2.5 million years ago, the age of the oldest known fossils in the genus Homo.”


Advanced Dinosaurs Rule Alien Worlds

Dr. Ronald Breslow, a chemistry professor at Columbia University, claims a study he conducted on the chemistry of amino acids implies that, if life does exist on other planets, said life could be an advanced version of our dinosaurs. Some scientists believe the amino acids dominating earth’s lifeforms arrived to us via meteorite 4 billion years ago. If this happened on earth, Breslow believes it could also have happened on other planets, which could lead to the development similar life forms.

Other scientists, such as Dr. Paul “PZ” Myers, associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota Morris, believe this is is a nonsense theory with no proof whatsoever behind it. 


Early Drawings Of The Megalosaurus Were Way Wrong

The first dinosaur fossil to ever receive a name was the megalosaurus. Because it was the first, no one had a solid idea of what it would look like as an actual, living animal. In 1857, Samuel Goodrich came up with this bizarre, crocodile-like interpretation of the megalosaurus. The real megalosaurus stands upright, and looks much more like a common t-rex than a crocodile. While Goodrich can’t be faulted for being so far off from the modern interpretation, you have to admit, this drawing is pretty silly looking.


The Brontosaurus Was A Real Dinosaur

The brontosaurus, also known as a the “thunder lizard” had a massive body, a long swooping tail, and an unusually small head. It’s also about as real as the Loch Ness Monster.

In the 1870s, paleontology went through a period called the Bone Wars. During the Bone Wars, two paleontologists named Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope were trying to outdo each other by discovering new dinosaurs as fast as they could. The rivals were so desperate to destroy each other they intentionally sabotaged each other’s work by having dinosaur skeletons smashed before the other guy could dig them up.

In 1877, Marsh found a partial apatosaurus skeleton. It didn’t have a skull, so in 1883 he hastily completed the skeleton with the skull of another dinosaur, the camarasaurus. Two years later, his team found what they thought was a different dinosaur, but was actually just an apatosaurus with its proper head. Desperate to beat Cope, he quickly determined the complete apatosaurus was a new dinosaur called the brontosaurus. It wasn’t until almost 100 years later the truth was discovered by a group of Carnegie researchers. The brontosaurus isn’t a thing - it’s just an apatosaurus with the right skull.


Some Dinosaurs Had Brains In Their Butts

Othniel Charles Marsh, also known as the man who brought us the nonexistent brontosaurus, believed the camarasaurus and the stegosaurus had brains in their butts. He thought this because they had a neural opening toward the bottom of their spines, and there had to be something there, right?

While this sounds like complete nonsense, it’s actually not as out there as it seems. These huge dinosaurs, known as sauropods, had extremely tiny brains, especially considering the size of their bodies. An extra brain could control the legs and lower body parts. We still don’t know what the neural opening actually contained, but we do know for certain that it wasn’t a butt brain.


The Dinosaurs Died Off Because Of Cataracts

In 1982, an ophthalmologist named L.R. Croft suggested that dinosaurs died of a terrible plague - cataracts

While cataracts - a medical condition where the lenses of the eye become opaque - aren’t exactly fun, they’re not typically considered fatal. At worst, cataracts can cause blindness. 

Heat can make cataracts grow faster, and Croft believed many dinosaurs were going blind before they hit sexual maturity. While this might result in fewer dinosaurs reproducing, it wouldn’t make it completely impossible. It also doesn’t even begin to explain why all non-avian dinosaurs went extinct en masse 65 million years ago. 



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Thu, 09 Mar 2017 08:14:02 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/things-we-used-to-believe-about-dinosaurs/anna-lindwasser
<![CDATA[Public Transportation Maps From Around The World]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/public-transportation-maps-from-around-the-world/kellen-perry?source=rss

If you've ever used public transit, then you've likely encountered public transit maps, some of the most colorful and engaging maps in the world. Cool public transit maps feature snake-like routes in myriad colors, unconcerned with the precision, scale, and specificity of regular maps. They're not all created equal, however, as anyone who's been stuck waiting at a bus stop or in subway station can attest. Railways, bus lines, and even waterways fall under the umbrella of public transportation, and as such require different cartographic depictions depending on their size and location.

The examples below are some of the more attractive and eye-catching public transportation maps from around the world. With their intricacy and designs, they are as, if not more, entertaining than anything else you'll see on public transit. From Venice's sprawling waterways to Oklahoma City's tidy downtown, these maps display a wide range of cartographic techniques and look lovely to boot.


Public Transportation Maps From Around The World,

Denver

Hamburg

Minneapolis

New Jersey

San Diego

Switzerland

Tokyo

Tysons Corner

Venice

Victoria, Australia, Train Network


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Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:06:01 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/public-transportation-maps-from-around-the-world/kellen-perry
<![CDATA[Scary True Stories That American Horror Story Should Make A Season About]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/scary-stories-for-next-season-of-american-horror-story/lyra-radford?source=rss

There are plenty of true stories that inspire American Horror Story. They are the stories that resonate and terrify, which is exactly why the creators of the show pull inspiration from their intriguing bits of folklore. The show's creators do an exceptional job at putting their own unique spin on real life atrocities. Each season pulls from multiple sources, unsolved crimes, historical oddities, and chilling legends people have told around campfires for generations can all be found sprinkled throughout the show.

American Horror Story plots inspired by real events have included the Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Bathorythe Axeman of New Orleans, and the haunted Cecil Hotel, to name a few. But what other horrifying stories - fact or fiction - haven't they done that would make for great television? Jack the Ripper? Slender man? Here are some possible options from popular legends and real events that could fit in nicely with the collection of scary stories in American Horror Story.


Scary True Stories That American Horror Story Should Make A Season About,

Alcatraz Penitentiary

Fans have been screaming - well, more like typing in all caps - for an American Horror Story: Prison for quite sometime now. Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, which is reportedly one of the most haunted locations in the country, would be the ideal place to start. They had famous inmates like Al Capone, George "Machine-Gun" Kelly, Arthur "Doc" Barker and the first "Public Enemy #1" Alvin Karpis.

Obviously there would be plenty of vengeful ghosts of some insanely violent individuals. Any earth bound spirits of guards and administrators would be pretty terrifying as well since this facility was known for inhumane treatment of prisoners, back in the '30s prisoners were kept in "hole-cells." There is even talk about the land itself being haunted log before the prison went up.

According to local historians, the land was a Native American burial ground. Complaints of haunting have been going on since opening day.


The SS Ourang Medan

The American Horror Story “Sweet Dreams” trailer seemed to hint at a horror at sea. How awesome would AHS: Ghost Ship be? The historic mystery of the SS Ourang Medan would be a great place to pull inspiration from.

According to legend, multiple ships picked up distress calls from the SS Ourang Medan. The message received was broken up into two parts (with undecipherable morse code between them) the messages said "S.O.S. from Ourang Medan * * * we float. All officers including the Captain, dead in chartroom and on the bridge. Probably whole of crew dead. I die."

When the ship was actually found drifting near Indonesia, the entire crew aboard the Ourang Medan was dead - eyes wide open and mouths gaping.


The Bloody Benders

From 1871 to 1873, John Bender and his wife and two kids ran an Inn and general store in Kansas where the customers usually ended up victims

A Bender family dinner was a pretty brutal affair. It would involve inviting an unsuspecting guest to sit over a secret trapdoor with their back to a curtain so John could pop out and bash them in the head with a hammer. Then one of the kids would slash their throat before opening the trapdoor that led to the basement. They’d bury all the corpses out in the nearby orchard.

Randomly enough, the Benders lived near Laura Ingalls Wilder, (famous for Little House on the Prairie). She even mentioned the family and their exploits in some of her writings and speeches. A creepy family of murders on the prairie sounds right up American Horror Story's alley. 


The Demon House Of Gary, Indiana

The infamous demon house in Gary, IN, made headlines in 2014 when Latoya Ammons and her three children sought out exorcisms to rid themselves of demons. There was extensive media coverage, police involvement, and even members of the Department of Child Services got involved with these claims and witnessed unexplainable horrors in that house.

Footsteps, flickering lights, and strange sounds in the night quickly escalated to a 12-year-old child levitating off a bed, a nine-year-old walking backwards up a wall (in front of a nurse and case manager), and then full on demonic possession of all the members of the family. The family reached out to two clairvoyants, both of whom claimed the house was infested with 200 demons. The Catholic Church to intervene and performed multiple exorcisms.

The demon house has since been demolished by paranormal investigator Zak Bagans. Bagans purchased the house in 2014 to shoot a documentary. and found the place too evil to leave standing. But is it too evil to inspire AHS: Demon House?


Yosemite National Forest

There are some seriously strange stories coming out of Yosemite National Forest. Grouse Lake has it’s own Jason Voorhees haunting its waters. Allegedly, a young boy drowned there and tries to pull swimmers down to the bottom of the lake with him. There’s also an evil ‘water spirit” that lures people to their death near the waterfalls. In addition to Bigfoot sightings, Yosemite is also home to the creatures of legend known as “Nightcrawlers” or “Fresno Alien.” Brutal murders have taken place beneath its dense canopy and mysterious disappearances are a regular occurrence.

There’s a plethora of creepiness in every National Forest in the United States. This could be the perfect setting for all sorts of crazy stories in a new AHS season. 


Fox Hollow Farm

A sprawling, wooded estate owned by an unassuming family man with murderous impulses became a mass burial site for gay men living in Indianapolis. The story itself is rife with twists, creepy dolls, and sex - perfect for AHS.

In this true story, Herb Baumeister was living a double life. He was a married father of three and business owner who was secretly luring gay men back to his own home to strangle them to death in his creepy pool surrounded by mannequins. Then he would burn or bury their bodies in the yard where his children played.

Once his double life had been revealed, Baumeister took off to Canada to commit suicide at Pinery Provincial Park. Prior to killing himself, he set the stage in a ritualistic fashion, building up a sand mound and surrounded it with dead birds as an altar for himself. Then, he positioned himself on it with his arms stretched out, and shot himself.

The 1996 police investigation of the property uncovered 5,500 bones, but more are still being discovered by the current owners today. After his death, Baumeister was also linked to the I-70 Murders. After speaking with his wife, authorities discovered his travels lined up with a series of unsolved murders where the bodies were dumped along I-70. The number of lives he claimed remains uncertain to this day.


Centralia, Pennsylvania, The Real Silent Hill

Between the video game and the movies you’d think Silent Hill was a done deal, but it doesn’t have to be. At least not the real Silent Hill that is…

The story everyone knows was inspired by a very real, extremely eerie small town called Centralia in Pennsylvania. What once had a population of about 3,000 people, is now completely abandoned and has been on fire since 1962. There is plenty of horror fuel in any small mining town setting, but a slow burning fire running through a labyrinth of creepy coal mines beneath the decapitated, densely fog covered town of Centralia is just too good a setting to pass up.


Black River Falls

It seems some dark power fell over the people of Black River Falls, WI, between the years 1890 and 1900. The small mining town experienced a climate change that caused the mines to shut down. Many residents left, those who remained were plagued by illnesses, poverty, murder, suicides, devil-worship, and madness. It seemed the entire town was cursed by some dark, merciless force. It’s thought to be haunted beyond belief and inspired Michael Lesy’s book Wisconsin Death Trip. The photo-documentation is dark, hellish, jarring, and something American Horror Story could build an really interesting season around.


Jack The Ripper

American Horror Story: Ripper has a nice ring to it. They’ve already given the axe man a storyline, why not follow the infamous Jack the Ripper for a spell? An unidentified killer that stalked the impoverished streets of Victorian era London slicing prostitutes with surgical-like precision? It’s pretty shocking they haven’t taken a stab at this story already.

If you're unfamiliar with the Ripper's story, he's considered the first "serial killer" of modern times. He was known for brutalizing his victims, and his identity is still unknown. 


Winchester Mystery House

There may be some Winchester Mystery House inspiration flowing through AHS: Hotel, but there should be a full season dedicated to the real story of Sarah Winchester and her remarkable house. She built an entire mansion with strange doors and staircases leading to nowhere, or perhaps somewhere the living can’t see.

After the death of her husband - heir to the Winchester rifle fortune - and child in the 1880s, Winchester went to see a medium. The medium told her to go out west and craft a home for the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles. So she did, continuously adding rooms, windows, doors, balconies, and staircases, all to appease the spirits she communicated with in her séance room.  



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Wed, 08 Mar 2017 07:57:26 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/scary-stories-for-next-season-of-american-horror-story/lyra-radford
<![CDATA[The Lamest Movie and TV Draculas Ever]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/lamest-movie-draculas-ever/rebecca-shortall?source=rss

Dracula has to be one of the most popular and enduring vampire characters in the history of the vampire genre; this guy's longevity is mind-boggling. However, not every Dracula-related movie or TV show does the bloodsucker justice - the lamest Draculas ever really attest to this fact.

Dracula first hit the scene in Bram Stoker's novel of the same name, published in 1897, and since then, he's been depicted in countless other media productions. Every time a Dracula was staked in a film, he'd pop up in a one-off episode of a supernatural themed television show. He's got that eternal life thing down pat. Much like, well, a vampire… And weird Draculas aren't just the stuff of Hollywood magic; there are also some notorious, real-life Draculas that have cropped up in history.

But here's the gag. For every great, chillingly charismatic performance of this iconoclast vampire, there are countless crappy movie vampires and television Draculas chewing the scenery and stinking up the joint. In fact, lame Draculas are a dime-a-dozen. So are you ready to check out this countdown of the lamest Draculas ever?


The Lamest Movie and TV Draculas Ever,

Blade

Oh just look at that plunging neckline. This is Dracula if Dracula was a bro. And this is no more apparent than when this Dracula re-christens himself 'Drake,' predating the actual Drake (rapper and Degassi-alumni Aubrey Graham) and his earliest mixtape.

This Dracula is like a beefy gym bro who has ripped the neckline of his tank top to cavernously deep levels so as to expose his pecs. What's lacking here is sex appeal, charisma, and any hint of intelligence - all things that should be front and center in any good Dracula depiction. All that's left is meaty muscles and bulging neck veins.


Blood for Dracula

Talk about your lame Draculas… Kier's performance of a drained, blood-starved Dracula is just depressing. There's no charisma, cunning, or sex appeal to revel in. Instead, the audience is being bummed out for the duration of the movie.

In this Andy Warhol-produced vampire flick, Kier's Dracula is in dire need of blood. He's practically on his death bed. Or, well, what do you call a deathbed for someone who’s already dead? Regardless, this Dracula needs some virgin blood, and, in a particularly creepy detail, it absolutely has to be virgin blood; otherwise, he'll perish. What that leaves a viewer with is an increasingly desperate and debased Dracula that sucks the joy out of the vampire genre rather than the blood he so desires.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Everyone's familiar with the Anne Rice-associated vampires, right? The long-haired, pale, fancy-looking fellows audiences all know (and maybe love?) from Interview with a Vampire. Well Buffy's Dracula takes a leaf right out of that play book and runs away with it. Maybe, knowing Buffy's tongue-in-cheek tone, this is actually a parody of that vampire archetype

That doesn’t stop this Dracula from being any less lame. His lips are perpetually pursed. His wig is so long it borders on Amanda Bynes's "hair cape" territory. Is he wearing eye shadow? Perhaps. This Dracula is imminently ridiculous and subsequently lame.


Dracula 2000

This depiction of Dracula - Drac-piction? Depicula? - does try to do something different with the character. They switch out Dracula's long-understood-to-be-canon original identity of Vlad the Impaler for the equally recognizable Judas Iscariot. Yeah, that's right - Judas. Bible Judas. That could have been a cool concept, and it does lend itself to an explanation of why all vampires are not down with religious iconography. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie oscillates between being boring and straight-up crazy.

Gerard Butler doesn't so much play Dracula as just have great pectoral muscles that are constantly on show. He's less of a Dracula and more of a sex object. Really, you could take any mention of the name Dracula out of this movie, and he'd be an interchangeable sexy-vampire-stock character. However, this movie does take 'sexy vampire' to hilariously ludicrous levels. No less because this Dracula can screw his sexual partners into the sky. He and whomever he's penetrating can float across the screen like they're James Bond and Dr. Holly Goodhead in Moonraker, though, in the latter's case, they drift across the screen via a lack of gravity. In Gerard Butler's case, it's presumably some kind of sexy