<![CDATA[Ranker: Recent Lists]]> http://www.ranker.com http://www.ranker.com/img/skin2/logo.gif Most Viewed Lists on Ranker http://www.ranker.com <![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

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, all people, people, celebrities, then and now,

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[The Real Story Behind 'Anne of Green Gables']]> http://www.ranker.com/list/true-story-behind-anne-of-green-gables/lisa-a-flowers

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[Presidents' Biggest Regrets From Their Times In Office]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/presidents-biggest-regrets/erin-wisti

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[Compelling Evidence Birds Are Just Dinosaurs Living Among Us]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/birds-are-just-dinosaurs/bruce-maisy

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

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

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

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,

Chris Brown

Did you know Chris Brown was on an episode of My Super Sweet 16? While his behavior on the show might not have been particularly egregious, his behavior in every other aspect of his life earns him the title of "Beyond the Worst." And everyone knows why.


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. 


Amberly

Amberly, a name that people can only assume is a combination of Amber and Kimberly or an attempt to lengthen Amber into the ultimate white girl Becky-with-the-good-hair type name, had a Pink Ice-themed birthday bash. The theme isn't especially egregious, but making your friends watch a poorly choreographed and sloppily executed hip-hop dance is. No one wants to come to a party and be forced to watch the host perform a terrible dance, expecting to be showered with compliments after.

Not only that, but Amberly then hands out a bottle of her own perfume. No party guest will be able to shake off the scent memory of Amberly's Pink Ice party. 


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.


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

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

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

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

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

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[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

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

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

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

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

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

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,

Jonathan Allen

Christian McCaffrey

Deshaun Watson

O. J. Howard

Jamal Adams

Leonard Fournette

Solomon Thomas

Myles Garrett

Reuben Foster

Marshon Lattimore


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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

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

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 Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Orlando Magic. 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 Tuesday, May 16 and make sure you dress properly for the occasion.


Who Is Going To Be The #1 Draft Pick In The 2017 NBA Draft?,

Josh Jackson

Lonzo Ball

Malik Monk

Dillon Brooks

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

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

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

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

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[Reasons Krillin Is The MVP Of Dragon Ball Z]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/reasons-krillin-is-the-best-dbz-character/stephanroget

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 Actually Cares About Civilians

The characters in the Dragon Ball series often face world-ending scenarios, so one can imagine how easy it might be for the Z-Fighters to lose sight of the little stuff. Not so with Krillin, however. The pint-sized pugilist always remembers the plight of ordinary people, and can be seen in almost every saga rescuing civilians or protecting the innocent in some way.

He puts his life at risk to protect a mother and daughter from a rampaging android in the Cell Saga, and rescues a young Namekian boy named Dende during the Frieza Saga. The latter act ends up being quite important, as Dende goes on to create the second set of Dragon Balls and serve as the Guardian of Earth. 


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.


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.


The Destructo Disc Kicks Butt

Most of the fighters in Dragon Ball Z have their own signature special move. The Kamehameha Wave is undoubtedly the most famous, and there’s plenty to be said about Vegeta’s Final Flash, but the most badass special move of all probably belongs to Krillin.

The Destructo Disc doesn’t have the explosive capabilities of some of its fellow energy blasts, but it more than makes up for it with precision and deadliness. The sharp edges of the Destructo Disc make it a tool that lives up to its name, and it’s been used to sever many a body part over the course of Krillin’s countless battles, including the tails of both Vegeta and Frieza.


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.



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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

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

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

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

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 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 Ezra Bridger

While this theory from Reddit user Thebothanspy doesn’t fit with some of the details we’ve learned about Snoke, such as his presence during the rise of the Empire, Ezra as Snoke is appealing to Star Wars Rebels fans. Such a connection would bridge, or Bridger as it were, the animated series with the films. This wouldn’t be the first time a character from one of the animated series appeared in the films. Forest Whitaker's character Saw Gerrera in Rogue One originally appeared in a multiple-episode arc on The Clone Wars.

There aren’t many concrete details that link the two characters, but Ezra’s story arc has repeatedly explored his possible turn to the dark side in his numerous dealings with Darth Maul. Also, in one surprising scene in Rebels, Ezra found a green crossguard lightsaber while in the Sith Temple on Malachor.

The lightsaber is an obvious nod to Kylo Ren’s saber, but there’s a chance it could be more than a fun Easter Egg. We know that Ren’s lightsaber was based off an ancient Malachorian design. Perhaps Ezra, acting as Kylo Ren’s new master Snoke, told Kylo where to find the specifications for constructing the crossguard lightsaber.


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

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

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.


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


Big Windup!

Big Windup! might not be the most popular sports anime out there, but it sits comfortably among the greats of the genre. The biggest draw is the main character, Ren Mihashi.

Mihashi is a highly-skilled baseball player, but his anxiety and lack of self-confidence can sometimes get in the way of his formidable talent. If you like Onoda Sakamichi from Yowamushi Pedal or Shoyo Hinata from Haikyuu, you'll probably like Mihashi, and you'll definitely like Big Windup! as a whole.



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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?,

Miguel Cabrera

Starlin Castro

Chris Sale

Manny Machado

Mike Trout

José Altuve

Carlos Correa

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

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

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

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? 


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.


Toilet Cafes

Despite their disgusting name, toilet restaurants actually offer some pretty good food. It's the presentation that leaves people scratching their heads. The idea of these themed-restaurants is to serve everything is the style of a bathroom. Ice cream is served in mini toilets, foods are shaped to look like poo, and curry is designed to look like vomit in a bathtub or tiny urinal. Doesn't that just scream appetizing? While these cafes are more popular in other countries, a few have popped up here in the United States, though they have generally been short-lived. Whether you're adventurous enough to eat here or not, one thing is for certain: this is not first date material. 



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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

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.


Donald / Captain America

Disney's Donald meets Marvel's Captain America in this outstanding mashup by lenlenlen1.


Stitch / Venom

This creepy combo transforms the cute Stitch into the vile Venom in 13nin's Disney/Marvel mashup.


Mickey Mouse / Wolverine

Eldelgado's digital drawing of Mickey Mouse / Wolverine is epic!


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.



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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

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

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,

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. 


Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

It took seven years, but fans Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala managed to make a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. While their finished product is arguably (definitely) not good from a film stand point, in some ways it's actually better than the Spielberg movie.

The story of these two random dudes making their own version of one of the greatest adventure films ever made, however, is way better than the fan film. It might even be better than Raiders. The documentary isn't just about two young guys making a movie, it explores the nuances of male friendship, and the unquenchable need to create that so many people feel when they're in their teens. You can find their finished film online, and it's an interesting watch. But the documentary about the film, like a shoebox full of pictures from middle school, will make you weep for the lost years of your childhood. 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[14 Video Game Accessories You Forgot You Bought]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/specialty-video-game-peripherals-that-time-forgot/collin-flatt

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

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

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

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

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 vampire magic.


Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf

Maybe it's unfair to call this Dracula lame. But when Dracula comes to mind, nay, when all vampires are taken into consideration, it's almost impossible to divorce them of their ties to sexuality. Vampires have a storied history of being written as sexual metaphors. The whole act of blood sucking is almost always depicted as a sensual experience. If not sensual, then it's downright violent. So when it comes to a kids' cartoon Dracula, it's always going to come up short.

This Dracula runs a Monster Rally Race but is in dire need of a werewolf to compete. He turns Shaggy into a werewolf and demands he race for him, offering him the deal that if he wins, he'll make him a human once again. Sure. As far as Dracula's go… this one is pretty lame.


Van Helsing

Maybe it's because Richard Roxburgh is forever burnt into viewers' minds as the Duke from Moulin Rouge, but it's difficult to really see his sex appeal. The Duke was this sexually repugnant, sniveling, attempted rapist. This Dracula seems like the natural extension of that character. And that wouldn't be so much of a problem if this film wasn't playing up how smokeshow sexy this Dracula is supposed to be.

Though another argument could be made for Roxburgh's performance being a master class in camp. He's a camp vamp. A campire. He flings himself around the screen, pitching fits and coming across as more foppish than menacing. Also that ponytail… just… why?

And those vampire teeth! What's going on there? The intention was probably to create some new, scary vampire incarnation that would become as classic as the wrinkled forehead, yellow-eyed vampires of Buffy, but instead, the audience is left with a Beetlejuice­-esque, claymation-cartoon-looking jaw that might leave the audience hoping that if they say 'Dracula' three times, they can send this Dracula back to hell.


Hotel Transylvania

Adam Sandler was, hopefully, going for a Transylvanian accent here, but he fell way short, landing in the region of Andy Kauffman's 'foreign' accent mixed with a little of the Count from Sesame Street. This Dracula is so sanitized he's unrecognizable. He might as well be a nameless pale guy in a cape.

It's probably unfair to go in on a Dracula as depicted in a children's movie, but this diluted-to-the-point-of lameness iteration of Dracula earns his place on a list of the worst. This Dracula is a doting father who doesn't seem to have an evil bone in his body. Next!  


Dracula Untold

Yet another spin on the Dracula origin story, Luke Evans's Dracula is a mopey vamp with a martyr complex, sucking all the fun out of the Dracula mythos while donning suspiciously Asian-inspired looking Armour, pulling an Iron Fist with the cults-approps (cultural appropriation if you don't like abbreviation).

The more recent depictions of Dracula seem intent on rewriting history and making him into a tortured, tragic hero, battling his inner demons. That’s not what Dracula's all about. People want the bloodlust. The creepy sexual overtures. People want the cape and the accent and the charisma. If viewers want to see dark, antiheroes they can pop on a Warner Brothers/DC superhero movie. Make Dracula fun again!


Dracula

This short-lived NBC period-drama was actually pretty entertaining. Most of the time it was a nutso show about light bulbs and the power of electricity, peppered with some lesbian activity. The only thing consistently letting the show down was Dracula himself. God, Dracula was a real drag.

Rhys-Meyer's Dracula was in a near-constant state of broody mope-dom. Not to mention he had assumed a secret identity of brilliant scientist/light bulb-enthusiast, Alexander Grayson. So the audience was mostly robbed of seeing Dracula be, well, Dracula. And that's a shame. Because this show could have been a fantastic vehicle for some fang-banging, blood-sucking action on primetime.


John Carradine As Count Dracula In Billy The Kid Vs Dracula

Dracula has transported himself to the Wild West. Because why the heck not? Here, he rolls through town dressed like that one magician in the magic circle that's just taking it too far. He has a mustache perfect for twirling after tying a woman to some train tracks. This Dracula is a lot more Silent Movie villain-esque in his presentation and demeanor than blood-sucking, lusty vampire.

Here, he faces off against Billy the Kid, who is able to take down this Vaudeville vampire by throwing a gun at this head. Yeah. That's how Dracula meets his untimely end. Pretty lame, huh?



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Tue, 14 Mar 2017 08:07:35 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/lamest-movie-draculas-ever/rebecca-shortall
<![CDATA[Real People With Super Powers Straight Out Of Comics]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/real-people-with-super-powers-from-comics/jacob-shelton

If you ever wondered what the world would be like with real-life superheroes, you need not ponder any longer. It turns out they exist, but they aren't exactly decked out in spandex, saving the helpless from burning buildings. People with real superpowers have appeared since the dawn of the 20th century, and their abilities rival even those of some of your favorite characters. One real superhero used their abilities at the Olympics, while another simply climbs whatever structure they choose, laws against buildering be d*mned!

The most fascinating aspect of these real-life superheroes is that they're largely just normal people with incredible gifts. Sure, a couple of the men and women with real-life superpowers use their abilities to gain fame and fortune, but most of them lead normal lives, albeit with abnormal abilities. 


Real People With Super Powers Straight Out Of Comics,

Dean Karnazes

An ultra-marathon runner from the United States, Dean Karnazes has an impressive list of accomplishments. He ran 50 marathons in 50 states over the course of 50 consecutive days, once ran 350 miles for over 80 hours without sleep, and once ran from Disneyland to New York City in 75 days (a journey of about 3,000 miles, meaning he ran around 40 to 50 miles a day).

Essentially, he's a real life Forrest Gump. He just never stops, and some people have alleged that he could run 7-10 miles an hour until he passed away of old age, assuming he was adequately fed and hydrated.  


Michel Lotito Can Eat Everything

One superhero that rarely gets love is the classic DC character Matter Eater Lad, a character who could and did eat anything. Perhaps people realized they didn't need a fictional character when they could just watch Michel Lotito, or Mr. Eat-All. Lotito was a French entertainer who grew up with a mental disorder called pica which caused him to compulsively eat non-food items. When Lotito grew up, he turned his disability into a paycheck and began eating things for profit. While he was still alive Lotito ate everything from chandeliers to a Cessna 150 Airplane, and that meal took a full two years to complete. 

Mr. Eat-All claimed he never felt any negative effects from gobbling up everything in sight, and before each performance he drank mineral oil and would continue drinking a lot of water during the meal. It makes you wonder how he would have done on the modern competitive eating circuit. 


Daniel Tammet Is A Human Rosetta Stone

What would you say about someone who is a mathematical genius, can speak other languages, made up their own language, and who can compute astronomical calculations before you've finished reading this sentence? Probably that they have superhuman abilities, right? Daniel Tammet wouldn't agree with you, but that's just because he's a sweetie that doesn't want to sound like a jerk in interviews. Tammet was born with the ability to experience a mathematical equation rather than just see it on paper. He told ABC, "The numbers are moving in my mind. Sometimes they're fast, sometimes they're slow. Sometimes they're dark. Sometimes they're bright. That emotion, that motion, that texture will be highly memorable for me." Whatever equation he's given, Tammet visualizes those numbers into a form and transforms them into a new image that suits the solution. 

 


Ben Underwood Could See Sound

Before passing away in 2009 from retinal cancer, Ben Underwood was the real-life parallel to Daredevil, the blind lawyer who could "see" vibrations. After being diagnosed with retinal cancer at the age of two, Underwood had both of his eyes removed by the age of three. Through a process called echolocation, Underwood learned to detect the locations of objects by making a clicking sound with his tongue. By creating sounds with his tongue or tapping a cane, Underwood was able to build a world around himself out of wave forms and lead an incredibly active life. 

 

 


Jyothi Raj Is Gifted With Super Dexterity

Jyothi may not be able to shoot super sticky webbing out of his wrists or sense when danger is coming, but in every other aspect he's a modern-day Spider-Man. This wall crawler lives in Karnataka, India and he discovered his uncanny climbing ability while climbing some bamboo scaffolding. He told the Daily Mail: "I discovered my ability to climb in this manner working on the bamboo scaffolding when I started as a construction worker. I could climb at an incredible rate without fear. I began to climb for fun at the weekends and came to the famous fort here at Chitradurga to entertain the crowds, especially on Sundays." Jyothi also says that he learned to climb by watching monkeys and copying the stunts in his favorite films. 


Gary Turner Is Super Stretchy

Mr. Fantastic has nothing on Gary Turner, a man who has skin that's so loose he can turn the skin around his stomach into a flat surface, all thanks to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that has weakened his skin. Turner said that if you, "look at your own skin cells under a microscope, they'd be nice and round and lock in many places. But my skin cells tend to be more jagged, and don't fit together quite so well. The best way to describe it is I'm built rather like a badly woven basket, if you can imagine that, which will pull apart." According to Turner he first noticed that his skin was abnormally stretchy when he was a toddler, and ever since then he's been testing the limits of what his body can do. 

 

 


Dave Mullins Can Stay Underwater For A Really Long Time

In early 2017 Dave Mullins, a New Zealand deep-sea diver, set a record for the deepest dive ever recorded in New Zealand. The 37-year-old swam the length of four swimming pools on one breath, and might have accidentally shown everyone that he's the real Aquaman. While some athletes might be braggy about their accomplishment, Mullins remained pretty chill about the whole thing. "Going down, I just focused on a handful of things which I needed to get right. It sounds really mundane, but it's about relaxing my chest muscles, equalizing, and keeping relaxed all the way down to the bottom." Yeah, no big deal, he just relaxed while allowing himself to sink into the ocean from whence he may have never returned. The next time you lose your contacts while swimming, Mullins is the guy to call. 


Usain Bolt Shouldn't Be As Fast As He Is

According to Dr. Sam Allen, Lecturer in Biomechanics at Loughborough University, Usain Bolt has no business being as fast as he is. The main school of thought behind Bolt's speed anomaly is that his frame is all wrong; at 6’5 he shouldn't be able to excel at the 100m where rapid turnover and explosive power are crucial. Dr. Allen explains, "What we do know is that elite sprinters need to be able to generate extremely high muscle forces relative to their body mass, in the very short period of time when they’re actually in contact with the ground. All other things being equal, most sprinters spend a similar length of time in the air once they’re at top speed, but better sprinters spend less time on the ground."

Multiple researchers have studied Bolt's body and come to the conclusion that he has longer muscle fascicles and shorter Achilles tendons, which allow him to apply force to the ground for longer. But even that doesn't explain his uncanny speed. Dr. Allen continues, "There is no obvious biomechanical reason why height should be either an advantage or disadvantage at maximum speed." So maybe he just straight-up has super powers. 


Shakuntala Devi Is A Mathemagician

Born in Bengaluru Karnataka, India to a circus performer, Devi began showing her ability for memorization and calculation before she was even in preschool. According to her biography, her father was showing her how to perform a card trick and she memorized an entire deck of cards after it had been shuffled. Until her death in 2013, Devi amazed audiences with her ability to remember the dates and perform complex mathematical calculations with nothing but her mind. Not only could she pinpoint the dates of every Monday in a given year, but she could find cube roots of massive numbers that would take anyone else a graphing calculator and a white board. When interviewers would ask her how she did it, Devi simply answered, "It’s a very automatic reaction. . . . I was born with this gift.”

 

 

 


Liam Hoekstra Is The Strongest Kid (And Maybe Person) In The World

Born in 2005 and raised in Roosevelt Park, Michigan, Liam Hoekstra was given-up for adoption by his biological mother due to the many medical issues he faced as an infant. His adopted parents, Dana and Neil Hoekstra, first noticed his abnormal strength when Liam did an extremely advanced gymnastics move at five-months-old. Later, at a toddler's gym class, he was able to perform chin-ups with ease (something a lot of adults struggle with) and held his torso above a chin-up-bar for several minutes.

Liam has an uncommon genetic condition called muscle hypertrophy. Basically, his body builds muscle extremely quick while also inhibiting the production of fat. When he was three-years-old, Liam's body was already 40% muscle. His metabolism is also impacted, meaning he can eat whatever he wants and remain in excellent shape, no workout required. Would that we were all so blessed.    



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Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:17:22 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/real-people-with-super-powers-from-comics/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[13 Pokémon Whose Middle Evolutions Are Cooler Than Their Final Forms]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/pokemon-with-cool-middle-evolutions/stephanroget

Pokémon is the media franchise that outright refuses to die. Some thought the concept of exploring a world full of adorable monsters and capturing them for battling purposes would get boring, but seven generations later, that definitely doesn’t seem to be true. Each generation of Pokémon added over a hundred new 'mons to the mythos, and each with a varying amount of appreciation.

Most Pokémon go through a series of evolutions, supposedly gaining more power and prestige as they grow. Basic Pokémon tend to be popular due to their cuteness, whereas their final forms are highly sought after due to their sheer bad*ssery and intimidating features. The middle evolutions of Pokémon, however, are generally the least appreciated, often being seen as merely a stepping-stone to a more desirable fighting monster. That being said, every so often, a Pokémon's cool middle evolution comes forward that is superior to both its past and future selves, proving itself as more than just a temporary form.

A set of ground rules: only included are Pokémon middle evolutions that originally began second evolutions, not those that later became secondary evolutions when baby versions were introduced in later generations (like Pikachu).


13 Pokémon Whose Middle Evolutions Are Cooler Than Their Final Forms,

Vigoroth

Vigoroth is a lean, mean, monkey-fighting machine. It apparently lets itself go in its later years, though, to become the bloated and lazy Slaking.


Wartortle

Wartortle is the perfect middle ground Pokémon . It maintains the coolness of Squirtle while adding a few new features, and avoids the awful bulkiness of Blastoise, its final form.


Machoke

The final evolution of Machoke, Machamp, is a good example of design going overboard. Machoke looks like a calm, cool, and collected fighting machine. Machoke looks like a roid-raging mutant.


Graveler

Graveler is a logical evolution of Geodude, as the monster becomes rockier and more intimidating that its predecessor. Its final evolution, Golem, on the other hand, is a giant, spherical rock-turtle, for some reason.


Dragonair

Dratini and Dragonair are two elegant and serpentine dragon-creatures who appear mysterious and aloof. Their final evolution, Dragonite, looks like one of Barney’s cousins.


Bayleef

Bayleef has a cool design, a memorable name, and a restrained design. Its final form, Meganium, looks like a dinosaur cosplaying as a flower.


Trumbeak

Trumbeak is a fairly generic bird Pokémon, but it at least has a unique design and a memorable beak. It then turns into Toucannon, which is basically just a grumpy toucan.


Whirlipede

Whirlipede doesn’t have the best name, but it is a tighly-coiled and menacing insect with a single, glowering eye visible. It uncoils for its final evolution, an unwieldy and clumsy looking centipede-monster, Scolipede.


Braixen

Braixen manages to embody the natural sleekness and elegance of a fox while still looking like it could handle itself in a fight. Its final form, Delphox, looks like an elderly art teacher.


Herdier

Herdier is known as the loyal dog Pokémon, and has a cool, janitor-like mustache to boot. It then evolves into Stoutland, a dog with so much excess hair that it must be covered in dirt 100% of the time.



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Fri, 17 Mar 2017 08:25:03 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/pokemon-with-cool-middle-evolutions/stephanroget
<![CDATA[The Best Anime Cosplayers In America]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-anime-cosplayers-in-america/crystal-brackett

The artists you're about to meet are the absolute best of the best in cosplay. "Cosplay" is the abbreviated word for the term "costume play," except with cosplay this good, it's hard to classify their serious costume crafting as simply "playing." They've earned the title of greatest cosplayers for a reason, and you can see the unabashed commitment to their work shine through in their photos, videos, and livestreams.

Cosplay enthusiasts from all over the world have settled in America, and the country is seriously beaming with talent when it comes to costuming, designing, modeling, and all sorts of other entertainment involving geeky fandom. Professional cosplayers in the United States consistently engage in high-level cosplay overflowing with creativity and skill. Seriously, these are the very best cosplayers in the US, so get ready to be blown away by some insane skill and dedication.


The Best Anime Cosplayers In America,

Ginny McQueen

Ginny McQueen is known as "G-chan" to many in the cosplay world, and she's been around for quite some time. Since she started cosplaying in 1998, she has grown to have quite a large following and is engaged in a variety of multimedia endeavors. See the full extent on her website, where she addresses controversial subjects and exposits her views on feminism, fashion, and fandom.


Vampy Bit Me

Linda Le, AKA "Vampy Bit Me" or simply "Vampy," is a cosplayer and costumer named after her own fictional character persona. Her prop-building goes to the extreme, as you can see in her fully-mobile Gundam girl cosplay. Her online store is loaded with cosplay prints and merch that show off her variety of crafting skills.


Riki LeCotey

Riki LeCotey is a Canadian cosplayer and model based out of the United States. In the cosplay world, she goes by the handle "Riddle." With over 14 years in the fashion and costume design industry, she's renowned as one of the best cosplayers and costumers in the North American region. She has also worked on films, serving in the costume and wardrobe department for X-Men: First Class and Captain America: Civil War.


Jessica Nigri

Jessica Nigri is a New Zealand-American cosplay celebrity that can often be found streaming on Twitch and various YouTube channels. In addition to maintaining a popular online persona, she is often a cosplay correspondent for major anime and video game events. 


Megan Coffey

Megan Coffey, AKA "Starbuxx," is a beauty pageant queen with a love for anime. She competed in the Miss America pageant in 2007 (anime cosplay was not her talent, unfortunately) and has an arsenal of diverse cosplay under her belt, which you can see on her variety of social media sites like DeviantArt and Facebook. She's also an artist who loves to show off her anime works, which you can also check out on her other DeviantArt page.


Stella Chuu

You can usually catch the burlesque performer/model Stella Chuu during one of her online Twitch streams, where she will makes elaborate costumes and teaches makeup tutorials. The entertaining and bubbly Stella Chuu travels to multiple conventions a year, where she both models and promotes body positivity during panels.


Nana Bear

Nana Bear is a powerhouse of creativity and fun. Nana takes anime cosplay to the next level by crafting new and innovative mash-ups, which you can clearly see in her Darth Vader-Pikachu hybrid. Her Facebook fan page and Patreon are loaded with pictures and exclusive content that fans of her work can enjoy while she brings her quirky cosplay ideas to life.


Yaya Han

Yaya Han is an extremely talented Chinese-American anime cosplayer based out of the United States. Her works in fashion have even allowed for her to launch an exclusive line of cosplay fabric that's currently sold through the major fabric outlet Jo-Ann Fabrics. Her extraordinary costume creations are also available on her online store.

 


Meg Turney

Megan Turney is an Internet personality and cosplayer best known for her work on SourceFed and Rooster Teeth's The Know. You can currently find her on her own streaming channels on Twitch and YouTube, and get exclusive updates through her Patreon, which she uses to help fund her cosplay adventures.



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Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:22:47 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-anime-cosplayers-in-america/crystal-brackett
<![CDATA[What The Heck Happened To Trapper Keepers?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/what-happened-to-trapper-keepers/jacob-shelton

Whether you had one or not when you were middle school, the specter of the Trapper Keeper still looms large over your head, perhaps even more than any of its other '90s nostalgia-inducing school supply counterparts. But what happened to Trapper Keepers? Did they just disappear from the earth as soon as the '90s ended? Where did they even come from? Trapper Keepers are one of those mystical items that seem like they simply appeared in a cool kid’s locker on the first day of school, and if you lived without one you would live in woe until at least spring break. Despite what you’ve heard, these mini portfolios aren’t magical, but the history of Trapper Keepers is fascinating, and it deserves a look if for no other reason than to inform yourself about one of the things that made life so cool in the '80s and '90s.

Do kids still use Trapper Keepers, or are they just sexting all of their homework to their teachers now? That’s one of the key pieces of information that you’ll learn on this breakdown of whatever the heck happened to Trapper Keepers. You'll even get an inside look at the Trapper Keeper contraband controversy from the '90s and how it’s changed over time. Even though they were just something you needed for school, Trapper Keepers defied their root purpose and became an exalted form of cool and self expression in a way that so few things can. Keep reading and prepare to fall in love with Trapper Keepers all over again.


What The Heck Happened To Trapper Keepers?,

Trapper Keepers Are Just A PeeChee With Different Pockets

Prior to the existence of Trapper Keepers, a folder with vertical pockets, called a PeeChee, had been a mainstay on West coast campuses since the 1940s, but Peechees never spread to the rest of the country. At the time of his creation of the Trapper Keeper, Crutchfield was aware of PeeChees, but he felt that they were wasting their time by not moving into other markets. He also maintained that vertical pockets were for the birds. He told Mental Floss: I said, ‘They only sell on the West coast, and what’s the real benefit of a vertical pocket?' [The rep] said, ‘When you close it up, the papers are trapped inside—they can’t fall out. If you’ve got a horizontal pocket portfolio, you turn it upside down, and zap! [The papers] fall out.’”

Crutchfield decided to take the idea of PeeChees and beef it up to the max by adding angled pockets, multiplication tables, rulers, snaps, and all sorts of doodads, bells, and whistles to differentiate it from their only competitor - obviously his plan worked like gangbusters because no one but Crutchfield remembers PeeChees.


You Can Still Buy Trapper Keepers

Even though sales of Trapper Keepers dropped off significantly in the mid to late '90s, Mead has continually pumped out Trappers with different designs and much less PVC (even Amazon has options!). Peter Bartlett, director of Product Innovation at ACCO Brands, explained, "The main change is that we went away from PVC, as most health-conscious companies are trying to do, so it looks slightly different because it’s made out of polypropylene and sewn fabric, but the function is essentially the same.”


Nothing Gold Can Stay

When the mid '90s rolled around, a sea change was beginning to take place on campuses and in the world of paper sales, the ramifications of which wouldn't be completely felt until a decade later. But the falling sales of paper, along with the movement to ban Trappers from schools for their size, sound, and ability to turn students against one another, combined into the perfect storm to knock Trappers out of favor for the first time since the late '70s. Every bubble has to burst, but 20 years isn't bad as far as novelty binders go. 


They Were Immediately Successful

In the movie version of the Trapper Keeper story (Angled Pockets and Velcro - coming to theaters in 2018), E. Crutchfield will release the Trapper to resounding yawns until one brave young girl decides to make the portfolio for kids popular. But in real life, the Trappers were wildly successful. After Mead launched the Trappers in 1978, they sold over $100 million of the folders and notebooks every year until 1996, when the sales of paper products started to noticeably decrease.


Their Commercials Were Supes Weird

No product directed towards children in the '80s and '90s was able to escape having a weird commercial that made the product seem very cool, but also like it was made for crazy people. In the above commercial, the guy obviously has a bigger problem in his life than whatever a Trapper Keeper can fix. He's not just disorganized; he has a complete inability to take care of himself. It's nice of his friend to offer her help, but she's just going to be pulled into his black hole of hoarding sooner or later. Towards the mid '90s, the commercial changed to match the more Capri Sun vibe of appealing to pre-teens, but the ads were just as strange. This Trapper Keeper commercial from the mid '90s threatens that the product might swallow the universe if you're not careful, and that's totally radical

 


They Tried To Make School Cool

When Trapper Keepers were released - from the late '70s all the way through the mid '90s - they were the one thing that every student could agree on. Not only were Trappers a status symbol, they were also a must-have item in every day life. One Keeper-Head remembers, “You don’t really remember a notebook or the pens and pencils you used. But maybe you remember your [Trapper Keeper]." They continued to wax nostalgic, "[It] wasn’t a regular school product. When you got it, it was almost like a Christmas present. You were excited to have it." You see, Trapper Keepers were one small, organizational-tool place where you could really show your personality. Into horses? Soccer? Care Bears? There was a Trapper Keeper for you.


Teachers Weren't Crazy About Trapper Keepers

It turns out that despite their efforts to singlehandedly make going to school cool again, Trapper Keepers weren't too popular with teachers. Educators complained not only about the size of the portfolios, but also about the sound they made when they were opened. 

"They're real clever and cute, but they're just too big," said a teacher from Sugarland Elementary School in Sterling, Virgina. "They're so big, they take up so much space, they have so many compartments. You ask a student to take out a worksheet, and by the time they open all the sections out and find it, the Trapper Keeper has reached over to another person's desk."

The Trappers also began to show up on "do not buy" lists because they contained multiplication and conversion tables, which some teachers believed help students cheat. While that was never modified, Mead did change the Velcro flap to a metal snap after teachers tried to ban their product from schools. 


The Trapper Keeper Wasn't A Mistake

Unlike most inventions, the Trapper Keeper wasn't created by two separate, existing ideas being jammed together by accident. The Trapper and the Keeper (keep in mind they're two different things) were created after E. Bryant Crutchfield began conducting research into class sizes, shrinking locker space, and the ease with which papers spilled out of notebooks in front of classrooms. 

In 1972, Crutchfield discovered that sales of portfolios were increasing at 30% a year, and he realized that he could sell something that held all of those portfolios (or folders) at the same time. “You can’t take six 150-page notebooks around with you, and you can’t interchange them,” Crutchfield said. “People were using more portfolios, so I wanted to make a notebook that would hold portfolios, and they could take that to six classes.”


In 2012, Mead Sold To ACCO Brands

In 2012, Mead was acquired by ACCO Brands - along with pretty much every other notebook company that you can think of (Five-Star, Swingline, and all your favorites) - when the company merged with Mead's parent corporation. Rather than run the whole operation into the ground, ACCO continued to allow Mead to keep their Trapper Keeper website updated because TKs are the ultimate status symbol. 


They Attempted A Digital Rebrand in 2014

So what if paper sales are down for the count? That's not going to stop Mead from selling you the Trapper Keepers that you need in your life. Now that most students are using tablets or laptops in school, Mead has partnered with Kensington (the electronics company) to create a Trapper Keeper that could hold 8-inch and 10-inch tablets. The designs were similar to the classic look of the Trapper Keepers of yore, but they were a little more heavy duty because of the whole "tablets not being made of paper" thing. 



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Wed, 08 Mar 2017 03:20:01 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/what-happened-to-trapper-keepers/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[Nature Photographers Whose Instagrams Are Lit]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-nature-photographer-instagrams/brent-sprecher

With our beloved Blue Planet experiencing radical climate change, mass deforestation, and rapid species extinction, it's never been more important to protect, preserve, and conserve our wildlife heritage. And, although it may sound surprising, the nature documentarians you should follow on Instagram are providing an essential function in helping this cause. Ecologists are doing their part to study the interrelationships between animals and nature in an attempt to solve environmental problems, but it's often the amazing wildlife photography shot by dedicated and adventurous nature photographers that is the most effective tool for raising awareness of these issues. The best nature photographer Instagrams raise awareness and care by bringing stunning, exotic, and endangered animals and their habitats into your home in breathtaking clarity. Read on to see for yourself.


Nature Photographers Whose Instagrams Are Lit,

Paul Nicklen

Canadian photographer and marine biologist Paul Nicklen has spent his life capturing the breathtaking stillness and frigid beauty of the Arctic landscape and its fauna. As an assignment photographer for National Geographic, Nicklen has a personal website that describes his mission as one that involves "documenting both the beauty and the plight of our planet’s polar regions and our world’s oceans." Nicklen - whose work forms the preeminent catalog of narwhal photographs, to cite just one example - has won more than 30 international awards, including the Natural Resources Defense Council’s BioGems Visionary Award.

 


Oliver "Ovunno" Vegas

Inspired by his father's photos of their family trips, Oliver Vegas picked up a camera with the sole purpose of portraying "the magic that we always seek in our trips." Known as "Ovunno" on social media, the Barcelona-based photographer first made a name for himself doing campaigns for Nike, Mercedes-Benz, and Coca-Cola, but he has become known worldwide for his unusual perspectives and incredible landscapes that often incorporate right-time-right-place events or animals.

 

Warm days, lonely roads and Coyotes

A post shared by Oliver Vegas (@ovunno) on

 


Vincent Croce

Unlike many of the other photographers on this list, Vincent Croce has a day job as a sales executive in the Netherlands and doesn't make his living as a photographer. He posted all of his initial photos on Instagram and credits posting regularly and being socially active with the huge following his moody landscapes have generated. The main component in his photos is natural light because it "has the ability to make an otherwise random scene look fantastic."

 

Fantastic paths and where to find them.

A post shared by Vincent (@vincentcroce) on

 


David Lloyd

A Londoner by way of New Zealand, David Lloyd is the epitome of a rugged outdoorsman. A wildlife photographer for nearly 30 years, Lloyd's specialty is capturing some of the most endangered - and dangerous - animals on Earth in their most intimate moments. His vibrant color photographs and soulful black-and-whites have earned him Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards for 2011, 2012, and 2014, among other honors. He also serves as a tour guide on wildlife safaris.

 

A Taste of Africa

A post shared by David Lloyd | Wildlife (@davidlloyd) on

 


Konsta Punkka

A self-proclaimed "squirrel whisperer" because of his knack for getting extreme close-up shots of skittish squirrels - among other animals - 22-year-old Finnish photographer Konsta Punkka goes to great lengths to capture his intimate photographs of animals in their natural habitats. To capture one perfect shot, Punkka crawled at the mouth of a cave for hours in frigid temperatures to capture the perfect shot. Punnka's dedication has paid off, with his Instagram account amassing a tremendous one million followers. 

 

~ Well this baby is a darn cute one, isn't it?

A post shared by Konsta Punkka (@kpunkka) on

 


Greg du Toit

A native of South Africa, Greg du Toit was considered one of the most well-known wildlife photographers for decades before being honored with the 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award. His images are primal, intimate, and urgent, but even with such an impressive body of work, du Toit says that he feels that "wildlife photography is a big stick that keeps beating" him and notes that many photographers become "disillusioned" by the difficulty. He notes that "a great wildlife shot is a rare entity." He is also considered one of the premiere photographic guides and leads tours to some of the remotest regions in Africa.

 

Speaking of migrations this is the largest mammal migration in the world! #8million #fruitbats

A post shared by Greg Du Toit (@gregdutoit) on

 


Suzi Eszterhas

A prolific award-winning wildlife photographer who specializes in documenting the lives of newborn animals and their families, Suzi Eszterhas has snapped photos on all seven continents and netted over 100 magazine covers and feature stories. Eszterhas works tirelessly to share her knowledge of photography and nature, with nine books in print and four in the works, and she regularly gives lectures at conferences and scientific institutions. She even finds the time to offer free workshops for junior high and high school girls who are interested in nature photography.

 

PHOTO OF THE DAY - Five-week-old old lion cubs, Masai Mara Conservancy, Kenya. With lion populations plummeting worldwide, cubs all over Africa face an uncertain future. However, studies of the Mara lions have showed the community conservancies of the Mara ecosystem play a vital role in the survival of lions. This is great news for lion conservation - with widespread declines outside of small, fenced areas, we have shown that free-ranging lions have a future without fences. Conservancy membership provides households with financial benefits from wildlife tourism and engenders an attitude of coexistence with wildlife. The net effect is that people become more tolerant of lions because they attract tourists and bring an alternative source of income to landowners. For more information, check out the at www.livingwithlions.org. #lions #bigcats #lioncub #babyanimals #magicalkenya #africa #wildlifephotography #wildlifeconservation #natureisspeaking #saveanimals #masaimara #africanwildlife

A post shared by Suzi Eszterhas (@suzieszterhas) on

 


Alex Strohl

After getting kicked out of high school, Alex Strohl picked up a camera for the first time to capture the quiet beauty of the woods around his French home, where he would purposely "get lost" and document his adventures. After moving to Quebec, Strohl found that the North American seasons provided him with all the adventure and inspiration he could ever want, and his breathtaking alpine photos are like a love letter to Mother Nature herself. Strohl has nearly two million followers on Instagram and was the subject of Alive in Alaska, a short film by Mathieu Le Lay.

 

Lake Serene

A post shared by Alex Strohl (@alexstrohl) on

 


Albert Dros

As a Global Imaging Ambassador for Sony, Albert Dros has travelled the world in search of the most colorful and breathtaking landscapes; however, he often finds his journeys lead him back to his home in the Netherlands. He believes that photographers "generally do not find their home country impressive to photograph," and he tries to encourage them to find the beauty in their own backyards. Though his photos have been featured in Time and National Geographic, he prefers to work as a freelancer and considers himself a "modern" photographer who "loves new technology and…innovations."

 


Steve Winter

As a child growing up in rural Indiana, traveling the world as a photographer for National Geographic Magazine was Steve Winter's dream. In 1991, that dream came true when National Geographic hired him to shoot the elusive Quetzal bird. Winter has been globe-trotting for National Geographic ever since, shooting grizzly bears in Russia and jaguars in Brazil, as well as capturing the people who live in these far-flung and often extreme environments. His stunning photos earned him the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award in 2008 and first place in the 2014 World Press Photo contest, among other honors.

 

@stevewinterphoto @natgeo I am excited to bring my NG LIVE presentation, “On the Trail of Big Cats” to @natgeo’s Grosvenor Theater in Washington DC on April 13th! Please come to hear about my life and work with Jaguars, Snow Leopards, Cougars and Tigers!! Scarface succeeds after many days and gets his caiman!! We need to realize deep in our hearts that animals have emotions too. If we can treat them better - maybe we could find some empathy inside of us to treat each other better also. We need to fight for the right of jaguars to live - peacefully and without being killed for the traditional medicine market, and other trade. Help stop the demand for endangered species used in this practice! “When the buying stops, the killing can too” #wildaid Our animal family is so much like us - they find mates, they have kids, they have to feed themselves and their families, they feed themselves and their families in the same way we as humans used to! If we can find a way to believe they think, feel and have emotions, maybe we can treat them better and find a way to ensure their future on this planet. They are keystone species in their ecosystems, though we as humans are not. The forests and grasslands of big cats give us 50% of our oxygen and 75% of fresh water. If we can save big cats we can help save ourselves! Join National Geographic's Big Cat Initiative, www.causeanuproar.org #bigcatsforever Follow me @stevewinterphoto to other images and thanks! @stevewinterphoto @natgeo @nglive #nglive @natgeochannel @natgeowild @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #fursforlife #BCI #bigcatsintiative #startwith1thing @pantheracats @pantanalsafaris #canonusa #redcine @africanparksnetwork #ldfoundation @leonardodicaprio @sanctuaryasia @bertiegregory

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Thu, 09 Mar 2017 08:58:51 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/best-nature-photographer-instagrams/brent-sprecher
<![CDATA[19 Crazy Awesome Sea Creatures That Can Change Their Shape, Color, And Size]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-sea-creatures-camouflage/cynthia-griffith

In the wild, everything isn’t always what it seems. This is particularly true within the ocean’s depths. What you think is a rock could actually be a killer fish. What you think is a flower could also be a killer fish, and something you’ve mistaken for a sea shell might just be - you guessed it - a killer fish; but it’s more likely to be a man eating snail. You get the picture.

Crazy sea creature camouflage comes in all shapes and sizes and happens for many different reasons. All you really need to know is that the ocean is brimming with shapeshifting sea creatures. These mysterious animals morph into their surroundings. This stuff is enough to invoke nightmares and it’s all happening right now in the depths of the ocean (and the shallow end too, just so you’re aware).

Here are some of the most mysterious creatures of the sea, in all of their twisted, distorted shapes, colors, textures, and sizes. Which ones astonish you the most?


19 Crazy Awesome Sea Creatures That Can Change Their Shape, Color, And Size,

Cuttlefish

The cuttlefish is one of the most notorious masters of disguise in all of the sea. His innate ability to shapeshift, texture switch, and color coordinate according to the background makes him able to adapt to, and hunt in, otherwise harsh environments. He could, at any given moment, be described as sea creature, plant life or mineral depending on how he is dressed.


Seahorse

What makes seahorses so great at hiding in the deep? Why, their ability to change multiple aspects of their physique, of course. A seahorse can change color, shape, and texture in order to blend in with its surroundings and protect itself from peril. Even the patterns on their skin can be altered as a form of defense.


Mahi-mahi

The mahi-mahis resplendent colors are truly a sight to behold. But did you know they change to signify a change in habitat? For example, the mahi-mahi, when taken out of water and put into a state where it can’t breathe, turns an unforgettable shade of gold. If not returned to water, it then transitions through several other vibrant colors, kind of like a rainbow. Its most dramatic hue of all however, is the color of death, which is the final shade in the process. It has been described by experts as a “muted yellow-grey.”


Blue-lined Octopus

Octouses are deadly enough, but this one here is no sucker. His fascinating yellow skin runs the full length of his body, which, incidentally, is only about two inches or so in length. Not only is the blue lined octopus tiny enough to be missed, but when his venomous tentacles turn a glimmering shade of blue, beware. That blue ringed getup means he’s dressed to kill. 

This little guy blends into the aquatic plants and coral to disguise itself. And usually when people figure out the octopus is hiding within the weeds, it's too late. 


Mimic Octopus

The mimic octopus deserves an Oscar for its deep sea performance. Have you ever heard of a venomous sea creature who can convincingly impersonate not one or two, but at least fifteen other sea creatures? So remember folks, if you see any of the following, it might be a blood-sucking, carnivorous octopus in disguise:

  • Crab
  • Flatfish
  • Jellyfish
  • Sea snake
  • Lion fish
  • Shrimp
  • and more

What makes the mimic octopus so mesmerizing, aside from its stated ability to change its shape, color, and texture at will, is that it’s smart enough to know who to impersonate depending on the given situation. It’s also ruthless enough to use this ability to lure in unsuspecting prey.


Stonefish

Synanceia, better known by laymen as simply the stonefish, has quite the reputation for being the deadliest fish known to man. When provoked, or more commonly, stepped on, the fish can release a fatal toxin that paralyzes and sometimes even kills its victims on contact. Unlike most of the fish on this list, this guy is not a deep sea dweller. He takes in all the action from the shallow depths of the ocean, where unsuspecting humans tread water that’s way more dangerous than they realize.


Dottyback

Picture this scenario if you will. You’re floating through the rippling waters, a baby fish just enjoying a pleasant swim with mommy and daddy when suddenly, out of nowhere, mommy and daddy dart towards you, trying with all their might to eat you alive! But wait, you realize all too late, that wasn’t mommy and daddy after all. It was none other than the dottyback reef fish, a colorful saltwater swimmer whose whole modus operandi is shapeshifting to look like the parents of itty bitty baby fish and then proceeding to devour the little guys while still in costume. Nobody whips up a terrifying nightmare quite like Mother Nature.


Ribbon eel

Ribbon eels change genders in order to adapt to their environments and preserve their species. They also change colors from time to time. It wasn’t until recently that scientists discovered that these two phenomena are actually linked. As it turns out, they change color to signify that they have, indeed, changed genders. 


A Clever New Mystery Fish Is Mimicking The Mimic Octopus

Here's one clever mystery fish who may be wearing several disguises at once. Unlike some of the other ocean mimics, this little fish is not poisonous. He mimics the mimic octopus, going so far as to turn his whole body into something that looks like a tentacle. After the actual octopus departs, we see this creature revert back to a jawfish only - wait - he might not be a jawfish after all. In a bewildering twist of events, it would appear his form once he takes off his disguise is yet another disguise and it’s possible that this mystery fish is an entirely new species previously unknown to all of humanity. Oh yeah, and he also grows a ninth arm out of nowhere!


Southern Pygmy Leatherjackets Change Color When They Fall In Love

Southern pygmy leatherjackets are certainly full of surprises. Not only do they have the ability to puff up in order to intimidate fellow ocean dwellers, but they also have a unique color changing quality. They are known to switch colors during courtship. How romantic.



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Fri, 24 Feb 2017 03:17:00 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-sea-creatures-camouflage/cynthia-griffith
<![CDATA[16 Times Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Was The Best]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/why-dwayne-johnson-rules/randall-colburn

When Dwayne Johnson debuted in the WWE in 1996 as Rocky Maivia, no one would have guessed he'd go on to be a multi-time World Heavyweight Champion, repeat Saturday Night Live host, Muscle and Fitness' Man of the Century, and one of the highest grossing movie stars of all time. But his accolades aren't why The Rock is the best. Instead, reasons fans love The Rock have more to do with his personality.

It's easy for celebrities to put on the appearance of being amiable, but it's obvious that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a great guy. Just look at all these times Dwayne Johnson was awesome. He's proven it time and time again with his willingness to donate his time to kids, fans, and especially his family, with whom he's remained extremely close as his career has taken off. Who would guess that such a warm heart beats inside a guy who looks like he could snap you in two?


16 Times Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Was The Best,

He Bailed On Baywatch To Visit Kids In The Hospital

While filming Baywatch in Savannah, GA, Johnson "called an audible" and left the set. He then visited a nearby hospital's pediatric specialty ward, where he said hi to a number of kids. "Glad I got a chance to shake the hand of this very strong and inspiring young man," he said of one of his experiences.


He Bought His Uncle A Truck

Johnson comes from a long line of professional wrestlers, beginning with his grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia. One member of his family is Tonga Fifita, who wrestled as Haku in the WWE and Meng in WCW. 

In 2015, Johnson bought him a truck. Why? Because his great-uncle Fifita encouraged him in the early days of his career.


He Helped A Little Girl Pull An Airplane

When a 2-year-old named Kai visited the set of the 2016 comedy Central Intelligence, she wanted to "pull the airplane all by herself." Johnson convinced her that she was definitely doing it on her own.


He Encouraged Cancer Patients

One day, on the set of Johnson's HBO series Ballers, he was approached by a security officer who had quite the story for him. Years before, when Johnson was accompanying his cancer-stricken mother to the hospital, he held the door open for a man who was also struggling with cancer, and offered him some words of encouragement. 

As Johnson explained on Instagram, "Officer Arias shared with me that he’d been waiting years to tell me that on that day, after I shook his dad’s hand and told him to stay strong, that his dad felt no pain that day. And was once again was a happy man and pain free. Even if just for one day. Jesus Arias passed away from cancer later that year, but his life continues to tell an inspiring story."


He Called Out Under Armour's CEO

Johnson endorses Under Armour's fitness gear, but didn't stand by when the company's CEO, Kevin Plank, publicly praised President Donald Trump for being a "pro-business president" and a "real asset to this country." Johnson publicly spoke out against Plank's comments in a Facebook post, calling them "divisive and lacking in perspective."


He Honors The Military

Johnson's never been shy about his support of the armed forces, as demonstrated by his Rock the Troops TV special, a "grand scale music and entertainment event." The special, which aired on Spike TV, featured the likes of Keegan-Michael Key, Tenacious D, JB Smoove, and Jeff Ross.


He Sang "Here Comes Santa Claus" In A Onesie

In 2014, Johnson appeared on Live! with Kelly and Michael to ring in the holiday season with a spirited rendition of "Here Comes Santa Claus." The song ended with an appearance from the man in red himself.


He Brought Jumanji To Hawaii To Create More Jobs

Johnson fought to have the upcoming Jumanji reboot film in his home state of Hawaii, mainly as a means of boosting the local economy.

"On a personal level, for me to be able to come back to Hawaii, my Polynesian culture, this is the place where I grew up," he told Good Morning America. "I got in a lot of trouble here when I was a kid trying to stay on the right path, and just to be able to come back these days, with who I am today and bring a movie like this, this size and magnitude to Hawaii. The jobs that it creates for all the hard working locals is such a cool thing."


He Put A Toilet In His Squat Rack

As he wrote on Instagram, "My old man used to kick my ass so hard in the gym when I was a kid he'd say, 'if you're gonna throw up go outside... and if you're gonna cry then go home to your mother.' If only we had this brilliant toilet in the gym idea when I was a kid I'd would've never had to go outside."


He Posed For This Photo

The turtleneck. The chain. The haircut. The single gold earring. And, of course, the fanny pack. This photo of Johnson from the '90s is absolute perfection, and he's been a good sport about all the attention he's gotten as a result of it resurfacing on the Internet.



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Wed, 08 Mar 2017 03:18:06 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/why-dwayne-johnson-rules/randall-colburn
<![CDATA[20 Characters Whose Body Proportions Would Probably Kill Them]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/characters-with-the-least-realistic-body-proportions/stephanroget

The concept of fictional characters with unrealistic body types is a growing problem in our society. The covers of fashion magazines are bad enough, so we certainly don’t need cartoon characters parading unattainable bodies in front of the youth of the world. However, time and time again, we see characters designed with no respect for reality at all. Eyes are larger than their waists, they have breasts that would instantly induce horrific back pain, or they rock bulging muscles that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger insecure.

The worst examples of this are the fictional characters whose bodies are simply scientifically impossible. The unrealistic proportions of some cartoon and video game characters aren’t just unattainable for regular humans, they outright defy the laws of physics. If these characters tried to exist in the real world, they’d immediately suffer broken limbs, collapsed spines, and probably a severe lack of internal organs. In other words, they’ve been designed in a way that is not just unrealistic and disproportionate, but downright nonsensical.


20 Characters Whose Body Proportions Would Probably Kill Them,

Homer Simpson

The Simpsons is a refuge where people go for laughter, not for realism. However, Homer Simpson’s weird physiology is frankly bizarre when applied to real life, so it bears mentioning. In short, Homer’s eyes are way too big for his head and face.

On the one hand, his skull could have ridiculously large eye sockets, but that doesn’t say much for the structural integrity of a face that is constantly getting bashed by things. Alternatively, Homer’s eyes could just be oversized, which means they’d be in constant danger of popping out. D’oh!


Kronk

Kronk was the breakout star of The Emperor’s New Groove. The dimwitted bodyguard made a big impression on fans. In real life, however he’d likely make a big impression on the ground.

Kronk has the ridiculous upper body mass that many male fictional characters share, which means that he would frequently topple over when he tried to walk. His real problem, however, is infinitely worse. Due to Kronk’s slender, Barbie-like waist, his body couldn’t possibly support his robust musculature. Any time Kronk bent over to pick something up, he’d risk severing his spine.


Popeye

Some people in the real world have various oversized body parts that looked ridiculous when compared to the rest of their bodies. Rarely, however, does such exaggeration include the forearm, because who in their right mind would want that? The answer, apparently, is sailor men. 

Popeye sports forearms that are equal in girth to his own waist. The relative skinniness of Popeye’s upper arms would ensure that he’d probably obliterate his elbow if he tried to take a shot at Bluto. Maybe he should take it easy on that spinach.


Ariel

Ariel, star of The Little Mermaid, is a classic and beloved Disney princess. She also presents a complex and potentially troubling physiological conundrum. Like many Disney princesses, Ariel’s eyes are literally wider than her impossibly tiny stomach. That’s a problem for a normal human, but Ariel, don’t forget, is a Little Mermaid.

She’s supposed to power an entire fish-tail bottom half with her miniscule torso. There’s a good reason that real fish don’t have bikini bods, and that’s because it takes a solid amount of core strength to propel a body through water by using a tail. Ariel, it seems, would just sort of float around aimlessly or snap her spine the moment she tried to move. 


Princess Jasmine

Princess Jasmine is the worst example of a problem that plagues most Disney princesses: their eyes are bigger than their stomachs. That’s not meant in the metaphorical sense, like ordering too much at a restaurant, but rather in the literal one. Jasmine’s eyes are actually wider than her waist, a physiological problem that can’t be good for her digestion. Or living. 

Eyes that big would likely overload the brain with sensory information, but her spine probably wouldn’t last long enough without snapping for that to become a real problem. A biologically unattainable waistline probably isn’t the best body image to sell to young girls, but that’s never stopped Disney.


Johnny Bravo

Johnny Bravo, star of his own titular cartoon, was never meant to be taken seriously. He doesn’t show any respect for women. Or gravity, as it turns out, because his body is built to collapse upon itself.

Johnny Bravo has an upper body that would make any bodybuilder jealous, with muscles bulging out at every possible angle, but his lower body is a different story. Johnny looks like he always skips leg day, and thus his bottom half would have a real tough time holding up the rest of him. Every time he flexes, his femurs should probably shatter. 


Barbie

Barbie is the poster-child for unrealistic body proportions. She’s been oft-criticized for setting a poor body standard for impressionable young girls, and her ridiculous attributes have been picked apart by countless pundits.

In real life, her stupidly long neck would not support her head, her wrists would snap at the slightest gust of wind, and her waist would be too tiny to hold her internal organs inside. Her legs are also far longer than her arms, which would result in her gait matching that of stork. Not exactly a dream girl now, is she?


Gru

Gru, the most notable non-Minion character from Despicable Me, is obviously not designed to look like a well-balanced man. The character designers may have taken that a bit literally, however, because Gru does not look like a man who could stay on his feet for very long. His body is quite wide at the top and consistently tapers down to the bottom, concluding with what could only be described as “absurdly weak ankles.”

Gru is practically triangular, and anyone with triangle experience can tell you that they’re not fantastic at balancing on their points. At best, Gru would regularly break his ankles, and at worst, he wouldn’t be able to stand in the first place.


Arnold Would Have Destroyed His Mother During Birth

Arnold, from Hey Arnold!, might have been able to get through life alright. Might. His mother, on the other hand, wouldn’t have a chance of surviving childbirth, as his gigantic, football-shaped head would surely ruin her body on the way out.

That lopsided dome would also mean that Arnold himself would have to spend his life wearing a neck brace, or risk snapping his spine and winding up paralyzed at the slightest provocation. Even wearing his trademark hat would be a risky move for the tragedy waiting to happen. 


The Cast Of Special A’s Arms Would Constantly Snap

Several anime employ the “creepily long arms” trope when designing characters, but Special A really takes things too far. The show, and the manga that inspired it, have characters with extremely skinny arms that, in some cases, actually reach down to their knees. Why this was ever considered a "cool" design, and not a wildly disturbing one, is hard to say. Either way, the characters would basically be unable to physically lift anything that weighed more than a few pounds. The sheer distance between shoulder socket, elbow, and hand just wouldn’t work, and some part of the structure would inevitably snap.



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Fri, 17 Mar 2017 04:30:23 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/characters-with-the-least-realistic-body-proportions/stephanroget
<![CDATA[What Will Aliens Look Like When They Finally Show Up?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/types-of-aliens-from-sci-fi-shows-and-movies/brent-sprecher

Aliens: do they exist? And more importantly, what do they look like? Some scientists think they could resemble people, while others theorize they could be machines. There's another possibility, too: they could look like sci fi aliens. The creative minds in Hollywood have populated TV shows and movies with a vast menagerie of aliens, from the nightmare-inducing to the downright adorable.

If Earth is going to be invaded, it's important to consider what time of extraterrestrial leader you'd want. Maybe you prefer your masters to be collected and logical, like the Vulcans on Star Trek. If cuddly aliens are more your thing, Wookiees and Asogians are both represented here. And then there are the more hostile creatures. The Xenomorphs from Alien and Harvesters from Independence Day aren't exactly peaceful, but they sure know how to get things done.

Check out this list of different kinds of aliens in film and on TV, and vote up the creatures you would most warmly welcome as your new alien overlords.


What Will Aliens Look Like When They Finally Show Up?,

Vulcans From Star Trek

"You speak about the objective hardness of the Vulcan heart, yet how little room there seems to be in yours." - Spock (Star Trek, "The Immunity Syndrome," 1968)

  • Humanoid race physically similar to humans, but much stronger, faster, longer lived, and with pointed ears, green blood, and a heart where the human liver is located.
  • Telepathic species capable of entering another's mind by touching their head and transferring their soul into another body upon death.
  • Centuries-old culture that idealizes logic and demonizes emotions.
  • Technologically advanced space-faring civilization that has partnered with humanity.

Asogians From E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

"He needs to go home; he's calling his people. And I don't know where they are, but he needs to go home." - Elliott (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, 1982)

  • Short, squat sentient beings with wrinkly brown skin, bulbous torsos, long arms, and extendable necks. Their hearts glow to communicate emotion and as a signal.
  • Telepathic abilities including telepathy and telekinesis.
  • Ability to heal injuries with a touch of their fingers.
  • Love drinking beer and eating Reese's Pieces.

Floral Colossus From Guardians Of The Galaxy

"Groot: he's been traveling recently as Rocket's personal houseplant slash muscle." - Rhomann Dey (Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014)

  • Large humanoids resembling trees that were once thought to be extinct.
  • Extremely strong, with a dense body structure that is impervious to physical harm. Can heal by regrowing damaged areas and even their entire bodies.
  • Able to control every part of their bodies to expand and contort themselves into different shapes and forms.
  • Limited human speech.

Aliens From Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

"I know this sounds crazy, but ever since yesterday on the road, I've been seeing this shape... I know this. I know what this is! This means something. This is important." - Roy Neary (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1977)

  • Slender humanoids with large heads and comparatively small bodies. Most are about the height of human children, but the leader is much taller, with extremely elongated limbs.
  • Highly intelligent space-faring race that has expressed great interest in humanity for decades, if not centuries.
  • Routinely abduct humans for presumably benign reasons.
  • Implant images and sounds in the minds of those who have encountered them.

Thermians From Galaxy Quest

"We have enjoyed preparing many of your esoteric dishes. Your Monte Cristo sandwich is a current favorite among the adventurous." - Mathesar (Galaxy Quest, 1999)   

  • Octopus-like intelligent cephalopods with blue blood and color-changing skin used to emote and communicate.
  • Extremely friendly and naïve, with no understanding of the concept of lying.
  • Culture based on old television broadcasts from Earth.
  • Nearly every aspect of their advanced technology is based on the fictitious tech seen on the sci fi TV show Galaxy Quest, including a device that allows them to look human.

Annelids From Men In Black

"Cahuenga he barauba ne zapwata!" - Worm Guy (Men In Black, 1997)

  • Small, bipedal, worm-like aliens with thin, spineless bodies. They have two main arms and six smaller arms on their chests.
  • Capable of reconnecting severed body parts and regenerating them.
  • Generally jovial (but hedonistic) and able to speak English and socialize with humans.
  • Probably addicted to coffee.

Tenctonese (Newcomers) From Alien Nation

"You humans are very curious to us. You invite us to live among you in an atmosphere of equality that we've never known before. You give us ownership of our own lives for the first time and you ask no more of us than you do of yourselves." - Det. Samuel "George'" Francisco (Alien Nation, 1988)

  • Humanoid race physically similar to humans, but genetically engineered to be far stronger, more resilient, and adaptable. Major differences include dual hearts and genitals under their arms.
  • Exposure to seawater can cause severe burns and even death.
  • Many are still addicted to ja-bru-kha, a powerful narcotic from their slave days, and sour milk is akin to alcohol for them.
  • Newcomers who have integrated into human society have excelled in human professions.

Yautja From Predator

"We begin finding our men. We found them sometimes without their skins... and sometimes much, much worse. 'El cazador trofeo de los hombres' means the demon who makes trophies of men." - Anna (Predator, 1987)

  • Tall, muscular, resilient humanoids with reptilian skin and arthropod-like facial mandibles.
  • Highly intelligent and technologically advanced species that travels the galaxy in search of dangerous prey to hunt for sport.
  • Typically outfitted for the hunt, with bio-mask, plate armor, heated wire mesh bodysuit, and wrist gauntlet for controlling plasma weaponry, adaptive camouflage and self-destruct explosives.
  • Strict code of honor that demands they spare the life of a hunter of any species that is found to be a worthy adversary.

Wookiees From Star Wars

"It's not wise to upset a Wookiee." - Han Solo (Star Wars, 1977)

  • Shaggy giants with volatile tempers and a tendency to tear off arms when riled.
  • Loyal and trustworthy, especially after having pledged a life debt to another being.
  • Highly sophisticated and intelligent, capable of mastering starship engineering and hyperspace navigation. 
  • Extremely long life spans relative to humans.

Na'vi From Avatar

"We have an indigenous population of humanoids called the Na'vi. They're fond of arrows dipped in a neurotoxin that will stop your heart in one minute - and they have bones reinforced with naturally occurring carbon fiber. They are very hard to kill." - Col. Quaritch (Avatar, 2009)

  • Three-meter tall bipedal humanoids with vaguely feline features and smooth cyan skin from the moon Pandora.
  • Neural tendrils within their hair braids that allow them to connect to kinetic signals of plants and other creatures.
  • Omnivorous hunter-gatherers who ride six-legged direhorses and dragon-like banshees and "steer" them via neural links.
  • Live in clans inside ancient trees containing natural hollows.


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Fri, 10 Mar 2017 08:22:43 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/types-of-aliens-from-sci-fi-shows-and-movies/brent-sprecher
<![CDATA[The 13 Most Bizarre Crossovers In Gaming History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/bizarre-video-game-crossovers/nathan-gibson

Video game crossovers, much like crossovers in other forms of media, are not particularly rare. Companies have realized that by combining their brands with other well-known characters and franchises, they can vastly improve the popularity of both products. After all, fans love to see their favorite heroes and villains go to new worlds in whatever capacity they can. 

This thinking, though, has led to some very weird video game mashups where the universes of two or more well-known series have been flung together haphazardly. It can feel like they were thought up by an 11 year old who just had way too much sugar.

Sometimes, these bizarre crossover video games are created as cheap marketing ploys that attempt to take advantage of hardcore fans, but others are just straight-up odd mixtures that you would never have expected to see.


The 13 Most Bizarre Crossovers In Gaming History,

Kingdom Hearts

Considering how protective Disney is over their properties, the concept of an action role-playing game featuring an array of Disney characters alongside an original cast (and characters from Final Fantasy) seems too far-fetched to ever happen.

However, a chance meeting in an elevator between the game’s director and a Disney executive allowed the idea to be pitched directly to the company. The result was Kingdom Hearts, a game where players team up with Goofy and Donald Duck as they progress through a variety of worlds based on famous Disney movies, such as Aladdin and The Lion King. It proved incredibly successful and there have been more than a dozen sequels and spin-offs since.


Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games

There are many things that make Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games profoundly bizarre. Nintendo and Sega had long been enemies, and the two titular characters had often been pitted against one another for market dominance. Furthermore, Sonic had seen a dramatic drop in popularity after starring in a slew of bad games, while Mario was more successful than ever.

The Japanese companies agreed to work together after Sega adopted the IOC’s mission to promote a sporting spirit and to interest young people in the Olympics. The game was so financially successful that a further two installments, for the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics, were also created.


Lego Rock Band

While LEGO has teamed up with a variety of different brands and franchises in past with their action-adventure games, the brick company also had one rather... strange collaboration. In addition to working with the likes of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, they also had a crossover with the Rock Band series by Harmonix.

This resulted in LEGO Rock Band – a game that's functionally the exact same thing as Rock Band, with the addition of LEGO characters and items. Since LEGO is not traditionally associated with music and Rock Band had previously only worked with... bands, it was an unusual move. Regardless, it proved rather successful.


Pokémon Conquest

What's the weirdest videogame franchise crossover you can imagine? Doesn't matter, Pokémon mashed together with Nobunaga’s Ambition series is much, much stranger. There is obvious appeal in featuring creatures from Pokémon in a variety of different games and media, due to their popularity, but combining it with a turn-based strategy game set in feudal Japan was not something that most people expected. Mature, adult themes set Pokémon Conquest apart as players attempt to conquer various warlords and unite the land.


Fortune Street

Fortune Street is definitely a strange crossover title, but it's also just a weird game in general. The Monopoly-like board game first featured in Dragon Quest became so popular that it spun off into its own game.

With the Wii and Nintendo DS release of the game, characters from various Mario games were introduced for the first time. Having appeared in more than 200 games, Mario is no stranger to crossovers, whether it is a sports or fighting game, but featuring in this Dragon Quest spin-off title alongside characters from the franchise was certainly a departure for the Italian plumber. 


Nicktoons MLB

There are very few baseball games that receive critical acclaim or become commercially successful. This has led to developers attempting to bring new elements to their games in an attempt to increase their popularity.

One studio, for example, generated a crossover between Major League Baseball and Nickelodeon, with the title featuring cartoon characters from a number of Nicktoon shows, such as Spongebob Square Pants, Ren & Stimpy, and Invader Zim. The game, Nicktoons MLB, was a huge flop and another game in the series has not been considered.


Project X Zone

Project X Zone is about as crazy as crossovers get in the gaming industry. It combined fighters from games such as Street Fighter, Tekken, and Devil May Cry together for the first time. Not only was Namco Bandai able to convince Sega and Capcom to allow their characters to appear, but they put them in a tactical role-playing game rather than a traditional fighting title, confusing gamers even more.

Despite all of this, it turned out to be a hit with fans and sold many more copies than initially expected, leading to the release of a sequel several years later.


Hyrule Warriors

Although Nintendo has never been afraid of making spin-offs or crossing over their franchises into new worlds and genres, Hyrule Warriors was still a very unexpected title when it was first announced.

After all, The Legend of Zelda series has always been more about adventuring and solving puzzles rather than combat, and this crossover between the franchise and Dynasty Warriors focused entirely on fighting hordes of enemies. Despite some misgivings from longtime fans, Hyrule Warriors proved to be a hit and drew acclaim for its engaging fighting system and its implementation of classic Zelda elements, such as the ability to open chests on the battlefield.


Sonic Lost World

The Sonic brand has not always done well for Sega. Apart from a successful collaboration with Nintendo in the form of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, there has been very little to get fans of the blue hedgehog excited.

That might be why Sega teamed up with Nintendo again when it released Sonic: Lost World to create a piece of free, downloadable content that outlandishly saw the hedgehog enter the world of Hyrule. The Legend of Zelda Zone DLC saw Sonic don the famous green tunic and go on an adventure filled with chickens, heart containers, and everything else you would expect from a Zelda game.


Poker Night At The Inventory

When gamers think of Telltale Games, the first games to come to mind are likely the super popular The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us, rather than a poker simulator. Still though, it would be a shame to forget one amazingly weird title in particular. In 2010, Telltale released Poker Night at the Inventory, a game that featured crossover characters from a variety of seemingly random locations.

The players included Tycho from Penny Arcade, the Heavy from Team Fortress 2, Max from Sam & Max, and Strong Bad from Homestar Runner. Each character had their own backstory and in-depth dialogue, something which proved to be incredibly well-received. The game was so successful that a sequel featuring characters from Portal, Borderlands, and The Evil Dead was created in 2013.



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Thu, 29 Dec 2016 09:08:29 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/bizarre-video-game-crossovers/nathan-gibson
<![CDATA[The Story Of Inky, The Most Badass Octopus In The Sea]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/badass-facts-about-inky-the-octopus/nida-sea

The story of Inky the Octopus is one for the history books. Inky - a cephalopod - was more than just an octopus, he was an escape artist dreamer who made headlines. Cephalopods are a class of aquatic sea creatures that includes squids, octopuses, nautiloideas, and cuttlefish. These creatures are defined as having bilateral symmetry, soft bodies, a set of tentacles or arms, and a prominent head. There are over 800 types of cephalopods in the world - but none like Inky. 

Inky - the most badass octopus in the sea - came from New Zealand's Pania Reef, but his journey didn't end there. This octopus escape artist took his destiny into his own tentacles after being put in an aquarium and escaping through a drain pipe. Some regard his pilgrimage home as a legendary feat, while others proclaim him to be a hero of restriction. One thing is certain; Inky was one heck of a cephalopod.

Whether you’re a fan of cephalopods or just want to know more information about the famous Inky, check out this list to learn more cool octopus facts.


The Story Of Inky, The Most Badass Octopus In The Sea,

Inky Had A Companion Named Blotchy That He Just Left Behind

When Inky left the aquarium, he also left behind his only tank mate named Blotchy. Employees at the aquarium said when they looked into the octo-couple's tank, it appeared as if Blotchy hadn't really moved an inch despite the departure of her lover Inky. This has many people wondering why Blotchy didn’t escape with Inky. Could there be something holding Blotchy back? There may have been something more to Inky’s daring escape to freedom and why he left behind Blotchy. Could it be that Blotchy is a female octopus? If so, Inky was wise to run, because female octopus are known to kill males during the breeding season by strangling them to death.


Inky Is A Common Reef Octopus - But There's Nothing Common About Him

Inky’s bulbous head, large cartoonish eyes, and eight, long suction cup legs certainly make him look adorable; but what kind of octopus is Inky? He's species is generally known as the common reef octopus or scientifically referred to as a Pinnoctopus Cordiformis. This cephalopod can reach around three feet long and is regional to New Zealand and off the coast of South Australia. It can be easily identified by its iridescent spotted web and arm markings, as well as its distinctive coloration, which is either a greyish-purple or orange-brown color.


Inky Had His Heart - Rather, His Three Hearts - Set On Returning To The Ocean

If you though that Inky had his heart set on returning to the sea one day, you’re wrong! Inky would actually have three hearts set on returning to the ocean. That’s right! Octopuses have three hearts stored in their heads. Two pump blood through the gills to help the creature breathe, while the last one pumps blood through its vital organs. Interestingly to note, the blood of an octopus is a blue color. This is due to the amount of copper based proteins found in its blood, called hemocyanin. It's also interesting that octopus prefer crawling over swimming. When octopuses swim, it causes their heart organs to stop functioning, halting the blood flow process and exhausting the creature.


Octopuses Are Super Smart

Research shows that octopuses have a cognitive working brain network, which is comprised of one central brain and eight neuron-packed ganglia in each arm. This allows them to learn, remember, and form mental maps within complex environments. Because of their excellent brain activity, octopuses can easily hide from predators, catch their pray more effectively, and escape from confined areas. Over the years, observational tests demonstrate that octopuses can free themselves from closed containers and open securely closed bottles.

Employees at the aquarium believe because Inky is so smart (and badass), he noticed the lid of his tank was ajar. He then pushed it aside just enough to give him an escape route. 


Octopuses Are Master Escape Artists

As amazing as Inky’s escape story sounds, it’s not an unusual task for an octopus to perform. In fact, statements released from several aquariums around the world have reported the octopuses they house escape their enclosures or at least try to escape more often than people realize. In truth, octopuses are great at escaping because they are master contortionists and super intelligent, possessing excellent memories. Since they have no bones in their bodies, they can compress and manipulate their forms to fit into small spaces or squeeze out of tiny openings.


Inky's Great Escape

Inky is the most badass octopus in the sea because he refused to stay put. While he was a resident at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, Inky decided he had had enough. In the dark of the night Inky slipped out of his tank and jumped back into the sea. Employees at the aquarium said they were able to determine how Inky got out by following his watery trail. 

In reports covering Inky’s escape, he is often referred to as an eight-legged Houdini. So, how did Inky escape? In all honesty, it wasn’t magic. The truth is the lid to his tank was left slightly ajar. Inky, upon noticing this, sprang into action and managed to slip out of the small gap, crawl over eight feet across the floor, and manipulate his boneless basketball-sized body down a six-inch in diameter drain pipe that eventually led him to the sea. By the time the aquarium team noticed he was missing, Inky was already long gone and never to be seen again.


There Are Other Headline-Making Octopuses In The World

So, is Inky the only octopus to make headlines on a national level? Nope! In Germany, a small octopus named Paul showed off his cephalopod intelligence after he properly predicted all seven of Germany’s 2010 World Cup matches. This earned Paul many fans across Europe, and even had outside zoos and aquariums offering to buy the eight-legged genius. Additionally, In New Zealand, an octopus named Ozy set a speed record for opening a jar in under a minute at the Island Bay Marine Education Center. It made big news because no other octopus at the center came close to Ozy’s record time. Talk about stars in the making. 


Where Did Inky Come From - And Did He Go Back To His Birthplace?

The story of Inky really begins on the Pania Reef. He was caught by some fishermen who brought him to the aquarium. He needed some help - Inky was battered and bruised from fights with fish on the reef. At his new home he was fed regular meals and was even given a companion named Blotchy. 

What is the Pania Reef? It's located near Napier in New Zealand, and is about one mile long. It's home to an abundant sea life population, that includes fish, crabs, eels, and octopuses like Inky. Is it possible despite the rough life Inky endured in the reef - engaging in fish fights that left scars - he would return? 



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Fri, 17 Mar 2017 07:52:10 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/badass-facts-about-inky-the-octopus/nida-sea
<![CDATA[The 16 Dumbest Fashion Trends in History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-fashion-trends-from-history/lisa-waugh

Crazy fashion trends from history teach contemporary clothes horses a few things. One, people will go to ridiculous lengths to prove their station in society. They’ll nearly break their necks by teetering on towering platform shoes, hobble themselves with skirts, and bind themselves up in an organ-shifting corset, all in the name of style. And two, exaggeration is key. From hugely padded sleeves to large embroidered codpieces, true devotes of trends believed that bigger was better.

Weird fashion trends from history were frequently dangerous as well. Vivid dyes could be made with toxic arsenic, while voluminous crinolines could easily catch on fire. Even if the clothing wasn't fatal, a lot of these crazy fashion trends from history seriously impaired a person’s ability to live a normal life. People who wore bliauts couldn’t really use their arms. Men who donned crakowes found walking a bit problematic. And extra wide panniers kept women from fitting through narrow doors.

Whether they're deadly or just plain nuts, you can be thankful these fashion trends are in the past.


The 16 Dumbest Fashion Trends in History,

Corsets

Corsets have been around in one form or another since the 5th century. They were originally made of stiffened fabric, and then evolved into cage-like contraptions made from whalebone, wood, or steel. Corsets caused organs to shift around, and caused indigestion and constipation - but they weren't deadly.

There’s a lot of misinformation about the corset, as Valerie Steele, the director and chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, explains. "Most people today think corsets were extremely dangerous and caused all kinds of health problems, from cancer to scoliosis," Steele says. "And that’s quite inaccurate. Most of the diseases that have been credited to corsets, in fact, had other causes. Corsets did not cause scoliosis, the crushing of the liver, cancer, or tuberculosis. It doesn’t mean that corsets were without any health problems, but it does mean that most modern people are wildly naive in believing the most absurd antiquated medical accusations about corsetry."


Codpieces

15th and 16th century men sought to accentuate their packages with codpieces. They were often made of padded cloth or embroidered fabric, though metal codpieces were also worn. Held in place with buttons, strings, or ties, the codpiece was designed to draw praise and raise a man’s profile. Even the name was knowingly bawdy - "cod" was slang for scrotum.

But French philosopher Michel de Montaigne wasn’t having it, calling out the hypocrisy of the device. In the 1580s, he deemed the codpiece "an empty and useless model of a member that we cannot even decently mention by name, which however we show off and parade in public."

Codpieces eventually fell out of fashion as doublet styles changed and breeches became more billowing.


Lotus Shoes

Lotus shoes were worn by Chinese girls with bound feet. For centuries, families repeatedly broke and folded the feet of their young daughters to create the tiny feet that epitomized femininity. The foot was bound with long ribbons to prevent growth. If the toes withered and fell off, even better. The process usually took between two to three years, and the girl’s feet were bound for the rest of her life.

Women with bound feet wore Lotus shoes, cone or sheath-shaped footwear that resembled a lotus bud. The shoes were made of silk or cotton and were usually ornate, embroidered with flowers, animals, and other traditional patterns. 

There were many attempts to ban foot binding throughout history. It was officially outlawed in 1912, though the practice was still carried out in secret in some areas of China for years after.


Bustles

Also known as the "Grecian bend," the Victorian bustle arrived on the scene in the 1870s. The earliest version of this trend simply featured excess fabric gathered and draped at the back of a dress. Eventually, though, skirts were puffed up with large cushions filled with straw. Ladies who wore them ended up with exaggerated figures with outthrust hindquarters.

The bustle was frequently a target of ridicule. In 1868, Laura Redden Searing - using the pen name Howard Glyndon - wrote about the agony young women put themselves through for fashion in the New York Times, "If you knew the Spartan courage which is required to go through an ordeal of this sort for two or three hours at a time, you would not wonder that she has not an idea left in her head after her daily display is over," she said.


Bombasts

The exaggerated body stuffing known as bombast was popular with both women and men during the 16th century. Cotton, wool, or even sawdust was used to add volume to areas of clothing, particularly the sleeves. Men sometimes filled their doublets to give the illusion of a fuller belly, or padded their calves to look more muscular.


Crakowes

Also known as the poulaine, this super long shoe reigned supreme with men across Europe in the late 14th century. The shoes were named after Krákow, Poland because they were introduced to England by Polish nobles. Once the shoes were seen at court, they became all the rage - even though the shoes were six to twenty-four inches long. But they were a quick indicator of social status: the longer the shoe, the higher the wearer's station.

Chains were sometimes strung from the toe of the crakow to the knee to allow the wearer to walk. Sometimes the toes were stuffed with material for the same reason. They were considered ridiculous, vain, and dangerous by many conservatives and church leaders, who called them "devil's fingers."


Panniers

Panniers (from the French word "panier," meaning "basket") were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. The boxed petticoat expanded the width of skirts and dresses, and stood out on either side of the waistline. Panniers varied in size and were made of whalebone, wood, metal, and sometimes reeds. Extremely large panniers were worn mostly on special occasions and reflected the wearer’s social status. Servants wore smaller hoops. Two noblewomen, however, couldn’t walk through an entrance at the same time or sit on a couch together. The device was also uncomfortable, limiting movement and activity. 

The expansive pannier sparked ridicule. A satirical article in The Gentleman’s Magazine, written in 1750, portrayed women as being sick of the burden of the style. "We pass along, as it were, balancing between two scales. Every person we meet, every post we pass, and every corner we turn, incumber [sic] our way, and obstruct our progress. We fit in a chair hid up to our very ears on either side, like a swan with her head between her lifted wings. The whole side of a coach is hardly capacious enough for one of us," a passage read.


Arsenic Dresses

Bottle-green dresses were all the rage in the Victorian era, and they had price tags to match. To achieve this lovely shade of green, the fabric was dyed using large amounts of arsenic. Some women suffered nausea, impaired vision, and skin reactions to the dye. But the dresses were only worn on special occasions, limiting exposure to the arsenic in the fabric. The garment makers were the real sufferers - many died to bring this trend to the fashionable set.


Hobble Skirts

In the 1910s, French designer Paul Poiret - dubbed "The King of Fashion" in America - debuted the hobble skirt. The long, close-fitting skirts forced women who wore them to adopt mincing, tiny steps.

True, Poiret's design liberated women from heavy petticoats and constricting corsets. But as he said, "Yes, I freed the bust. But I shackled the legs."


Breast Flatteners

During the Roaring '20s, the hourglass shape gave way to the boyish flapper figure and underwear got an overhaul. The goal of every undergarment was to flatten the breasts and torso, so that flapper dresses could hang straight down without any curvaceous interruptions.

Corset-makers R. & W.H. Symington invented a garment, the Symington Side Lacer, that would flatten the breasts. The wearer would slip the garment over her head and pull the straps and side laces tight to smooth out curves. Other manufacturers designed similar devices. The Miracle Reducing Rubber Brassiere was "scientifically designed without bones or lacings," while the Bramley Corsele combined the brassiere and corset into one piece that easily layered under dresses.



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Fri, 10 Feb 2017 07:59:43 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-fashion-trends-from-history/lisa-waugh
<![CDATA[Who Is The Player Of The 2017 NCAA Tournament?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-march-madness-players-2017/ranker-sports

With March Madness underway, the best college basketball players from the top schools in the nation put it all on the court for the 2017 NCAA Division I Championship. These young players must overcome pressure, fatigue, and other talented ballers to reach the Final Four. However, only the best players can take their team to the championship. Who is the best player in this year's March Madness

According to many sports sites (and his father LaVar Ball), UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball is the must-watch player of March Madness 2017. At just 19, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year was also a major factor in the Bruins winning the Wooden Legacy Tournament. Villanova small forward Josh Hart has his sights on back-to-back championships for the Wildcats, while Kansas point guard Frank Mason III led his Wildcats to the top of the SEC. Other NCAA basketball players to watch for include Duke's Luke Kennard, Kansas's Josh Jackson, and Arizona's Lauri Markkanen. 

Vote for the best college basketball players in March Madness 2017. Feel free to add any college players missing from this list whose teams have not been eliminated.   


Who Is The Player Of The 2017 NCAA Tournament?,

Justin Jackson

Lonzo Ball

Malik Monk

Dillon Brooks

Frank Mason III

De'Aaron Fox

Nigel Williams-Goss

Trevon Bluiett

Josh Jackson

Sindarius Thornwell


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Fri, 17 Mar 2017 04:01:16 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-march-madness-players-2017/ranker-sports
<![CDATA[10 Creepy Plane Wreckages In Remote Areas You Can Visit Today]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/creepy-old-plane-wrecks-you-can-visit/harrison-tenpas

Few things can grab the world's attention quite like a plane crash. The news that an aircraft has gone down makes for massive headlines that captivate the globe; it's a real-life scenario that produces nightmarish horror. These aviation mishaps often mean significant death tolls - complete survival of those on board is a rarity - and the crash sites often become memorials or hallowed grounds that serve as a tribute to the lives that were lost. 

But what becomes of the wreckage? Well, often times it's just left at the scene. Sometimes the plane has gone down in a remote area that's difficult to access, or the wreckage is left as a memorial to the passengers who perished in the crash. This list explores those plane wrecks that are still intact - mangled old ruins that are located in places you can visit if you're daring enough, and the scene doesn't give you creeps. 


10 Creepy Plane Wreckages In Remote Areas You Can Visit Today,

There's A Mystery Wreck In A Calgary Park, Canada

There's a mystery lodged into a tree just outside of Calgary, Alberta. In 1971, wreckage from an airplane showed up in the branches above a trail in Heritage Park. Locals have few details on the origins of what appears to be the roof of a cockpit from a single engine plane, and there is no official record of where it came from or how it got there. 

The suspicious shards of wreckage are easily accessible, however. It's only about a 30-minute hike from the trailhead, and many visitors to the site have scrawled their names on torn metal - though that's probably not encouraged.


A B-24 Sits On The Boulders In Arizona

In September of 1944, A B-24 carrying eight men went down en route from Bakersfield, California to Kirtland Army Air Field in New Mexico. The airplane crashed directly into Humphrey's Peak in Northern Arizona, which sits at an elevation of roughly 11,300 feet. All those aboard the aircraft died in the crash, and the wreckage still sits atop the remote, rocky location. 

Those curious can still go visit the crash site, which hasn't changed much in the decades since it happened. Be warned, however, it's considered a difficult hike, taking about seven hours and covering a distance of nearly eight miles.


You Can Hike To A Crash Site In The TWA Canyon In Santa Fe, New Mexico

Just north of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the Cibola National Forest, sits the wreckage of TWA Flight 260. The ill-fated aircraft crashed into Sandia Peak in February of 1955, killing all 13 passengers and three crew members that were on-board. The bodies were removed from the crash site of the Martin 4-0-4 aircraft, but much of the wreckage still remains. A plaque now sits next to the tangled metal, commemorating the loss of life that took place, and it can be visited via a 3.5 mile moderate-to-strenuous hike to what locals call "TWA Canyon." Or, for the less actively inclined, the wreck can be seen from the Sandia Peak Tramway cable car, which travels directly above the site.


You Can Scuba Dive To Hawaii's Corsair Plane Wreck Site

In 1948, during a routine mission from Pearl Harbor, a Vought F4U Corsair went down three miles off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. In a forced water landing due to a fuel malfunction, the plane's captain was able to safely sink the plane, before being rescued shortly thereafter.

The plane ended up suffering very little damage, and it currently sits remarkably intact, roughly 150 feet underwater, making it a popular scuba diving attraction. It requires about a 15-minute journey, and it's considered an advanced dive, but the plane - which is fully upright - certainly makes for a unique site of exploration. 


An Alaskan Aviation Relic Is A National Monument

On the remote Aleutian island of Atka off the shores of Alaska, there is a B-24 bomber that rests intact, though a bit mangled, in a spacious, scenic field. The plane went down in World War II during a routine weather-reporting mission, when its crew encountered nasty conditions, forcing them to ground on the small island. All those on-board survived, luckily, and the plane still sits there to this day, where it's been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979. 


An R.A.F. Bomber's Torn Remains Rest In France

In Alpes-de-Haute-Provence of southern France sits the crumbling wreckage of a downed Royal Air Force bomber. The Wellington aircraft crashed in May of 1944 on a mission to bomb a German armaments plant in the town of Portes-les-Valance, where it was struck by anti-aircraft artillery. All five crew members burned to death in the crash.

The twisted metal debris can still be visited by today by history buffs, tourists, or the merely morbidly curious. Five plaques sit alongside the aircraft's torn remains, each bearing the name of a British soldier who was aboard the plane: a somber memorial for the fallen fighters. 


An Air Aruba P4-YSA Rests In The Jungles Of Curaçao

The wreckage site of Air Aruba P4-YSA looks like something out of the TV show LOST - the tangled hunk of fuselage from the turboprop airliner sits in the Caribbean jungles off the island of Curaçao, where it's slowly being retaken by the natural growth around it; jungle flowers grow from its instruments, and vines sprawl throughout the cabin. Though it's unclear how the plane got to its current resting place - only adding to its mystery and romanticism - the plane can be visited and entered to this day.


WWII History Is Preserved In The Many Plane Crash Sites Of The Pacific Islands

The Pacific Islands were witness to a ton of air combat in World War II. A great many US and Japanese aircraft went down over these Islands, crashing in the jungles or sinking into the lush lagoons. Many of these wrecks are still placed where they went down.

In 2015, a photographer named Brandy Mueller discovered a mass sunken graveyard containing over 150 missing planes from World War II. Found while scuba diving off the coast of Roi-Namur in the Marshall Islands, the aircraft had been pushed into the sea after the Pacific campaign of the war ended in 1945.


There's A Wreck-Site Memorial In The Sahara - You Just Can't Get To It

UTA Flight 772, en route from the Republic of Congo to Paris, went down in the Sahara Desert in September of 1989 after a bomb went off in the plane's cargo hold. All 170 people on board the aircraft were killed. Due to the remoteness of the crash site's location, pieces of the plane remain in the desert to this day, long after rescue and salvage attempts were made.

Though it's difficult to get to in person, there is a 200-foot-in-diameter memorial in the middle of the Sahara that can be seen using Google Earth. Placed in one of the most inaccessible regions of the planet, the tribute was hand-built with the help of local inhabitants in 2007.


Twisted Wreckage On Sólheimasandur’s Black Sand Beach Is A Haunting Tourist Destination

Perhaps one of the most eerie wreckage sites on Earth is an oft-photographed plane crash in Sólheimasandur, Iceland. The twisted wreckage that rests on the black sand beach (a haunting, apocalyptic-like scene) is that of a Douglas DC-3 that belonged to the US Navy.

The plane went down in November 1973 as part of a forced landing due to weather, and - fortunately - all crew members survived. The plane's fuselage still rests on the south Icelandic beach, and it has become a hot spot for the curious and photographers alike. 



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Wed, 08 Mar 2017 09:10:06 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/creepy-old-plane-wrecks-you-can-visit/harrison-tenpas
<![CDATA[14 Bizarre Happenings From Spider-Man's Youth That Won't Show Up In Homecoming]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/things-that-wont-show-up-in-spider-man-homecoming/stephanroget

For many people, Spider-Man: Homecoming ranks as the most exciting superhero film of 2017. Not only does the movie promise lots of youthful web-slinging action, but it also represents Spidey’s true arrival in the Marvel Cinematic Universe following his brief preview in Captain America: Civil War. The film’s creators have wisely chosen to avoid the oft-depicted Spider-Man origin story, and instead will hop feet-first into the early days of Spidey’s crimefighting career.

Spider-Man’s backstory is classic, and the multiple iterations of said story over the past half-century have only added to the potential plot details that Homecoming could pilfer. However, the screenwriters involved will no doubt have to judiciously choose which parts of Spider-Man’s past they actually bring to the silver screen. After all, with over 50 years of publishing history, Spider-Man has been through some awful things, and not everything from his youth is appropriate for Hollywood.


14 Bizarre Happenings From Spider-Man's Youth That Won't Show Up In Homecoming,

Spider-Man's Insane Love For Bananas

The US Department of Agriculture once used Spider-Man in a PSA about healthy eating, and it made about as much sense as one would expect. The ad features Spidey defeating a giant monster, which is par for the course for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Things take an interesting twist when Spidey is offered a handsome reward, but turns it down in exchange for a single banana, telling kids that healthy eating is its own reward. Spidey may eat a banana in Homecoming, but he won’t do it to make a weird point.


Statutory Rape Making Black Cat Puke

The alternative continuity of Ultimate Spider-Man moved at a slower pace, which allowed it to really explore the early years of Spidey’s career. Life as a teenager is hard for most, but when you're a costumed vigilante as well things can get especially complicated. 

For example, Ultimate Spider-Man’s adventures attracted the attention of the vivacious Black Cat, (a full-grown adult, several years his senior). She didn't realize their age disparity until Spider-Man took off his mask to go in for a kiss. When it dawned on her that she’d been getting intimate with a teenager, Black Cat puked on Spidey’s crotch. There's really no more visceral way to get rejected.  


The Time Peter Parker Was Molested

It is commendable that Marvel often made such an effort to spread positive and important messages through their comics. Sometimes, though, those messages could be a bit awkward for the casual reader. This was the case for a “very special” issue of Spider-Man that dealt with childhood sexual abuse.

When Spidey encounters a young victim of abuse, he relates a previously untold story of his own brush with a child predator in his early years. While Spider-Man’s experience proves incredibly helpful for the kid he’s trying to help, it’s still undeniably awful to watch one of your favorite superheroes get the bad touch from a creepy adult.


Doc Ock Removing His Mask

Spider-Man had his face publicly revealed pretty early in his publication history, but he still managed to keep his secret identity hidden. During one of his first clashes with Doctor Octopus, the good Doctor got the upper hand on Spider-Man (who was suffering from an illness at the time), and removed his mask in front of a crowd.

When people saw the face of meek Peter Parker underneath, they immediately reasoned that Peter had just dressed up as Spidey as part of a goofy prank. This was bolstered by the fact that the (sick) Spider-Man had put in a dreadful performance against Ock, and the public ended up none-the-wiser. And that's just... too silly for a modern audience. 


Doctor Octopus Almost Marrying Aunt May

Seeing Tony Stark hit on Aunt May in Captain America: Civil War was... awkward. Hopefully, however, no film goes down the dark path of exploring the Doctor Octopus/Aunt May romance. Believe it or not, the two were once engaged to be married, before a last-minute intervention from Spider-Man halted the proceedings.

It turned out that Ock was only interested in May due to a nuclear facility she had somehow inherited, but the two did develop genuine feelings for one another. Both parties were fairly disappointed when the nuptials were interrupted. Seriously, though, it's still so hard to think of Aunt May as a sexual being.  


The Spider-Mobile

So, why does a guy who can web-sling around town need a car? The real world answer is that Marvel wanted to sell toy Spider-Mobiles, which forced Spidey’s creators to shoehorn the ridiculous contraption into his stories.

In continuity, Spider-Man’s good friend/frequent antagonist Johnny Storm, AKA The Human Torch, designed the dunebuggy-esque vehicle for his pal. The Spider-Mobile did have some cool features, like the ability to drive on walls, but it was too silly of an idea to stick around for long.


All Attempts At Professional Wrestling

The earliest Spider-Man films played around a bit with Spider-Man’s wrestling background, but they didn’t tell the whole story. Wrestling was Spidey’s first career choice once he got his superpowers. In certain continuities, the mysterious vigilante actually made quite a name for himself on the wrestling scene, appearing on television and playing to packed arenas.

It was only after he found fame as a wrassler that his Uncle Ben was shot, prompting Spider-Man to give up his activities in the squared-circle. This is a plot device that just doesn’t make sense in the modern world.


Peter Parker Growing Six Arms

In many ways, the early years of Spider-Man serve as an allegory for puberty. While previous movies have played this angle up to a certain extent, none have gone quite as far as the comic books did.

Peter Parker experiences all sorts of strange and unfamiliar bodily changes during his teen years, but spider-powers are nothing compared to the time he sprouted four extra arms. This sudden mutation caused the wall-crawler all sorts of stress, but future films will undoubtedly focus on more “normal” high school problems.


Spider-Man Breaking Into The Baxter Building To Beg Fantastic Four For A Job

With Spider-Man firmly entrenched in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he legally cannot cross over with the Fantastic Four, whose movie rights are still owned by Fox. Even if a team-up were possible, it probably wouldn’t emulate the first meeting between Spidey and the famous Marvel team.

In one of his earliest issues, Spider-Man broke into the Baxter Building and instigated a fight with the FF, all in an attempt to get them to hire him for their team. When Spidey found out they were not-for-profit, he gave up on his endeavors.


Spidey Taking A Stand Against Aliens Promoting Unprotected Sex

Spider-Man has faced off against plenty of alien threats in his time. However, none posed so specifically awkward a threat as The Prodigy, who attacked Earth in a one-shot issue aimed at warning teens about the dangers of unprotected sex. The Prodigy wanted teens to have children so that their lives would be ruined, which isn’t exactly a nice message for any teen parents to read.

Spider-Man was outraged by this plan, and defeated the invaders single-handedly, doling out bits of wisdom about the importance of abstinence along the way. There really doesn’t need to be any further explanation why something like this is never going to show up in theaters.



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Fri, 03 Mar 2017 03:04:47 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/things-that-wont-show-up-in-spider-man-homecoming/stephanroget
<![CDATA[The Many Different Shades Of Ross Gellar, Ranked]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/all-versions-of-ross-geller-ranked/zack-howe

Almost 15 years after the series finale of Friends, people still binge-watch the beloved sitcom, on either Netflix or Nick at Nite depending on your preference. But there seems to be one thing about the show that everyone prefers to hate: Ross.

Yes, the only intelligent character on the show is perhaps the biggest joke of the series. Geeky, oblivious, and entirely ill-suited at chasing the women of the show, Ross Geller provides the perfect punching bag for a**holes like Chandler and Rachel to air their frustrations on. But today you should celebrate this oft-sad man in all his quirkiness, which was responsible for some stellar scenes. There are many incarnations of Ross Geller to appreciate; like the dinosaurs he knows so much about, Ross comes in a variety of forms and functions.


The Many Different Shades Of Ross Gellar, Ranked,

Desperately Horny Ross

Unagi Ross

Ross And Rachel Ross

Spray Tan Ross

Leather Pants Ross

When Were You Under Me? Ross

Virtuoso Ross

Professor VeRossiraptor

Prom Ross

On A Break Ross


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Tue, 14 Mar 2017 07:20:44 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/all-versions-of-ross-geller-ranked/zack-howe
<![CDATA[All The Harry Potter Foods You Wanted To Eat]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/fantastic-harry-potter-foods-you-wish-you-could-chow-down-on/shanell-mouland

Muggles need not only covet the powers of the witches and wizards in the J.K. Rowling's Potterverse, but also the series' unimaginably divine delectables. You're a fan, no doubt, but have you explored the dining experiences throughout Rowling's masterpieces? The food and feasts in Harry Potter will leave any foodie drooling and wishing they could engage in the magical country club that is Hogwarts. The bravest among you will try and recreate the scrumptious fare, but the rest, well, the rest will accept their fate and know they can never truly create the spell-binding feasts of Harry Potter.


All The Harry Potter Foods You Wanted To Eat,

Treacle tart

Thank goodness for Molly Weasley.


Turkey Dinner

Chocolate éclairs, chocolate gateau, and jam doughnuts. 


Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans Jelly Beans Harry Potter 4 pack

Enticing until you run afoul an earwax or vomit flavor.


Christmas cake

Why does this train host a better food selection than most commercial flights?


Butterbeer In Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

This decadent drink is a feast all on its own.


Hagrid's Birthday Cake For Harry In Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone

Made with the best ingredient: love.


Mrs. Dursley's Pudding Cake In Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

So fluffy and light, it comes as no surprise that it floats.


Dessert On The Hogwarts Express In Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone

 Featuring chocolate balls full of strawberry mousse and clotted cream.


Pumpkin Pasties In Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone

Happy Halloween!


The First Day Feast At Hogwarts In Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone

Roast beef, roast ham, yorkshire pudding and peppermint humbugs



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Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:45:03 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/fantastic-harry-potter-foods-you-wish-you-could-chow-down-on/shanell-mouland
<![CDATA[15 Baller Facts About Bill Nye That Prove He's The Baddest]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/badass-bill-nye-facts/brandon-michaels

You almost definitely know Bill Nye from one of the 100 episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy that aired from 1993-1998 - he was always wearing his signature light blue lab coat and a slick bow tie. But who is Bill Nye, really? What do we know about him, other than he's the science guy? According to his biography, William Sanford Nye was born on November 27, 1955, in Washington, D.C. He went to college at Cornell University, where he studied mechanical engineering, and took an astronomy class taught by Carl Sagan.

According to Bill Nye's wiki, he began his career in Seattle at Boeing, focusing on aeronautics. In 1999, he told the St. Petersburg Times that he applied to be a NASA astronaut "every few years," but "was always rejected," probably because they feared the progress that humanity would make with Bill Nye at the helm of our collective spaceship. NASA had no idea what they were missing out on. Bill Nye is actually a total baller. He's got it all. Money? Check. Fame? Check. Women? Check. He comes from a long line of badasses and has been proudly repping the Nye family crest for 61 years now. Check out these baller facts about Bill Nye's life that prove he's a total badass.


15 Baller Facts About Bill Nye That Prove He's The Baddest,

Bill Nye Knows No Pain

Bill Nye was on Dancing with the Stars back in 2013 - don't worry, that's not the badass part. Apparently, during filming, he tore 80% of his quadricep and was told not to participate in further episodes.

Well, Bill said F*CK THAT and busted out a badass robot dance in a Tron costume to the tunes of Daft Punk. He walked off the stage as the crowd chanted "Bill! Bill! Bill!"


His Show Won 18 Emmys In 5 Seasons

Bill Nye the Science Guy ran for five seasons from 1993 to 1998, and in that time they won 18 Emmys. That's more than Breaking Bad.

Nye raked in Emmys for some killer categories, such as Outstanding Children's Series, Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series, Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series, and Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series. Not to mention all the show's Environmental Media, Online Film & Television Association, Television Critics Association, and Young Artist Awards.


He's Featured On A Straight-Up Club Banger

No, seriously. There's this project called Symphony of Science that takes scientific lectures and turns them into amazing songs. In this particular track, we're graced by Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Emily Lakdawalla, and Carl Sagan, as they sing about the need to explore other planets and the inevitable end of Earth.

Oh, and, in case it isn't clear: the song is f*cking AWESOME.


His Father Was A Badass

Bill wrote a heartwarming blog post about his father back in 2013, where he said, "My dad called himself Ned Nye, Boy Scientist. His life was changed and shaped by four years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in World War II."

His dad maintained his sanity in a Japanese prison camp with no clocks or electricity by creating his own sundials to keep track of time during his four years there. Bill carried on his father's unique love of sundials and helped create a sundial that was placed on Mars.


His Goal For His TV Show Was Literally 'Change The World'

Before starting Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bill drafted up a set of "rules" that he would hold the show to. It started:

"Objective: Change the world.

Produce a TV show that gets kids and adults excited about science, so that the United States will again be the world leader in technology, innovation, and sound management of the environment.

For example, when our audience is of age, we'd like them to produce the best transportation systems in the world, e.g. cars, electric cars, trains, and aircraft."

Would our engineers have made such incredible technological advancements without Bill Nye to inspire them?


He Once Fainted During A Speech, Woke Up 10 Seconds Later, And Continued Speaking

In 2010, Bill Nye was giving a lecture at USC, probably about something awesome like black holes ending the universe or something. Mid-sentence, he passed out. After about ten seconds, he woke up and asked the audience how long he'd been out, because it's totally plausible that he was unconscious for an hour and the audience just sat there silently waiting for him to finish his sentence - the man demands respect. 

The best part? He didn't seem to think anything of it. He actually told the crowd "a similar thing happened to him earlier in the day."


His Mother Was A Badass

Bill Nye once said, “My mom was a big believer in women doing everything.”

Well, he wasn't kidding. Not only was his mother, Jacqueline Jenkins-Nye, a serving member of the Navy, she was even enlisted to help crack the Enigma Code. Her work on the project is said to have shortened WWII by several years. 

"She wasn't Rosie the Riveter, she was Rosie the Top-Secret Code Breaker," he remembers. "People would ask her what she did during World War II and she'd say, 'I can't talk about it, ha ha ha!'" 


Bill Co-Worte A Song With Steve Aoki

Bill Nye and Steve Aoki met at the Company Innovation Festival in New York City. Nye learned that Aoki was exploring some pretty far-out concepts on his record Neon Future Odyssey. As Aoki said,

“From understanding your brain–a massive mystery–to diseases that plague society to climate change. This album is not just a neutral space, but a chance to talk about more sophisticated issues than just raging at a festival.”

Naturally, Bill decided to pen a track for Aoki, called "Noble Gas," set to the theme of The Twilight Zone. Nye said,

“A strange and astonishing but provable fact is that you and I are made of the stuff of the cosmos. We are made of exploded stars and other rogue drifting-around material. Carbon, oxygen, iron–what’s more fun than that? The Noble Gas song would start with exploding super novae, then lead to us. And that means that the fact that you and I are made of stardust is one of the ways that the universe knows itself.”


He Was The Technical Expert On Battlebots

Before Bill Nye was the Science Guy, he was a mechanical engineer. After his show ended, his background in engineering attracted the attention of Battlelbots creators back in 2000. Bill's unique combination of total nerd and complete badass made him the perfect fit for this show. Here's his take on why:

"It's very much like sculpture. Bear in mind that whenever you look at a designed item - for example, everything you see in front of you right now - came out of somebody's head. That shape existed in somebody's brain before it became a physical object; it came out of someone's dream."


He Tells It Like It Is About Creationism

Bill Nye has been getting a lot of press lately for being blunt with Creationists about science. In one YouTube video, he said, "Denial of evolution is unique to the United States. We are the world's most technologically advanced civilization." He continued,

"If you want to deny evolution, and live in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything that we observe in the universe, that's fine - but don't make your kids do it, because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future."



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Fri, 17 Feb 2017 07:14:05 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/badass-bill-nye-facts/brandon-michaels
<![CDATA[24 Big Revelations And Observations Stephen King Has Made About His Work]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/stephen-king-book-reveals/lisa-waugh

Stephen King is one of the most successful writers of his time. His book sales are estimated at 350 million copies; a number of his works, including Carrie, Misery, and The Shining, have been adapted into films; and he has dozens of awards under his belt. But what does he think about all this? This list ranks some of the juiciest and funniest things Stephen King has said about his own books, characters, and his blurry state of mind under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

You can see King's struggle through such characters as Jack Torrance (The Shining), Annie Wilkes (Misery), and even the good dog turned evil, Cujo - although King doesn't remember writing that one. He thinks The Tommyknockers "is an awful book" because it was also written under the influence. And he wasn't too happy with Dreamcatcher because that one was written on Oxy after a 1999 accident that nearly killed him. But eventually King got sober, and now his only addiction seems to be writing. He doesn't believe in retiring, because what else is he going to do? It's a good thing, too, because it's nearly impossible to imagine a literary world without King in it.

King is a straight shooter and hates any kind of pretension. He thinks Hemingway sucks. He let his kids read his books and watch the adaptations at a young age. And he's owned every mistake and misstep throughout his colorful and prolific career. 

What's your favorite thing about Stephen King? Vote it up to the top of this list. And remember, never go into the sewer.


24 Big Revelations And Observations Stephen King Has Made About His Work,

Carrie White Is Based On A Real Girl

Carrie (1974) was Stephen King's first published novel. The book follows a high school outcast who realizes she has telekinetic powers, and uses those powers to get revenge on her tormentors.

King explained to The Guardian where he got the inspiration for the book's titular character: "Tina went to Durham Elementary School with me. There is a goat in every class, the kid who is always left without a chair in musical chairs, the one who winds up wearing the KICK ME HARD sign, the one who stands at the end of the pecking order. This was Tina. Not because she was stupid (she wasn't), and not because her family was peculiar (it was) but because she wore the same clothes to school every day."


Lisey’s Story Is His Favorite

During a 2013 Reddit AMA, King said that his 2006 novel Lisey's Story is his favorite of his works. Lisey's Story follows a widow named Lisey Landon, who uncovers terrifying secrets about the man she thought she knew.

King elaborated on his preference in an interview with Rolling Stone. He explained, "I wanted to talk about two things: one is the secret world that people build inside a marriage, and the other was that even in that intimate world, there's still things that we don't know about each other."


He Hates Kubrick’s The Shining

King really hates Kubrick's acclaimed adaptation of The Shining. He told Rolling Stone, "I don't get it. But there are a lot of things that I don't get. But obviously people absolutely love it, and they don't understand why I don't. The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in ice. In the book, there's an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he's crazy.

And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene. I had to keep my mouth shut at the time. It was a screening, and Nicholson was there. But I'm thinking to myself the minute he's on the screen, 'Oh, I know this guy. I've seen him in five motorcycle movies, where Jack Nicholson played the same part.' And it's so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag. But that's just me, that's the way I am."


Annie Wilkes In Misery Was Cocaine

King had a drug and alcohol problem from the early '70s into the '80s. After a while, though, his cocaine addiction was in charge of him. It chipped away at his personal life and did a number on his work. 

"Little by little, the family life started to show cracks," King told Rolling Stone. "I was usually pretty good about it. I was able to get up and make the kids breakfast and get them off to school. And I was strong; I had a lot of energy. I would've killed myself otherwise. But the books start to show it after a while. Misery is a book about cocaine. Annie Wilkes is cocaine. She was my number-one fan."


Needful Things Is The First Novel He Wrote Sober

King battled a multitude of demons, such as drug and alcohol abuse, throughout the '70s and '80s. Following the publication of Cujo, his family staged an intervention, urging him to seek professional help. The first book he wrote during sobriety was Needful Things, published in 1991.

"Only once in my entire career did I feel that it was a millstone, and that was when I did a book called Needful Things," he told the Paris Review. "I was in a sensitive place anyway, because it was the first thing that I’d written since I was sixteen without drinking or drugging. I was totally straight, except for cigarettes.

When I finished the book, I thought, 'This is good. I’ve finally written something that’s really funny.' I thought that I’d written a satire of Reaganomics in America in the eighties. You know, people will buy anything and sell anything, even their souls. I always saw Leland Gaunt, the shop owner who buys souls, as the archetypal Ronald Reagan: charismatic, a little bit elderly, selling nothing but junk but it looks bright and shiny."


He's Not A Fan Of Room 237

The documentary Room 237 traces fan theories about Stanley Kubrick’s screen adaptation of King’s The Shining.

King said he watched about half of it and then "turned it off." He’s just not into that sort of thing: "These guys were reaching. I've never had much patience for academic bullsh*t. It's like Dylan says, 'You give people a lot of knives and forks, they've gotta cut something.' And that was what was going on in that movie."


He Scared The Sh*t Out Of Rob Reiner

King considers the Rob Reiner-directed Stand by Me to be one of the best adaptations of his work.

"I thought it was true to the book, and because it had the emotional gradient of the story. It was moving. I think I scared the sh*t out of Rob Reiner. He showed it to me in the screening room at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I was out there for something else, and he said, 'Can I come over and show you this movie?'... When the movie was over, I hugged him because I was moved to tears, because it was so autobiographical,” he told Rolling Stone.


One Real-Life Crime Sparked Three Books

King shared how he came up with the idea for three of his novels from a news item he heard on the radio. He told George R.R. Martin during a sit down at the Kiva Auditorium in Albuquerque in 2016.

"I was driving up from Florida. I make that drive by myself. And it’s a place where I sort of recharge... And the first night after I left Florida, I stayed in South Carolina. And there was a story on the local news about a woman who had driven her car into a line of job seekers at McDonald’s. This was just after the economy cratered in 2008. McDonald’s had made a big deal, a PR push about they were going to help out America by hiring all these people... 

The story was that this woman had found out that her boyfriend was cheating on her with an outside woman and that this outside woman was supposed to be at this job fair and by god she was going to take her out. Well she didn’t take her out. But she did take out a whole bunch of other people.

I thought there’s a seed here. There's something here. There’s a seed here in this act of random violence that I want to write about. Eventually, it became Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, The End of Watch. I was able to go back to the original crime at the job fair with each one of those books but to take it from a different perspective."


Pet Sematary Is Personal

In 1978, King lived on a busy street with his family. The heavy traffic killed a number of his family's pets, who were all buried in a homemade cemetery nearby. King's son Owen nearly died on the road, too. King used these experiences in his 1983 novel Pet Sematary.

As King explained to the Paris Review, "That book was pretty personal. Everything in it - up to the point where the little boy is killed in the road - everything is true. We moved into that house by the road. It was Orrington instead of Ludlow, but the big trucks did go by, and the old guy across the street did say, 'You just want to watch ’em around the road.' We did go out in the field. We flew kites. We did go up and look at the pet cemetery. I did find my daughter’s cat, Smucky, dead in the road, run over. 

We buried him up in the pet cemetery, and I did hear Naomi out in the garage the night after we buried him. I heard all these popping noises - she was jumping up and down on packing material. She was crying and saying, 'Give me my cat back! Let God have his own cat!' I just dumped that right into the book. And Owen really did go charging for the road. He was this little guy, probably two years old. I’m yelling, 'Don’t do that!' And of course he runs faster and laughs, because that’s what they do at that age. I ran after him and gave him a flying tackle and pulled him down on the shoulder of the road, and a truck just thundered by him. So all of that went into the book.”


He’s Not Done With The Dark Tower Series

"I’m never done with The Dark Tower," King told Rolling Stone. "The thing about The Dark Tower is that those books were never edited, so I look at them as first drafts. And by the time I got to the fifth or sixth book, I'm thinking to myself, 'This is really all one novel.' It drives me crazy. The thing is to try to find the time to rewrite them. There's a missing element - a big battle at a place called Jericho Hill. And that whole thing should be written, and I've thought about it several times, and I don't know how to get into it."



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Wed, 11 May 2016 03:28:21 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/stephen-king-book-reveals/lisa-waugh
<![CDATA[14 Outrageous Video Game Urban Legends That You Probably Believed]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/video-game-urban-legends/nathan-gibson

Myths have always been part of human society, but the Internet has allowed stories to be spread much more quickly and efficiently than ever before. In particular, video game rumors have become incredibly popular source material, as players try to find secret items or unlock hidden rooms. Inevitably, video game urban legends run rampant. 

While some of the gaming urban legends that fill forums online turn out to be true, there are countless others that are completely and utterly fictional. Some are instantly debunked by gamers, but others are able to fool huge swathes of the community. Sometimes, they become so engrained in the public consciousness that they are simply accepted as the truth – even when there is no evidence to support them.


14 Outrageous Video Game Urban Legends That You Probably Believed,

The Original Diablo And Its Secret Cow Level

Not long after Diablo was released, rumors began to circulate that it was possible to reach a secret level filled with cattle. All the player had to do was click on a lone cow in the town of Tristram a certain number of times.

The myth spread quickly and became an incredibly popular subject within the community of the game. While there was no secret cow level hidden within Diablo, Blizzard did include such levels in the sequels in response to the urban legend.


There Was A "Haunted" Copy Of Majora’s Mask

A creepypasta that circulates about The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask posits that there was a "haunted" copy of the game. Apparently, it's a saved game on the cartridge called "Ben." According to the urban legend, the saved game couldn’t be deleted and the content of the game was changed so that NPCs all referred to Link as Ben, music would play backwards, and actions would not work as intended.

The story states that the spooky copy of the game does not have any promotional art and simply has the word “Majora” written on the front in black marker pen. While the videos show that the game exists in some form, it is likely the work of hackers who have altered the game’s code rather than supernatural spirits.


Fallout 3's Cryptic Radio Messages That Predict The Future

According to multiple sources, there are hidden radio messages in Fallout 3 that predict the future. The urban legend claims that a character known as Three Dog will read out numbers in a rather depressing voice and then play a series of Morse code messages over the airwaves.

These apparently relate to dates in the real world and predict things like the death of the Queen and the BP oil disaster.  While many believed the cryptic messages did exist, Bethesda has since stated they are not part of the game and the theory is simply not true.


The Lavender Town Music In Pokemon Red And Blue Caused Suicides

The Pokémon franchise has no shortage of creepy urban legends. One such legend was centered around claims that the music from a particular location in the game caused several young children in Japan to commit suicide.

The legend stated that the soundtrack in Lavender Town was so depressing it was driving people to kill themselves. This was possibly linked to the fact that the in-game town effectively acted as a cemetery for deceased Pokémon, planting the idea of death into the minds of players. However, the theme song didn’t cause suicidal thoughts. Because of course it didn't - it's just a game. 


The Triforce Being Available In Ocarina Of Time

The Triforce is the most powerful item in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Effectively, it gives the wielder unlimited power and abilities. However, it is not an obtainable item within the game, even though there is an apparent space for it in the inventory screen.

This led many to believe the Triforce may be hidden within the title. In 1999, in fact, one gamer claimed they had found the Triforce. After posting vague hints about where to find it, the player eventually handed over screenshots that showed Link learning a new song and going to a new area before finally getting his hands on the secret item. Eagle-eyed fans were able to spot errors within the screenshots, though, and proved that they were fake.


Polybius Was A Government Controlled Arcade Game That Had Dangerous Side Effects

The legend of Polybius is so prominent that it was even featured in an episode of The Simpsons. According to stories, the arcade game was frequently visited by government officials who would record data from the machine.

The game itself was capable of inducing a variety of side effects, including insomnia, stress, night terrors, and amnesia. However, there is no actual evidence that the game even existed in the first place. Most experts believe the legend sprang from tales of the FBI raiding machines that were tampered with for gambling. 


Mew Was Hiding Under A Van In Pokemon Red And Blue

Pokemon Red & Blue became one of the biggest phenomena in gaming when it initially released, selling millions of copies worldwide and inspiring countless spin-offs and other media products. This obviously led to plenty of rumors and urban legends spreading about the game, the most infamous being that you could catch the rare Pokémon Mew by pushing a truck. The claim came from the fact the truck was in a strange place and didn’t seem to serve any other function, but it had no way of awarding a player with Mew.


There Was A Code To Make Lara Croft Naked In Tomb Raider

When Tomb Raider released on the PlayStation 1 back in 2001, the game became a huge hit. Its protagonist, Lara Croft, also became something of a sex symbol. Considering how a huge portion of the audience for the game was teenage boys, it should come as no surprise that rumors quickly began to spread that there was a cheat code that would make the buxom character appear naked.

This urban legend spread quickly via word of mouth, and before long almost everyone playing the game was looking for the code. The only problem was that it simply did not exist. The entire idea of a nude cheat had simply been an invention.


Blowing On Nintendo Cartridges Made Them Work

Every kid who grew up in the late 1980s or early 1990s knew that the best way to get a game cartridge to work properly was to blow on it. This would (apparently) remove any dirt or dust and make the title work perfectly again – even if it took a few tries. Well, blowing into the cartridges actually did not help at all, even though almost everybody did it.

The truth is that most times when a game did not load up, it was because the pins were not connected properly. Removing the cartridge to blow into it before reinserting it just gave the pins another chance to line up correctly. In fact, blowing into the games was actually harmful, damaging the pins and causing them to corrode.


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Contained A Bigfoot

Considering the popularity of the Grand Theft Auto series, it make sense that the franchise has inspired its fair share of urban legends. The most famous of these concerns a hidden Bigfoot (or Sasquatch, if you're nasty) who can allegedly be found in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Despite the fact that the developer has consistently said there is no Bigfoot in the game and no definitive proof has ever surfaced to confirm its existence, many people still hunt for the elusive creature in groups online.



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Thu, 29 Dec 2016 08:30:58 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/video-game-urban-legends/nathan-gibson
<![CDATA[The 13 Most Bizarre Historical Artifacts Ever Discovered On Construction Sites]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/strange-items-found-during-construction/daveesons

There have been some seriously strange things found at construction sites. While some people have spent their entire lives searching for buried riches or lost holy relics only to come up short, others have just sort of stumbled upon historical artifacts found at construction sites. The weird stuff found on construction jobs ranges from priceless treasures to tangible evidence of civilizations thought lost forever. Truly, a few of these accidental archeological finds changed what we know about history

In all cases, the stories of those lucky (or unlucky) enough to find a 70-year-old bomb or a mummy in their floorboards are fascinating and often creepier than fiction. These discoveries are by turns heartwarming, stomach-churning, and awe-inspiring. Be careful, or these serendipitous moments may inspire you to start digging in your backyard, combing the beach, or putting holes in your wall. But then again, who knows? You might get lucky.    


The 13 Most Bizarre Historical Artifacts Ever Discovered On Construction Sites,

60,000-Year-Old Wooly Mammoth Tusk Found In Washington State

Beneath the modern frame and foundation of a residential building in Seattle, lay a single, fossilized tusk of mammuthus columbi, the Columbian Mammoth. The fossilized tusk found beneath the building measured over eight feet long, according to paleontologists who were called in to examine the find. 

After closer inspection, it was confidently assessed to be at least 60,000 years old and would need to be carbon dated. Particular credit should be given to AMLI, the residential company that owned the building and land, for taking the step to request that the tusk be removed and preserved by paleontologists. The tusk was soon taken to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle.


A Child's Letter To Santa Claus From 1943 Was Found In A Chimney

At the height of one of the most horrific conflicts in human history, a letter was written by a little boy named David and addressed to Santa Claus during Christmas, 1943. The letter was presumably placed with care inside the chimney of David’s home. 

72 years later, contractor Lewis Shaw was helping demolish the same home when his crew found the letter, still inside the chimney. It read:

“Dear Father Christmas, 

Please can you send me a Rupert annual, and a drum box of chalks, soldiers and Indians, slippers and any little toys you have to spare, 

Love

David”

Miraculously, this touching and very hopeful letter was reunited with David. Shaw tried to track him down with Facebook and by speaking to neighbors who still lived close by. The search even gave birth to a social media campaign, #FindDavid. Shaw eventually found David, who was insanely old but still alive. Thankfully, the letter survived and was returned to David by Shaw.


A 700-Year-Old Mummy Was Found Under A Chinese Road

In 2011, a very well-preserved mummified woman was found underneath a modern road in the city of Taizhou, in the Jiangsu Province of eastern China. The woman, a member of the Ming Dynasty, was found by a construction crew working on a road that she was buried under. Construction workers described her as being submerged in a "‘brown liquid." 

She was just under five feet tall, and dressed in silk finery with robes, slippers, jewelry. Amazingly, her hair and eyebrows were still intact. After observing her and the tomb she was buried in, Taizhou Museum director Wang Weiyin estimated that the mummy is about 700 years old. 

 


An Unexploded World War Two Era RAF Bomb Was Uncovered In Berlin

During the Second World War, Allied bombing campaigns dropped a total of 3.4 million tons of explosives. A lot of those bombs, possibly as many as 15 percent, didn’t explode. They simply disappeared during reconstruction efforts after the war was over. As a result, many countries in Europe and Asia continue to find unexploded ordnance underneath buildings and other public places. 

On Christmas Day 2016 in the Schwabian city of Augsburg in Bavaria, a four-thousand pound (two ton) RAF bomb from World War Two was discovered underneath a construction site. This forced the evacuation of 54,000 local inhabitants. Such chilling reminders of the violence and suffering during World War Two is all too common not just in Germany, but throughout Europe and other parts of the world. 


An 1894 Time Capsule Was Discovered Under A Scottish Bridge

In 2015, in the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland, a 121-year-old time capsule was discovered by construction workers on a section of the Ruthven Road bridge. The capsule itself was a metal box, similar to a safe-deposit box at a bank. 

When the capsule was opened, the items inside that were found included: a bottle of whisky, a newspaper from 1894, a scroll, and some other items. The items and the box itself were donated to the nearby Highland Folk Museum to be studied. It is believed that the time capsule was placed within the structure of the bridge when it was originally constructed at the end of the 19th century. 


Around Two Dozen Coffins Were Found Under A Philadelphia Apartment Building

In March, 2017, construction crews working on an apartment complex in Philadelphia unearthed scores of fully intact human bodies and coffins. It's speculated that the remains are from the 18th century, as the nearby Betsy Ross House was allegedly an old burial ground for the First Baptist Church.

When the church moved sometime around 1860, they were supposed to exhume and re-inter all of their parishioners remains. Clearly, they cut some corners. The bodies discovered were sent to the forensics lab at Rutgers-Camden, with the hope of identifying the bodies, cleaning them, and analyzing them. The ultimate resting place of the bodies (after documentation) is Mount Moriah Cemetery. 


A 17th Century African Burial Ground Was Found In Manhattan

History is often obscured by the fog of time and, more literally, rubble. In 1991, plans to build a new federal building in lower Manhattan began with excavation just north of the Tweed Courthouse in what is now Chinatown.  

As excavation progressed, workers discovered a seventeenth century burial ground where African people, enslaved in what was then the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, had been continually buried for about century, between the 1690s and the 1790s. The site sits between Broadway and Centre Street, near Thomas Paine Park. 

Once discovered, the building construction was stopped and further archeological excavation of the site unearthed the remains of the people who were buried there. Some individuals were even identified, notably Groot Manuel, who was identified by his living descendant, Christopher Moore. 

Two years later, the site of the burial ground was recognized as a national historic landmark. A decade later, the remains of over a dozen individuals were ceremoniously reburied, and in 2006 President George W. Bush proclaimed the area a national monument. The discovery and preservation of the burial ground is of huge importance to both African-American history and American history as a whole. 


A Mummified Toddler Was Found In A Parisian Apartment

When faced with death, most people are shocked and upset. These issues are compounded when people are exposed to death in an unlikely place. In 1850, a Parisian couple was having work done in their apartment. While one of the apartment walls was being worked on, the mummified corpse of a baby fell out and into the apartment

At first there was a lot of suspicion about the couple, but Dr. Marcel Bereget decided to determine the amount of time since death by using common house flies to see if they would swarm over the body. It was determined that the child had been dead for quite some time. There was no further information about who the child was or how he or she died and ended up in the wall. Likely, the child had been there for years.


A 13th Century Mansion Was Found Under Somerset, England

In 2013, during construction for a housing development in Wellington, England, excavators discovered the foundations of a 12th-century mansion. Archeologists working on the discovery later discovered that there were no historical records of the building. Normally, large estates have deeds and other records kept by the occupants, local lords, or with church officials. 

While no sufficient information about the mansion’s history or occupants has ever been found, archeologists did discover a segment of tile in the mansion with a knight painted on it. Because this is similar to tiles at Glastonbury Abbey, this revelation made the site and mansion foundations instantly more important and of great historical value. While the housing project continued, the artifacts uncovered from the archeological dig ended up being moved to the Museum of Somerset for study and preservation. 


A Medieval Hospital Was Found In Madrid, Underneath The Future Site Of An Apple Store

The bubonic plague swept from Italy through Europe, sowing sickness and death everywhere. Hospitals became overwhelmed with plague victims, and many had to be shut down and abandoned when no physicians were left to treat sick patients. In 2013, the foundations of one of those hospitals was unearthed in Madrid when Spanish construction crews began excavating for the new Apple Store that was to be built there. 

The hospital dates from the 15th century, and was specifically used to treat victims of the bubonic plague. It continued to be used well into the 19th century, but it was closed and torn down in the 1850s.



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Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:52:29 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/strange-items-found-during-construction/daveesons
<![CDATA[12 Historical Figures Whose Deaths Were Outrageously Exaggerated]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/exaggerated-historical-deaths/stephanroget

History is a fantastic area of study for those who love stories and storytelling; after all, history can best be imagined as a series of life stories weaved together to create one epic tale. However, like any good story, history has a habit of getting exaggerated, and stories of how historical figures really died are no exception to this tendency. Since the ending of a journey is often the most exciting part, it’s no surprise that the most commonly exaggerated aspect of the life stories of famous individuals is their deaths. Something about dying begs for a dramatic conclusion, rather than the anticlimactic finish that most people are destined to receive.

There are many amazing descriptions of heroes dying valiant deaths and villains expiring in karmic fashion, but they should mostly be taken with a grain of salt. Once one starts exploring how historical figures really died, they’ll see there’s more than a little room for doubt. The list of exaggerated historical deaths goes on and on, and will likely keep growing for as long as notable people keep dying in uninteresting ways.


12 Historical Figures Whose Deaths Were Outrageously Exaggerated,

Catherine the Great

In the category of historical figures with exaggerated deaths, Catherine the Great definitely got the worst treatment. The famous Russian monarch made many enemies as a powerful and uncompromising woman, and her reportedly salacious activities didn’t help her reputation. Catherine supposedly entertained dozens of men at a time to deal with her insatiable lust, and things eventually escalated to a lethal degree. Rumor had it that Catherine the Great met her end while trying to have a horse lowered upon her for some equestrian-themed loving, or so common knowledge would have you believe.

Of course, that’s obviously not a thing that actually happened, and it was made up by the aforementioned enemies after her death. In fact, it’s likely that almost all of Catherine’s reported eccentricities were just the imaginings of a bunch of dudes who couldn’t handle a female authority figure. Sadly, the real story was that she had a stroke in bed and quietly died the next day.


Charles Darwin

Many opponents of evolution like to crow about the circumstances of Charles Darwin’s death. The father of natural selection came up with his remarkable theory while on an expedition to the Galapagos Islands, but it apparently took a trip to his deathbed to change his mind. It was widely reported that, nearing death, an elderly Darwin recanted his theory of evolution, stating that he’d made a terrible mistake and that Jesus was the only answer. Except, of course, that none of that actually happened. Lady Hope, a widow of a British admiral, claimed that she had attended Darwin’s deathbed and read the Bible to him, inciting his personal revelation and recantation. Darwin’s family, on the other hand, disputed that he ever recanted his beliefs and that Lady Hope was anywhere near him during his illness. Turns out, she just made it up to further her own agenda.


Dylan Thomas

Some historical figures have valiant deaths, and others go out like a badass, but Dylan Thomas had a downright cool demise. The supposedly tortured Welsh poet had come to America in the ‘50s, and was reported to be in the throes of some serious alcoholism. Like any self-respecting wordsmith, Thomas reveled in his addiction. On one particular night, Thomas announced to the bar that “I’ve had 18 straight whiskies; I think that’s the record.” He then dropped dead. However, autopsy details show that Thomas’s brain hadn’t been damaged by alcohol in the slightest, nor had his liver suffered any cirrhosis. In fact, it looked as if Thomas hadn’t been that heavy of a drinker at all, and that he probably died from undiagnosed pneumonia.


Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan is one of those historical figures who seems totally exaggerated, even though most of the details of his life are actually true. He did rain terror across two continents, and a large chunk of the world is genetically descended from him thanks to his pillaging ways. However, there are still some myths about Genghis that don’t ring true, and many of them surround his death. The most satisfying, and thus most oft-repeated, of his potential demises is that, while attempting to rape a woman, Khan was castrated by her and suffered a fatal infection. The more likely - and boring - scenario is that he got sick while on a long journey, fell off his horse, and died.


Joseph-Ignace Guillotin

The reported death of Joseph-Ignace Guillotin is wrought with irony. Although he’s not a household name, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what he’s famous for inventing. Guillotin was just seeking to invent a more humane execution method, but his creation became the symbol for the brutalities of the French Revolution as it was used to execute countless individuals. Eventually, even Guillotin himself could not escape fate and had his own head removed via guillotine, at least according to the legend. Not only is that not true, but it also turns out that Guillotin didn’t even invent the guillotine. He was just the guy who proposed that the French government use the device as a more humane method, and his name has been associated with widespread beheadings ever since.


Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale’s name might not be as famous as that of other American heroes, but his final words are among the most well-known. Facing execution for being an American spy, Hale proudly stood before his executioners and stated “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Bolder words had never before been spoken, and, as it turns out, they weren’t actually spoken back then, either. Hale was executed for spying, and he was an American hero, but those present for his execution record that he said something along the lines of “It is the duty of every good officer to obey any orders given him by his commander in chief.” That’s not the worst set of last words ever, but it’s a whole lot less inspiring.


Walt Disney

Walt Disney is a contradictory historical figure. On the one hand, he brought joy to millions with his cartoon creations and magnificent theme parks. On the other, he was an alledgedly brutal tyrant who ran his company with an iron fist. This second interpretation plays well into the reported circumstances of Disney’s death. Fearing the great unknown, Disney supposedly demanded that his body be frozen so that he could be revived at a later date. Further rumors suggest that he even requested that his frozen body be stored under Disneyland, so he could spend the interim in the Happiest Place on Earth. Sadly, none of this actually happened, and Disney is just straight-up dead.


Rasputin

The death of Grigori Rasputin is so famous it has its own disco song! The so-called mystic and close adviser of the Russian royal family gained many enemies during his lifetime, especially if his reputation as “lover of the Russian Queen” rang true. Supposedly, these enemies sought to solve their Rasputin problem for good, but he didn’t make it easy for them. Rasputin was reportedly stabbed, poisoned multiple times, beaten, and shot, before being wrapped in a carpet and thrown into a river. When his body was found, it was determined he had finally died… from drowning! Was Rasputin some sort of Russian Wolverine? Of course not. The story is entirely fabricated. All available evidence suggests that Rasputin was shot just once, in the head, and died from that, with every additional detail coming from some spurious source.


Wall Street Stock Brokers Didn’t Jump To Their Deaths After The 1929 Crash

The 1929 Stock Market Crash is one of the most infamous non-war-related moments in American history. Within a matter of days, the Roaring ‘20s were over, and America was on the way to its worst economic depression ever. It was called the Great Depression, but according to those around for it, it wasn’t that great. Things got so bad in 1929 that stock brokers on Wall Street apparently began committing suicide by the dozen, usually by leaping from their large and now prohibitively expensive office buildings. The image of stock brokers lining up at the window to jump has become ubiquitous with the Crash, but it’s something that just didn’t happen. Only two people jumped to their death on or near Wall Street during that time period, and only one of those suicides appears to have been related to the Crash. Suicide rates in general held steady in New York and America until they began to climb during the ‘30s.


The Alamo Wasn’t Exactly A Brave Last Stand, And Most Surrendered (Including Davy Crockett)

“Remember the Alamo,” they say, but a more accurate saying might be “Misremember the Alamo.” Portrayed as a valiant last stand of Texans against a Mexican Army, the Battle of the Alamo saw 100 or so brave Americans facing off against more than a thousand foes. Davy Crockett and others all reportedly gave their lives in an effort to delay the Mexicans as much as possible, and their countrymen rallied around their bold sacrifice en route to routing the enemy. There are actually two myths at play here. The first is that the Alamo was a brave and necessary stand. Military historians argue that the Alamo probably shouldn’t have happened and was a result of the men there disobeying their commands for a needless cause. Secondly, Davy Crockett didn’t die fighting, as he’s often depicted as having done. He surrendered along with several other men and was executed the next day.



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Fri, 03 Mar 2017 06:09:28 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/exaggerated-historical-deaths/stephanroget
<![CDATA[If You Had To Fight To The Death At Work, What Is Your Weapon Of Choice?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/weapon-of-choice/jacob-shelton

In The Belko Experiment, a horror movie that takes place in the modern office, workers fight each other to the death to ensure their survival. The only way to win is to use whatever weapons they have at their disposal, and that means making use of any and everything that they can find in their office. Should you find yourself in a death match, having a general knowledge of the leathal-ness of every-day objects could be the difference between victory and loss. Sure, you could throw a cup of coffee in your enemy’s face, but would they even feel the burn until after they caved your head in with a wireless scanner/printer? If you haven’t started thinking about it, now is the time.

Even if you work in an office building with coworkers who don't double as deadly enemies, you’ve probably thought about jabbing someone’s eye out with a pencil. You can admit it, this is a safe space. Or as safe as a space can be when you’re being asked to figure out which pieces of office equipment you would use to beat someone to death. Don’t wait until a fight to the death takes you by surprise, now is the time to decide what random thing from around your office you would use in head to head combat. Vote one which everyday object would help you the most in a battle for your life. 


If You Had To Fight To The Death At Work, What Is Your Weapon Of Choice?,

A Very Sharp Pencil

Your Cool Architect Style Desk Lamp

Your Computer Monitor

Your Neck Tie

A Jagged Fluorescent Light Bulb

Your Trusty Stapler

The Dull Pair Of Scissors In Your Desk Drawer

The Heaviest Potted Plant

The Coffee Maker

Your Letter Opener


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Thu, 26 Jan 2017 09:25:39 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/weapon-of-choice/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[The Best Anime For Pro Wrestling Fans]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-anime-for-pro-wrestling-fans/erik-barnes

Pro wrestling usually features over-the-top characters getting into epic fights with melodrama thrown in between battles. Anime also features over-the-top characters getting into epic fights with melodrama thrown in between battles. It's a match made in heaven! 

While not all anime will interest pro wrestling fans, there are a great number of quality anime titles that can turn a mark into a full-blown otaku. So if you're looking for a recommendation for a friend a co-worker, or you just want something to watch after WrestleMania, check out these anime shows that pro wrestling fans would also enjoy.


The Best Anime For Pro Wrestling Fans,

Dragon Ball Z

Imagine something with characters in colorful costumes battling it out, forming rivalries, negotiating alliances, competing in tournaments, engaging in high melodrama, using unrealistic moves in a fight. It's full of distinct archetypal personalities, face turns, heel turns, and second generation superstars. Now, does that describe Dragon Ball Z or pro wrestling? Trick question: It's both!


Fist of the North Star

Fans of beefy, muscular wrestlers would enjoy this testosterone-fueled anime. Kenshiro uses his martial arts mastery to seek revenge and defend the weak in a post-apocalyptic world. This anime is great for wrestling fans and kung-fu fans alike with a plethora of gore to boot. Not only that, it's John Cena's favorite anime. True story. 


Ultimate Muscle

A sequel series to Kinnikuman, Ultimate Muscle follows Kinnikuman's son, Mantaro, as he tries to live up to his father's legacy and quash the Demon Making Plant (or dMp) organization that threatens to take over Earth.

Many Americans have had a taste of this anime thanks to Fox Kids' Saturday morning cartoon block, but they may not have seen the whole series. This funny anime still features vicious and insane in-ring bouts.


Kinnikuman

Kinnikuman is an '80s wrestling anime that features wacky characters and epic battles. The anime follows the clumsy, yet good-hearted Kinnikuman as he battles space monsters both in and out of the wrestling ring. The two series under the Kinnikuman banner total a whopping 183 episodes.

Sadly, you're going to have to find some fan-subs online to watch it, since it was never given an official U.S. release. Despite that, some of the characters may look familiar. That's because the Kinnikuman toys were re-branded as M.U.S.C.L.E. toys in the United States. 

The show also influenced modern wrestling in the real world. While touring in Japan, Samoa Joe caught a glimpse of the show, more specifically Kinnikuman's finishing move "The Kinniku Buster." Samoa Joe revealed on the Steve Austin Show that he stole that fictional move and added it to his repertoire as "The Muscle Buster."


Jushin Liger

The anime is particularly special, because without it, we wouldn't have Japanese wrestling legend Jushin "Thunder" Liger! The Liger we know and love was actually a character created to help promote the anime. The wrestler's costume and theme song were lifted directly from the anime. However, Liger the anime was canceled in 1990 whereas Liger the wrestler is still competing in matches over 20 years later.


Naruto

Naruto is very much like pro wrestling in terms of eccentric and distinct fighters using and developing trademark moves. The team-up and rivalry between the two signature characters, Naruto and Sasuke, is reminiscent of the many times tag teams bond then break up in the world of wrestling. Filler is expected yet, like wrestling, it helps build to a bigger, better battle.


Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fits into the pro wrestling mold because of it's overly muscular cast, unique characters, and signature moves. What sets it apart from the other anime is that the battles are almost like tag-team bouts, featuring each character with their Stand, a supernatural power that is usually manifested as a spirit. If you want a sample, check out some battles from the show above and you'll see how much it echoes tag-team wrestling.


Tiger Mask

It's easy to see why wrestling fans, especially fans of Japanese pro wrestling, would love Tiger Mask W. The show's action usually takes place in the wrestling ring, as Naoto Azuma dons the fabled Tiger Mask to fend off wrestlers from the Global Wrestling Monopoly (gee, who could have inspired that group) and seek revenge for his master's injury.

Tiger Mask W also features cameos from several stars of New Japan Pro Wrestling, including Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, and Kazuchika Okada, as they battle the GWM wrestlers brought in by Miss X. The show is so tied in with current wrestling, that NJPW featured a bout between Tiger Mask and Tiger the Dark at the 2017 WrestleKingdom show.


Hajime no Ippo

Okay, okay, boxing and wrestling are two different things, but this anime will still get wrestling fans interested. Ippo Makunouchi is a humble young man training and striving to become the best boxer in the world. Along the way he fights a number of different opponents with colorful personalities, dealing with wins and losses much like a pro wrestler would.

Unlike real boxing, many of the main characters have their own signature moves, like in pro wrestling. If a boxing anime features a character who calls his signature move "The Bloody Cross," how is NOT just pro wrestling with big red gloves?


Wanna Be the Strongest in the World

A Japanese pop idol trains to become a pro wrestler in Wanna Be The Strongest In The World. It is one of the few wrestling anime that focuses on women. Don't let the cheescake fan service fool you, this show features some great hard-hitting joshi action.



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Thu, 23 Feb 2017 03:31:05 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/best-anime-for-pro-wrestling-fans/erik-barnes
<![CDATA[26 March Madness Memes To Prepare You For The Madness]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/march-madness-memes/nathandavidson

Can you feel it? You know, that pulsating anxiety that runs throughout your entire body as announcers scream and coworkers jump up and down at their desks. Don't be alarmed: that's just the unbridled beauty that is March Madness. Whether it's your first time filling out a bracket or you're a seasoned bracketeer, nothing can prepare you for the mental carnage of the NCAA tournament, except maybe some March Madness memes.

Take a break from studying expert analysis and experience the sheer joy of some March Madness humor. Take solace in knowing that no amount of March Madness facts or knowledge about the best college basketball programs in the country will help make your bracket any better. In fact, one could argue that they really should change the name to "March Sadness," because that's a more applicable experience this time of year.


26 March Madness Memes To Prepare You For The Madness,

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

March Sadness

My Sweet 16th

The Cold Hard Truth

What Is March?

How To Achieve March Madness Perfection

You Are Not The Winner

Work From Phone

World's Greatest Boss

Hoop Dreams


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Tue, 07 Mar 2017 09:58:57 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/march-madness-memes/nathandavidson
<![CDATA[Let's Give These Classics Some Props]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/great-underrated-cartoons/erik-barnes

Hundreds of cartoons have blared over childhood TV sets and filled the hours of entertainment-seeking adults. And while there's plenty of praise for long-running, award-winning shows like The Simpsons, Batman: The Animated Series, and Futurama, there are a handful of underrated cartoons that entertained, inspired, and get overlooked. You smile when you hear cartoon titles like Invader Zim, Gargoyles, or Mission Hill, but they probably wouldn't be the first shows that pop into your head.

Why is that? Sometimes they're cartoons canceled too soon. Other times these cult favorites were aired in a weird time slot, or were simply too niche to appeal to a large audience. Or maybe they were just the victims of bad luck - in a TV landscape stuffed with must-watch shows, these cartoons could have been overshadowed.

Refresh your memory and enjoy the nostalgia offered by this list of cartoons that didn't get the recognition they deserved.


Let's Give These Classics Some Props,

Clerks: The Animated Series

How does a live-action cult comedy featuring foul-mouthed scenes like this one become a primetime animated show on a typically family-friendly network like ABC? The very idea of Clerks: The Animated Series seems outlandish. Network executives agreed, as they only aired two out-of-order episodes before cancelling the show. It wasn't until the series was released on DVD and on Comedy Central that it gained an appreciative audience for its wacky humor and pop culture references.


Duckman

Duckman was an adult-aiming cartoon that has been largely overlooked. The struggle of high-strung Duckman (voiced by Jason Alexander) to balance his life as a private detective and a family man provided hours of entertaining, surreal animation. It's a series that hasn't been given its proper due until recently - IGN named it one of the top 100 animated series of all time.


Freakazoid!

A cult favorite cartoon from the Kids' WB programming block, Freakazoid featured comedic superhero antics and goofy parody. Unfortunately, it was overshadowed by other WB shows such as Animaniacs and Pinky & The Brain. The show would only last two seasons, but has been fondly remembered by those that appreciated the show's random references, off-beat humor, and its questions about the movie Congo.


Gargoyles

The critically lauded Gargoyles featured a compelling story and a serious tone that was missing from many cartoons. The series followed a group of medieval gargoyles who defend modern-day New York City from ancient evils. Despite its loyal fanbase, the show didn't make record ratings for Disney and seemed out of place in its otherwise upbeat cartoon line-up. Gargoyles was canceled after three seasons, though it continues to crop up in comic book form.


Invader Zim

Ever rooted for a villainous alien to take over the world? If you watched Invader Zim, you most certainly did. Equal parts hilarious and disturbing, Zim's quest to conquer Earth alongside his trusty-yet-malfunctioning robot GIR received critical acclaim and won an Emmy, an Annie, and other awards for its writing and stylistic look. However, the show's ratings made Nickelodeon pull the plug on this cult hit.


Rocko's Modern Life

The Nicktoons of the 1990s offered a lot of entertainment for kids in the form of Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy, and Doug, but Rocko's Modern Life was often overlooked. The slice-of-life adventures of the wallaby Rocko and his gluttonous buddy Heffer featured surreal animation, offbeat hilarity, and even snuck some dirty jokes past the censors.


Space Ghost Coast to Coast

This 1994 oddity might have inspired the creation of the entire Adult Swim brand. Space Ghost: Coast to Coast featured a little-known superhero from the 1960s, and repurposed his bygone show's animation to create a bizarre talk show. Space Ghost's show, featuring his band leader Zorak and director Moltar, aired sporadically on Cartoon Network - new episodes appeared months or even years apart. Guest stars included Björk, Jim Carrey, and Conan O'Brien.

Despite being on for 10 seasons, the show was considered niche and out of place among the mostly kid-friendly programming Cartoon Network was showcasing at the time. However, it inspired the network to pursue more grown-up animated shows and even develop a late-night block that would become Adult Swim.


SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron

This action cartoon got lost in the shuffle during the '90s, and aired in syndication on TBS. SWAT Kats saw vigilante pilots T-Bone and Razor fight evil and monsters with their highly weaponized jet. The show was reportedly pushed under the rug after Ted Turner, owner of TBS, expressed displeasure at the level of violence featured in the cartoon.


The Oblongs

The animated black comedy featured Will Ferrell as the voice of the limbless Bob Oblong, the patriarch of a family of freaks. Despite the show's witty yet gross humor, The Oblongs was canceled after its first season on The WB. Luckily, fans got to see the series in its entirety on Adult Swim.


The Tick

This parody of superheroes and their day-to-day lives was cult favorite on Fox Kids. The nigh-invulnerable Tick's goofy crime fighting adventures made fans scream out "SPOON!" in victory. After the cartoon was canceled, it would inspire not one, but two attempts at a live action version.



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Tue, 10 Jan 2017 05:50:02 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/great-underrated-cartoons/erik-barnes
<![CDATA[Did You See Logan This Weekend? ]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/most-overrated-things-about-logan/jacob-shelton

Logan is not only being touted as the greatest of all the Marvel movies, but it’s also being called one of the best superhero movies of all time. In fact, it is already being tossed around as the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture. But does it deserve all of the praise? Are people just high off a comic book movie that doesn’t play into the basest, adolescent instincts? Yes.

Logan is a pretty good movie, but it doesn’t compare to the movies it’s been inspired by. Really, some of the most noteworthy things about the movie just aren’t worth getting worked up over. Rather than flying into a berserker rage over your love of the man with a set of knife-hands, keep reading and discover all of the truly overrated things about Logan.

All of the Wolverine movies have been surrounded by hype that they can’t live up to, but Logan feels like it’s in the center of some of the most intense blind praise that’s ever been placed on a film. Honestly, it might crumble under the pressure. If you’ve seen Logan you know that James Mangold and Hugh Jackman went out of their way to make a film that feels important (even if it’s just about a guy with knife-hands who has a permanent passport to frown town), but does Logan deliver on being the best movie about a sad dad? Or will comic book movie fans be dealing with a severe case of buyer’s remorse come the onslaught of faux-western comic book movies that are sure to follow in Logan’s wake? 

Also, MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for Logan. Because of course there are. 


Did You See Logan This Weekend? ,

Language Language Language

When it was announced that Hugh Jackman took a big pay cut to make sure that Logan would have an R rating, Jackman and the film's director (James Mangold) said that they wanted to make sure that the film was as violent as it needed to be.

But it seems like the gang thought that the R rating meant that they were able to say "f*ck" as much as they wanted. Cursing is fun, but those f*cking words lose their power when characters say them in every other f*cking sentence. At their worst, some of the scenes seem like they were written by a 12-year-old who just watched the first half Reservoir Dogs, thankfully there are multiple scenes that pass with almost no f*cking dialogue. 


This Might Have Just Been A Set Up For An X-Babies Movie

The end of Logan culminates in a brutal fight between Wolverine, his angsty clone, an evil government, and a bunch of kids with super powers who escape to Canada after burying the film's hero. It's the only ending that this movie can have, anything else would have felt like Mangold balked at his brutal vision. But what if the entire thing was a trick?

Does the end of the film seem like a backdoor pilot for a new series of teenage X-Men movies that follow the Weapon-X babies on their trip through the Great White North? It seems so soul-sucking and cash-grabbing that it's definitely going to come true. This is why we can't have nice things. 


Just Because You Play Johnny Cash Over Something Doesn't Mean It's Serious

New rule: stop putting depressing Johnny Cash songs on top of trailers, end scenes, and credit sequences and in order to make the audience to rub their chin in an introspective manner.

Johnny Cash is an American treasure, the proof of this in in the fact that his music automatically seems to give everything a little more depth. James Mangold should have enough faith in his film to not have to lead the audience with such a cliché. Seriously, you shouldn't have to resort to the same trick employed by the minds behind Prototype 2.


That Wildly Stupid Deadpool Teaser

You know what a deadly serious film about a dying cowboy/samurai trying to save the life of a girl who's being hunted by a shadow government doesn't need to play before it begins? A short film where a wacky guy shows everyone his buns and eats ice cream on top of a dead body.

Nothing against Deadpool (except so many things) but this isn't the type of material that should play before the film. Tonally it's all wrong, and it subconsciously tells the audience to prepare for a goofy romp rather than the doom-and-gloom fest that they're about to experience. 


One Last Time... Until The Next Time

The tagline that was jammed down our throats midway through the media cycle for Logan was "one last time," meaning that it was the last time Hugh Jackman would be playing the character he's given life to for 17 years. But why make that the selling point?

Telling people that they need to see Logan because Hugh Jackman won't be playing him anymore cheapens any of the good reasons to actually see the movie. Hopefully more franchises don't follow suit.  


The Wolverine Did A Lot Of Things Better Than Logan

Which isn't to say it's bad, but it is ridiculous that audiences and armchair comic book historians are so excited to review Logan with an orgiastic fervor when Mangold and Jackman's previous film, The Wolverine, is just as good as the final film in the trilogy (or has time wiped X-Men Origins: Wolverine from existence?).

In fact, The Wolverine succeeded in places where Logan fails. There are actual female characters who aren't either begging a big strong man for help, or essentially acting as a narrative conceit. The plot burgeons on being surreal at times, and it made use of the amazing visuals that only Japan can provide. 

Admittedly, Logan handles its third act in a much classier way. It doesn't get bogged down with a mess of CGI, and at its worst Logan is simply overreaching and you can't blame people like Mangold or Jackman for wanting to make the best version of their movie (even if they miss the mark). The fact that they even tried to make a minimalist western about a guy with knife-hands is about as close to daring as you can get in this genre. That being said, the director/actor duo have done this all before in 2013. 


How Many Times Do We Need To Watch Patrick Stewart Die?

Professor Xavier's death in Logan feels like a bit of a mulligan on the lackluster death that he suffered in X3: The Last Stand (probably the worst date movie ever, for what it's worth). 

While his death serves an important narrative function within the story of Logan (and it provides the film's one WTF moment), it's hard not to think about the scene in the context of Patrick Stewart believing that he should be sent off in a more appropriate way. Let's hope that Professor X stays dead until someone new picks up the mantle


The Dialogue Is Pretty Terrible

Thank goodness Logan is more about the space in-between the dialogue than the actual words themselves, because when the characters do talk they're mostly dispensing exposition that would feel right at home in basically every other superhero movie. From the constant discussion about Chekov's adamantium bullet, to the classic bad guy patter, and X-23's final dialogue of "Daddy..." Tarantino-esque it ain't. 


Oh, Wow, Wolverine Fights An Evil Version Of Himself... Again

Why can't writers think of a good bad guy for Wolverine to fight? For X2, everyone's favorite diminutive Canadian fought Lady Deathstrike, basically a female Japanese variant of Wolverine. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Logan fought pretty much every member of the Weapon-X program (like Sabertooth and the stupidest possible iteration of Deadpool), who were also essentially bad guy versions of Wolverine. They even had claws!

Make no mistake, the Weapon-X program is a big part of Logan's backstory. But there are plenty of more interesting villains for Logan to face. The choice of having Wolverine battle himself (spoiler alert: he literally has to fight a young version of himself wearing a black t-shirt) works thematically, but audiences have seen it before. 


The Western Parallels

Dear James Mangold, did you really need to cut away to Shane, a western about the violent ends that await those who traffic in violence, to remind the audience that we're watching a western? You made a pretty good movie, you don't have to go "GET IT?!?!" whenever you make a point.

Logan is a subtle film, but rather than actually being a western it simply traffics in western tropes. Logan has always been the main character in his own shogun/western hybrid film, and each installment of the X-Men series that he's starred in has been even more overwrought with Orientalism and dusty shootouts. It would have been easier to save the audience a couple of minutes by simply calling the film Sukiyaki Western Logan



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Fri, 03 Mar 2017 09:18:02 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/most-overrated-things-about-logan/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[12 Reasons Beauty And The Beast Is Hands-Down The Best Disney Movie Ever Made]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/why-beauty-and-beast-is-best/tamar-altebarmakian

Why do you love Beauty and the Beast? This fairy-tale-turned-Disney film has become one of the studio’s most enduring classics, often ranking with The Lion King and Aladdin as one of the best Disney films of all time. The film won overwhelming praise from critics and audiences alike, and even became the first animated film to be nominated for an Oscar.

Unlike the characters featured in previous Disney films, Beauty and the Beast starred a new and progressive type of heroine in its protagonist, Belle. She still remains a role model for young girls, with her fierce independence, her love of books, and her hunger for adventure. Her character alone is reason enough to justify why Beauty and the Beast is the best.

With its amazing music and compelling story, Beauty and the Beast is sure to continue enchanting viewers and will remain one of the best Disney cartoons of all time. Read through this list, and vote up the reasons why Beauty and the Beast rules.


12 Reasons Beauty And The Beast Is Hands-Down The Best Disney Movie Ever Made,

It Teaches That Inner Beauty Is More Important Than Outer Beauty

This movie reminds audiences not to judge a book by its cover. A beautiful girl like Belle might be expected to end up with an equally attractive mate - even Gaston suggests that this is the norm. Instead, the film flips that script, and Belle falls for the kindly Beast instead. The handsome, but vile, Gaston is shown to be the ugliest character of them all.


The Film Champions Individuality

In this town, being different is not celebrated. Belle is considered weird because she reads, but the villagers tolerate her because she’s pretty. Her father, Maurice, is considered a crackpot because he tries to invent tools that will make life easier for him and his fellow villagers. The Beast is thought to be dangerous because of his appearance. Despite being "different," these characters are the heroes of the film. The story champions enduring life lessons about tolerance and celebrating uniqueness.


That Ballroom Scene Is Epic

The ballroom scene is memorable for a reason. From the enchanting music performed by Angela Lansbury to the breathtaking animation, it’s a triumph in filmmaking. It’s also incredibly sweet, as Belle and the Beast share their first dance and begin to see how they fit together. Like Lumière and company, you find yourself cheering on the happy couple.


It’s A Movie For Book Lovers

This movie has books galore and champions and romanticizes reading. Throughout the film, Belle constantly has her nose in a book, a fact that her neighbors tease her for. In one of the most memorable scenes in the film, the Beast gives her the gift that can truly win her heart: an entire library. What book lover hasn’t dreamed of owning a collection that massive?


The Prologue Is Gorgeous

The first two minutes of Beauty and the Beast are spellbinding. The haunting music sends chills down the spine as, like the pictures in a storybook, vibrantly colored stained-glass windows tell how the Beast met his miserable fate. The narration sets the tone for the film and the use of stained glass makes it feel like the tale is truly as old as time.


Belle Is More Progressive Than Former Disney Heroines

Unlike some of her predecessors, one of Belle’s defining characteristics is her intelligence. She’s an avid book reader, visiting her local library regularly and wanting to check out books she’s already read twice. She’s also not a damsel in distress – sure, she needs saving once or twice, but she also does her fair share of rescuing. Belle actively chooses to take her father’s place as the Beast’s captive, and she chases after the Beast when he’s threatened by Gaston. Perhaps most importantly, even though she finds love, romance and marriage aren’t first and foremost on her to-do list - what she wants more than anything is adventure.

Audiences might have Hollywood actress Katharine Hepburn to thank for Belle’s characterization. The film’s writer, Linda Woolverton, cited Hepburn as her inspiration for the character. She compared Hepburn’s portrayal of Jo in Little Women to Belle, saying both were “strong, active women who loved to read - and wanted more than life was offering them.”


It’s A Tale Of Redemption

The Beast’s personal struggle to become a better person is every bit as compelling as the romance narrative within the film. Here’s a character who’s grown to hate himself and repeatedly externalizes that hate by snapping at those around him, primarily those who care for him most. Through the help of Belle and his friends, he finally lets go of all of his hate and learns to love again - not only others, but himself, too.


Gaston Is A Modern And Unsettling Villain

Gaston seems harmless at first: the typical bro who’s more into himself than anything or anyone else. But he becomes far more frightening once he rallies the villagers to go and kill the Beast. Suddenly, the same characters who were cheerfully singing "Bonjour!" at the start of the film are now brandishing pitchforks and chanting “Kill the Beast!” He capitalizes on the villagers' fear of anything different and gets a group of bakers and small-town merchants hyped for murder.

He’s also incredibly misogynistic, telling Belle, "It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting ideas and thinking." Prior to this film, all of the villains in Disney princess movies were women, including Ursula, Maleficent, and The Evil Queen. Beauty and the Beast was the first princess film to have a male villain, and given its progressive heroine, Gaston seems like a fitting antagonist.


The Bromance Between Cogsworth And Lumière Is Perfect

The friendship/rivalry between stodgy clock Cogsworth and dashing candelabra Lumière added much needed humor to the often dark story. Undoubtedly, their endless bickering over the years kept each other going. Everyone needs a friend to keep them in check, and these two did just that.


Belle Is Fiercely Loyal

Belle stands by the people she cares about. The most obvious example is her father, the absent-minded Maurice. Belle repeatedly defends her father and his intelligence when most of the town calls him crazy. She also defends the Beast when the villagers want to kill him. She doesn't care about how any of this reflects on her; all she cares about is protecting her own.



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Wed, 01 Mar 2017 02:07:17 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/why-beauty-and-beast-is-best/tamar-altebarmakian
<![CDATA[It's Probably Best To Not Work Here ]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/most-dangerous-companies-in-film/jacob-shelton

If you live in a fictional universe and you work in an office building, the company you work for is either up to no good, or you’re going to wind up being blown up by terrorists. That’s just the way companies in movies work and there’s nothing you can do about it. If you’re being honest with yourself, the most evil corporations in cinema disclose their risk-levels right next to their profit margins. You might have to read into the context clues a bit, but subtlety doesn't come easily to the large and loud companies of the film world. Whether a company is sending people to work in a remote office building in Columbia, or shooting its freelance employees off to space so they can steal an alien that looks like a spider, you can be sure that the number one cause of office fatigue is constant peril.

The companies on this list are so dangerous that it makes one wonder what their insurance packages look like. Do you think anyone would be working for a company that manufactures a virus that turns people into rabid zombie monsters if they weren’t getting a spectacular medical and dental package? The job market may be less than ideal, but why should your self-worth be the same? Keep reading to learn about the most dangerous companies in film history, and remember to thank your boss for not making you fight your coworkers to the death


It's Probably Best To Not Work Here ,

Umbrella Corporation

Here's the thing: when you start working for a company whose only goal is build genetically engineered monsters you're asking for terrible things to befall you; Resident Evil offers a prime example of this. Even if you're not working in the part of the building where they create unstoppable bio-organic killing machines, you still run a heavy risk of eating it when the whole company goes belly up. Next to Weyland-Yutani, Umbrella seems to be the most lax when it comes to its policies on employees being murdered on the job. If this kind of thing sounds stressful then maybe you should work in a bakery or something. 


Cyberdyne Systems

For the most part, The Terminator's Cyberdyne Systems appears to be a pretty cool place to work. You get to manufacture new technologies, there's a lot of money flying around, and you get to work in a rad office building. But there is that annoying detail where you usher in the rise of the machines while destroying all life on earth. How do you explain to your friends and family that you were one of the guys who negated their children's college funds and created the Hunter Killers? 

 


Omni Consumer Products

Whether they make stuffed animals or enforcement droids, mega corporations are always dangerous, and RoboCop's Omni Consumer Products is no exception. Even if they program their robot cops to not harm an employee of their company, you still run the risk of being shot up in your boardroom by a rogue enforcement droid or the CFO on a bad day. As a general piece of advice it's best to avoid working for any company that builds robots whose purposes are to use handguns. 


Weyland-Yutani Corporation

Is there a fictional company that puts their employees in more danger than Alien's Weyland-Yutani Corporation? Not only does most of their business take place in space (which is already super dangerous), the only thing they send people into space to do is import literally the most dangerous creature known to man (an acid spewing, stomach-infesting monster that has an extendo-mouth inside of its own mouth). More people may have died under employee from Weyland-Yutani than anyone else, so they've likely got a great accidental death policy. 


The Nakatomi Corporation

In terms of day-to-day workflow, Nakatomi is a pretty good place to work. You just don't want to go to any of their holiday parties, and not just because Megan in accounting always publicly weeps after too much eggnog. Not only are they doing some shifty work with international governments, but their CEO keeps $640 million in bearer bonds in a vault in the company's LA office. That's just asking for a group of German terrorists to try and rob you mid-office celebration, giving us Die Hard


Helping Hand Acceptance Corporation

While the Helping Hand Acceptance Corporation may not have the modern offices or big paychecks of the other companies on this list, they can definitely go toe-to-toe with any of them when it comes to liability. Not only is the auto-repossession business a total drag, but things get infinitely crazier when you start doing rails and slamming beers while in hot pursuit of a Chevy Malibu with a dead alien in the trunk. Such jobs in Repo Man are always intense, but they look great on a resume. 


Belko Corporation

Any company that makes you fight your coworkers to death probably lands low on your list of dream jobs, but on the bright side office disputes are handled without the hurdle of HR. One of the best parts of working in an office is meeting like-minded people, and maybe even making a few friends. But how are you supposed to make friends when you're constantly thinking about bashing in their head? The Belko Experiment tackles that very premise.

If you're looking for a company that has room to grow Belko looks like the place to work, just know that such growth can be stunted by just one poorly-timed water-cooler joke.


Lunar Industries

Lunar Industries has a pretty low body count, but working for them does increase your chance of dying in some horrible way as Moon makes it clear. Not only are you working in the vacuum of deep space (any canine can alert you to the dangers of vacuums), you're also probably a clone who will slowly deteriorate while mining moon rocks. The real kicker about Lunar is that if you don't die when they want you to, they send up a pair of goons to snub you out, so you should always look useful and busy when they walk by your desk.


Zorg Industries

Zorg Industries makes the Zorg ZF1, the ultimate handheld killing machine for right-ies and left-ies, using it to deal with the worst creatures in The Fifth Element universe. How would you feel working for a weapons manufacturer that deals almost exclusively with the Mangalores and spends millions of dollars chasing after a briefcase full of rocks? You'd be off better working for a company that builds robot cops. 



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Fri, 27 Jan 2017 02:35:22 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/most-dangerous-companies-in-film/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[These Classics Need To Make A Comeback Right Now]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/video-game-rerelease-wishlist/joedonley

If you were a kid with a gaming system that grew up in the late '90s to the mid-2000s, chances are you've played some genre-defining titles that made an impact on the industry, but were left behind by their developers after the fact. A lot of this is due to an industry-wide increase in microtransactions and the notion that bonus DLC is an acceptable replacement for a complete game. Other times, games are just too dated and need a total revamp - this is especially true for GameCube and Nintendo 64 titles. But wouldn't you love to see some of those classic old games rereleased? Check out this list of video games that should be rereleased or get an HD remake!


These Classics Need To Make A Comeback Right Now,

Burnout

The Burnout series is a great example of how you can incorporate one simple mechanic into a racing game and totally change the atmosphere: you can get points based on how much damage your car sustains. This game-changing system is what made this series so much fun for players that don't want to get lost in the competitive nature of the games and instead can take a break to cause as much chaos as possible. 

The last entry into the Burnout series was in 2008 with Burnout Paradise on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, and fans have been itching for the next installment in the series. Unfortunately, developer Criterion Games stated in 2013 that they wanted to move away from the racing genre, dashing hopes for a follow-up title anytime soon.


Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger was released in 1995 and is regarded as one of the best games of its genre, spawning fan campaigns for both official HD remakes and unofficial. One such fan remake, Chrono Resurrection, went so far as to release a playable version depicting fully rendered 3D models and characters from the original game. Square Enix quickly put a stop to this by filing a cease-and-desist order but hasn't really touched the property since.

Presently, the game is available on iOS and Android, but it's still in its SNES graphic glory, or lack thereof. For a game that has such a following behind it, this surely deserves to be looked at for a future HD rerelease.


Final Fantasy V

One of the most under-appreciated Final Fantasy titles, Final Fantasy V offers one of the most customizable job systems in the series and maybe in any RPG ever published. The closest thing FFV has gotten to a remake is Final Fantasy XI, which shares the main job/sub job system, but apart from that, FFV remains in the company of FFVI as the final two non-3D titles in the series.

Apart from being a great game combat-wise, the story is phenomenal and its classic JRPG mechanics garnered tons of fans. Square, at the time of the game's release (that's 1992 on the SNES), believed that FFV would be too difficult for American audiences and it wasn't released outside of Japan until 1999 on the PlayStation. More releases followed in 2006 on the Game Boy Advance and 2014 on Steam, iOS and Android. In spite of this, the game has never received the full HD treatment it deserves that lesser games in the series (FFIII and FFIV) have.


Golden Sun

Oh dear. Golden Sun and it's sequel, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, are so good. SO GOOD. After nearly a decade of waiting and complaining, Nintendo and Camelot released a third title in the series, Dark Dawn, which fell short of capturing the magic of its processors. There was no way it could have lived up to the expectations that fans of the series had, which is really a shame. That, combined with the fact that the title came out 7 years after The Lost Age, probably made it seem like the popularity of the series had passed.

This is a series that needs to be revisited and should honestly be played by everyone, everywhere. Unfortunately, Nintendo had the bright idea of restricting distribution of these two titles, originally released on the Gameboy Advance, to the Wii U Virtual Console. Like... what? Where's the logic in that? At this point, the only thing that might revive the franchise is a full reboot that ideally keeps the same difficulty curve or simply a re-release on the 3DS or NX.


.hack//INFECTION

A cult classic, the .hack// game series grew in popularity largely due to the interconnected universe Bandai Namco and CyberConnect created between all the titles under the .hack// umbrella. Because of this, the four-part game series (Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine) created this incredible niche of a simulated MMORPG experience that really hasn't been replicated since. This was the first game of its kind to incorporate "email" interactions with NPCs that offer massive character development, in addition to both physical and digital world building experiences.

Apart from their initial release on the PlayStation 2, none of the .hack// games have ever made it to the PlayStation Store, and given how MMORPGs are on the downswing, gamers might like the simulated experience combined with the hack and slash battle mechanics because dealing with random people on the Internet sucks.


Phantasy Star Universe

Phantasy Star Universe is a unique title that has three modes of play: a main story campaign that was an offline, single-player game with a pre-established character, a separate offline mode with a customizable character and accelerated leveling, and a separate online mode where you could access expansion content and play together with friends.

Because expansion content was restricted to online mode and the servers shut down in 2012, those storylines are now lost until the game is released again. This is obviously frustrating for players that spent money on said expansions and can no longer go back and play content they paid for. Apart from releasing this title again on principle alone, the game has an awesome battle system and some pretty killer graphics for the time.


Pokémon Snap

In perhaps the biggest missed opportunity in the history of the gaming industry, Nintendo, creator of the Wii U Controller with a built-in screen, only re-released a direct port of the original Pokemon Snap on the Wii U Virtual Console in Europe and Japan in August 2017. That's right - not even an HD remake. And there was a seven-month release delay for North America. Considering the lackluster sales of the Wii U, you'd think the gaming giant would try to salvage the wasted ingenuity by developing a remake of something that's effectively perfect for the platform.

Even an HD re-release on the 3DS would be an amazing addition to their gaming library. Nintendo has already made cash grabs with handheld versions of classic hits like Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time 3D, and Starfox 64, and given the Pokemon Snap-like features of the Poke Finder in Pokemon Sun and Moon, it's hard to imagine what's stopping them.


Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

Since the Disney buyout of Lucasfilm in 2012 ushered in massive layoffs of developers at LucasArts and the multi-year license with EA Games went into effect, there really haven't been any fantastic Star Wars games of note. What we have seen is honestly kind of half-assed. A handful of Star Wars: The Old Republic expansions that effectively take place in the Legends timeline, and Star Wars Battlefront, which is graphically beautiful, but substantially hollow, falling victim to DLC syndrome.

Given the nature of Disney and Lucasfilm and their desire to keep the new Star Wars canon wrapped up in a tight little bow, a revival of the Rogue Squadron series would be the perfect solution. Single-player missions that strictly follow the canon timeline not only provide an immersive experience for canon junkies, but it acts as a gateway for casual players to explore the richness of the Star Wars universe while flying an X-Wing as Luke, Wedge, Poe, or even Wexley.


Super Mario Sunshine

A mainstay on every Nintendo device, Mario titles are almost always great, but Super Mario Sunshine is absolutely the best of the bunch. In it, you play as Mario, just trying to chill out on a tropical vacation when someone who looks just like you starts graffitiing the whole island. You get blamed and you have to clean the graffiti using a device called the FLUDD while also trying to track down your doppelganger. Released in 2002 for the GameCube, Sunshine has never seen a re-release on any console, likely due to the lack of sensitivity controls on newer controllers and handheld systems, which are critical for controlling the FLUDD's water pressure.

This iteration of Mario needs to be rereleased simply for the fact that it's an incredible game and new generations of gamers have no idea what they're missing.


The Oregon Trail

Yup. After the (amazing) tabletop version of the gameOregon Trail totally deserves a Skyrim-inspired action-adventure RPG where you get to die of dysentery in full 4k glory while dragging supplies back to your covered wagons.

How ridiculous would that be?

It will never, ever happen, but there's something to be said about the notion of having a game centered around exploration for the sake of survival in a massively open world while not having to worry about preventing a cataclysm from a big bad that just makes you feel warm and fuzzy.



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Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:50:33 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/video-game-rerelease-wishlist/joedonley
<![CDATA[Excited For Breath Of The Wild? Check Out These Theories While You Wait]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-legend-of-zelda-fan-theories/stephanroget

The Legend of Zelda has definitely earned the "legendary" moniker, at least when it comes to video games. Few pixilated adventures have woven an epic tale like the multi-game, multi-platform, multi-timeline series has. The journey of Link through forests, temples, and time has taken gamers on quite a ride, and over the years the continuity has become incredibly complex. Nintendo even went as far as to publish an official continuity guide, which laid out Hyrule’s ridiculously layered alternate timelines, in an effort to assuage fan confusion. However, fans being what they are, this guideline only served to further intensify their speculation and theory-crafting.

The Internet has come up with a bounty of fan theories related to the Zelda series. After all, the whole thing is built on mystery and world-building, leaving plenty of room for fans to speculate and extrapolate. The fact that the creators themselves seem to only partially understand their own world only adds to the bevy of fan speculation. Fans feel a sacred duty to make sense of the mystical, fictional land they love so much.


Excited For Breath Of The Wild? Check Out These Theories While You Wait,

Navi Dies At The End Of Ocarina Of Time

One of the most confusing aspects of the end of Ocarina Of Time, the most popular Zelda game, is the sudden disappearance of Navi. Link’s ever-present and usually-annoying companion just sort of floats off and vanishes at the culmination of their journey together, leaving many fans to wonder just why the little fairy bailed.

Some have speculated that Navi, part of a race that doesn’t seem to have a long lifespan, was already well on her way to death when the game began. Perhaps Navi floated away to spare Link the sadness of watching her fade into nothingness.


The Gerudo Disappeared, Became The Twili

The Gerudo are a race in Hyrule with one of the most interesting backstories and one of the coolest musical themes. The main antagonist Ganondorf has ties to the Gerudo himself, and that may be key to their disappearance in later editions of the franchise.

Some think that the Gerudo became the Twili after Link’s defeat of Ganondorf screwed up their traditional way of procreating. There are enough similarities between the two groups to make it plausible. Other, darker theories posit that Link’s actions simply doomed the entire race to nonexistence.


Someone Is Dead In Majora’s Mask, And It May Be Link

Majora’s Mask is one of the darkest games in the Zelda series, and it has led to some seriously messed up speculation. The game begins with Link looking for a lost friend, and there’s ample evidence that said friend is actually dead.

There are a few different theories as to the identity of this dead friend, but some think it could be Link himself. Several characters in the game hint at a dark fate for Link, and a different fan theory about the stages of grief could mean that the entire story is about Link accepting his own death.


Majora’s Mask Is About The Five Stages Of Grief

Majora’s Mask features the almost sci-fi story of a civilization facing destruction from a crashing moon. In trying to prevent this tragedy, the heroic Link encounters all manner of people, each of whom are dealing with the crisis in their own way.

With some creative imagination, one can easily apply the different groups Link encounters with the five traditional stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. There’s enough evidence to suggest that, at the very least, it was an intentional theme inserted by the developers.


Talon Is Mario

One of the minor supporting characters in the Legend of Zelda series, Talon, is obviously visually inspired by another Nintendo star, Mario. Talon shares Mario’s moustache and color-scheme, but has taken on the role of farmer instead of plumber.

Talon seems like an homage to Mario more than anything, but that hasn’t stopped fans from speculating about a more direct connection. Who is to say that Mario didn’t retire from rescuing princesses to a simpler life raising horses?


Super Mario 3 Is A Stage Play In Hyrule

One of the most popular and well-supported video game fan theories is the one that posits that Super Mario 3 is actually a stage play, being performed by actors in front of a set. If that theory is true, it could be that the play is being performed in Hyrule.

This would explain the presence of a Super Mario mask in Majora’s Mask, and that of a Bowser clasp elsewhere in the series. It would also provide a reason for all of the Mario-related artwork and music present in Hyrule.


Twilight Princess Villains Created Majora’s Mask

Majora’s Mask is one of the creepiest artifacts that Link ever lays his hands on. The origins of the Mask itself are mysterious, but some fans think they’ve cracked the code. There has been speculation that the creators of the Mask are actually the villains of another game in the series, Twilight Princess.

Although Twilight Princess came out much later than Majora’s Mask, it actually sits earlier in the timeline, making the theory plausible. Certain stylistic similarities, including the scarab motif, provide evidence of a connection.


There’s A Fourth Triforce Piece

Without a doubt, the most evocative symbol in all of Hyrule is that of the Triforce. The powerful rune, made up of three simple triangles, has appeared in nearly every Zelda-related title. The actual description and powers of the Triforce can vary, but its appearance is always the same.

That means there’s always a chunk of the Triforce missing in the middle, which has led to intense speculation about a missing fourth piece. The so-called Tetraforce theory has many branches to it, but they all boil down to further treasure hunting for our hero, Link.


The Temples In Ocarina Of Time Are The Remnants Of Holy Wars

The temples in Ocarina of Time are tough to get to, even tougher to get through, and full of insane booby traps. They’ve also fallen into a serious state of disrepair, despite containing powerful magical artifacts.

This has led some to speculate that Hyrule was once the site of a major holy war, in which the religion that used the temples was overrun and eradicated. The victors of the war might have tried their best to prevent others from ever accessing the magic of the temples, leading to their current run-down status.


Link Doomed The Kokiri

The Ocarina of Time may be a largely whimsical tale, but that hasn’t stopped fans from spinning some truly dark theories. One of the darkest involves Link dooming the peaceful forest race of Kokiri, amongst whom he spent his childhood.

The time-hopping storyline of Ocarina sees Link travel back and forth between his child and adult selves. Along the way, it appears that Link may have caused the Great Deku Tree to never be re-planted. This could have caused the destruction, or at least displacement, of the Kokiri. As further evidence of this, the gentle forest folk are absent from games that appear later in the timeline.



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Thu, 23 Feb 2017 05:58:31 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/the-legend-of-zelda-fan-theories/stephanroget
<![CDATA[The 15+ Most Anticipated Nintendo Switch Games]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/nintendo-switch-anticipated-games/ranker-games

What are the most anticipated Nintendo Switch games that have been announced so far? We're ranking the best games coming to Nintendo Switch in 2017 and 2018, so help us out by voting up the games you are most excited to play for Switch. It would be hard pressed to say that Super Mario Odyssey, an open world Mario game in the same vein as Mario 64 or Mario Sunshine, isn't the most anticipated Switch game for 2017. However, there are many more upcoming Switch games that fans are dying to play, such as Splatoon 2, ARMS, Sonic Mania, and a bunch of games with tentative titles that we don't know enough about yet (but desperately want to play.)

Vote up the upcoming Nintendo Switch games you are most excited to play, and downvote any titles you believe are all hype.

 


The 15+ Most Anticipated Nintendo Switch Games,

Dragon Quest X

Release Date: TBD


Fire Emblem (Tentative Title)

Release Date: TBD 2018


Sonic Mania

Release Date: Q2 2017


Fire Emblem Warriors

Release Date: Q3 2017


Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers

Release Date: May 26, 2017


ARMS

Release Date: Q2 2017


Super Mario Odyssey

Release Date: Holiday 2017


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Release Date: April 28, 2017


Splatoon 2

Release Date: Summer 2017


No More Heroes (Tentative Title)

Release Date: TBD 2018



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Wed, 01 Mar 2017 00:50:05 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/nintendo-switch-anticipated-games/ranker-games
<![CDATA[Go, Go Gadget Copter! Do You Remember These Crazy Gadgets? ]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/every-gadget-from-inspector-gadget-ranked/cynthia-griffith

In one of the earliest Inspector Gadget episodes, entitled "Ghost Catchers," the book from Penny’s computer class seems to suggest that all of her Uncle Gadget's best Inspector Gadget tools are out of date. When she tells Gadget, he immediately changes the subject, which should come as no surprise. The idea of walking around in a body made up of machinery alone is disturbing, but imagine if that technology was past its prime.

As avid Inspector Gadget fans know, Penny’s bumbling uncle was fitted for approximately 14,000 gadgets and counting. Wowzers! Who knew an animated cyborg could be so abundantly equipped? But those aren't the only toys Inspector Gadget had - he also had a weakness for getting separate gadgets, like his waterproof chromomatic watch.

So which of these dozens of gadgets are your favorites? From flashlights to wind sails, roller skates to gumball machines, and everything in between, here are the greatest gadgets from Inspector Gadget. Vote your personal picks for best Inspector Gadget gadgets up to the top of the list.


Go, Go Gadget Copter! Do You Remember These Crazy Gadgets? ,

Finger Flashlight

Arms