<![CDATA[Ranker: Recent Anything Lists]]> http://www.ranker.com/list-of//other http://www.ranker.com/img/skin2/logo.gif Most Viewed Lists on Ranker http://www.ranker.com/list-of//other <![CDATA[Best Wood to Smoke Ribs]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-wood-to-smoke-ribs/ian-sacci

Which type of wood is best for smoking BBQ ribs?  Vote for your favorite!  Feel free to add any favorites I missed.

Best Wood to Smoke Ribs, food/drink, foods, bbq, other,








Sat, 27 May 2017 07:23:15 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-wood-to-smoke-ribs/ian-sacci
<![CDATA[Top CMS to Use for Web Development]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/top-cms-to-use-for-web-development/tabassumm

It is seems wondering to choose the useful CMS that can be used for your website development as there are many CMS platforms. Well! These questions will definitely pop up in your mind before you start thinking on CMS: Which CMS are most convenient and manageable for users? Which Content Management System will allow you to easily manage the content of your website?

In this article, you can find high rated and most popular website development CMS’s:






Ultimez Technology is a leading  CMS website development company in Bangalore, It offers excellent web solutions to the clients all over the world. We have extensive experience in the field of design, development and technology. Ultimez aimed towards designing website that enumerates client's successful business. 

In a nutshell, it is important thing to remember with whatever platform you choose for developing your website, if you don’t have knowledge to develop your own project, do consider finding a professional company to do a favor in your job.

Ultimez Technology CMS website development company, with the years of experience we have an exceptional team of experts and professionals who will assist, facilitates, develops, manage and optimize you project and offers you with high quality services. 

Visit us: https://ultimez.com/cms-website-development.html

Top CMS to Use for Web Development,



This is the most flexible website development CMS which can be easily personalized the needs of every business. But it is not preferred by majority, to the fact it is not as user friendly as Joomla or WordPress since it is new website development CMS and heavier compared to the above-mentioned CMSs. Drupal website development CMS is an open source platform and suitable for:

Social networking sites




Informative websites

Web applications


Joomla: It is the open source platform of website development CMS based on PHP and MySQL database to store content. It allows to make your website preferred website development project that will be for:

Corporate website

Ecommerce website

Informative website

Business website

Small business website

With the little knowledge, you can easily manage the content of your website.      The powerful online application can be developed using Joomla.



This open source platform is based on ASP.NET used for website development. It is easy to use but the overall framework is not as good as CMS mentioned above. Nevertheless, whenever you decided to create website with DotNetNuke, few things to be considered:

Ultimate platform flexibility

Simple content creation and edition

Good for intranets or applications

Unmatched security

Web Design

WordPress: It is the mainly used for blogging platform, this CMS can be used for both functional website development and mobile app creations. It is the proven fact that WordPress is the convenient and easy to use system. As per study: 22.5% website are based WordPress. It is preferred by Google as it is the open source software as this can be certainly good preference for ranking high. WordPress CMS is written with high standard quality code which makes your website attractive for the search engines.

Additionally, WordPress is a SEO friendly platform, it is considered to be most protected CMS and there are end number of plugins that could be used on your website.



It is mainly designed for ecommerce website as it is an open source platform for website development CMS. Magento uses MySQL and Zend PHP databases that offers features like:

Management tools and appearance control

SEO Optimization

Intuitive interface

Magento allows you to manage quickly and easily both medium of ecommerce websites. With the important criteria for today’s ecommerce websites, Magento CMS is an extremely easy to handle and facilitate the work with servicing of clients. The best thing about Magento is that there is no worry about losing customers who are always on move and most of the times use mobiles phones for shopping as Magento sites are well visualized on mobile devices.

Fri, 26 May 2017 17:28:11 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/top-cms-to-use-for-web-development/tabassumm
<![CDATA[Rare Photos Of Princess Diana]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-princess-diana-photos/katejacobson

Princess Diana was a beloved member of the British royal family, known for her humanitarianism and her elegant sense of style. She tragically died in 1997, but her legacy continues to live on, especially through the early pictures of Princess Diana that show her as a fashionista, a mom, and a daughter.

Born Diana Spencer, Princess Di became a member of the royal family after she married Charles, the Prince of Wales. Her life wasn't always easy - after she married Charles their marriage was marred by infidelity and rumors. When they divorced, it became a scandal across the country. Despite this, she carried on as a role model to her two young sons William and Harry and became internationally known for her charity work. She was killed during a car chase with paparazzi in France on August 31, 1997. The world mourned the loss of the beautiful and kind Princess Diana. 

These old photos of Princess Diana show just how exceptional she was. She will be forever missed. 

Rare Photos Of Princess Diana,

Courting Prince Charles

Showing Off A Cheeky Smile

A Pensive Diana

A Kiss On The Hand

A Picture From Her Private Collection

The Young Couple

Growing Into Her Own

A Shy Girl

Aleady A Style Icon

Diana As A Toddler

Fri, 26 May 2017 09:43:42 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-princess-diana-photos/katejacobson
<![CDATA[Creepy Hitler Youth Photos]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/creepy-hitler-youth-photos/carly-kiel

The Hitler Youth was the sole official youth organization of Nazi Germany. Think there's something unsettling about children dressed up in uniforms to celebrate and impress one of the most evil people who ever lived? These creepy Hitler Youth photos present an overview of a particularly disturbing element of Nazi Germany. In early iterations, beginning in 1922, children across the country were recruited into the Hitlerjugend (HJ) to be indoctrinated in Nazi ideology.

When the Nazi Party took control of Germany in 1933, the HJ boasted more than two million members. Soon, the Reich outlawed all other youth organizations - including the Boy Scouts, on which the Hitlerjugend (HJ) was based. In December 1936, it became mandatory for all Aryan children to join and, in 1939, all German youths were automatically conscripted. If parents objected, the state threatened to take their children away. An estimated 10-20% of young German males avoided joining the HJ, but they were denied diplomas, university entry, and jobs. It certainly wasn't the worst part of Nazi Germany, but still, the whole ordeal was downright nuts.

Creepy Hitler Youth Photos,

By 1930, The Organization Enlisted Over 25,000 Boys

A Junior Branch (Deutches Jungvolk Or DJ) Admitted Boys As Young As 10

When The Nazis Came To Power In 1933, Membership Reached 2.3 Million Members

Members Were Recruited By Propaganda For The Fatherland

HJ Members Were Thought To Ensure The Future Of Nazi Germany

They Were Indoctrinated In Nazi Ideology, Including Racism

Hitler Youth hold sinister flags bearing swastikas and skull, mace, and axe.

Known As The HJ, The Hitlerjugend Was Made Up Of Male Youths Aged 14 To 18

The Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) Was The Youth Organization Of The Nazi Party

Partially Paramilitary, It Was Germany's Sole Official Youth Organization

In early years, members were used to break up other youth groups associated with churches and religion as part of Nazi Germany's kirchenkampf ("church struggle") campaign.

By 1940, There Were 8 Million Members Of The Hitlerjugend

A massive crowd attends Hitler Youth Day during one of the Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies.

Fri, 26 May 2017 03:10:41 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/creepy-hitler-youth-photos/carly-kiel
<![CDATA[A Dark History Of The Rockefeller Family]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/dark-rockefeller-family-facts/harrison-tenpas

The Rockefeller family history is steeped in industrial and political accomplishments that have played a significant role in the shaping of America. As brothers John D. and William Rockefeller rose to social prominence during the late 19th century, their company - Standard Oil - became a hulking force in the booming fossil fuels industry, and established the roots for the generational wealth that still buoy their scions to this day.

The Rockefeller's business interests, coupled with their forays into politics (with Nelson Rockefeller even ascending as high as the vice presidency), have cemented them in as one of the most famous and influential families in American history. A case could be made that much of 20th century America's growth and development can be credited to this New York City brood, as they undoubtedly impacted the lives of millions in a variety of ways - though that impact was not always positive.

However, the Rockefellers are not without their secrets or controversies. From labor disputes, to monopolies, to foreign coups, to even - yes - cannibalism, some facts about the Rockefellers cast a dark shadow over the illustrious accomplishments made of their lineage.

A Dark History Of The Rockefeller Family,

William A. Rockefeller Was A Con Artist

William A. Rockefeller was the father of John D. and William Rockefeller Jr. - two men who would go on to be titans of industry and amass tremendous wealth. While the two heirs achieved much of their success on the straight-and-narrow, the same could not be said for their father who was  complete con artist. 

While working as a traveling salesman, William A. Rockefeller often faked being deaf and mute, peddling miracle-remedies that were completely useless. Going by the nom de plume, "Devil Bill," the snake-oil pushing Rockefeller also took on a mistress and fathered multiple illegitimate children. However, his true magnum opus of fraud was likely his successful impersonation of a doctor named William Livingston, an eye-and-ear specialist.

The Premature Death Of John Rockefeller III

In 1978, John D. Rockefeller III was killed in a car accident. At the time, the 72-year-old philanthropist was the eldest member of the Rockefeller family. Mr. Rockefeller was struck in a head-on collision near Mount Pleasant, NY - just 12 miles north of the family's sprawling estate. Tragically, the 16-year-old boy who had been driving the other car was also killed in the crash.

The Standard Oil Monopoly Crushes The Competition

Getting his start in Cleveland in the 1860s, John D. Rockefeller grew Standard Oil into a mammoth in the oil-refining industry. By 1880, Standard Oil was responsible for refining between 90 and 95% of all the oil in America. By eliminating the competition, merging with rivals, and offering generous incentives to the railroad industry, Standard Oil became a dominant power that essentially created a monopoly. 

In 1906, the US government brought a suit against the Standard Oil Company under the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, and in 1911, the company was forced to divest of all its major holdings (33 companies in all). Though arguably weakened, Standard Oil hung around and navigated some legal loopholes. In fact, it still exists today under a few highly recognizable names such as BP, Chevron, and Exxon, to name a few. John D. Rockefeller, for his part, still went on to become a billionaire. 

Standard Oil's Role In The Ludlow Massacre

In September of 1913, nearly 11,000 coal miners in Colorado went on strike against the Colorado Fuel & Iron Corporation. The aggrieved workers were protesting low wages, dangerous working conditions, and the servitude-like relationship they had with their employer. CF&I - which was owned by the Rockefeller family and Standard Oil - responded to the work strike by evicting the workers and their families from the company-owned housing. The workers maintained their resolve, however, setting up nearby tent communities and continuing the strike.

With the aid of the National Guard, the Rockefeller-owned corporation sought to break the strike, and in April of 1914, two companies of guardsmen descended on the tent colony near the town of Ludlow. The result was a slaughter. 

After killing the strike leader - who was attempting to negotiate a truce - the guardsman began shooting at families fleeing the scene. All told, 19 were killed, including several women and children.

Was Michael Rockefeller Eaten By Cannibals?

On November 19, 1961, Michael C. Rockefeller disappeared. The 23-year-old son of then-New York governor, Nelson Rockefeller, was on an anthropological expedition off the coast of New Guinea when his catamaran tipped over. In hopes of making it to shore to get help for his fellow passengers, Rockefeller swam off into the sea and was never seen again. 

Though many concluded that Rockefeller likely succumbed to drowning, or was eaten by a shark or crocodile, some have speculated that he met a much more grim fate. At the time, there were multiple tribes that practiced cannibalism in southern New Guinea, and in 1969 a Dutch journalist ventured into a remote village to investigate Rockefeller's disappearance where he was told that Rockefeller had been killed and eaten. 

To this day, Michael Rockefeller's death remains a mystery.

A Murder-Suicide Claims Three Lives

One of the first major tragedies to befall the Rockefeller family came in 1951 when Winifred Emeny - the great niece of John D. Rockefeller - killed her two children before taking her own life. Emeny, who was a known socialite in the Greenwich, CT, scene, started two cars in her garage - in one of the cars she put her two young daughters, Josephine, 6, and Winifred, 12, while she lay on the ground between the two running vehicles. All three of them were discovered by the family's maid, dead from asphyxiation.

Rockefeller's Dark Legacy In Brazil

The Rockefeller Foundation - a philanthropic organization set up and operated by the wealthy family - began doing work in Brazil during World War I. Around this time, Brazilian elites had become infatuated with the so-called "Public Health Movement," which was a barbaric-ruse largely designed around eugenics.

In 1918, the Rockefeller Foundation helped to create the Eugenic Society of São Paulo, and in doing so directly financed programs aimed at exterminating the poor and disabled, and those of mixed-African descent throughout Brazil. 

Later, in the 1960s, David Rockefeller - a banker who controlled Chase Manhattan - publicly declared that Brazil's then-leader, João Goulart, was unacceptable to the US banking community. The Rockefeller Group went on to invest over $12 million in the 1962 Brazilian elections, and their continued support for anti-communist groups played a large role in the 1964 coup that removed Goulart and installed a military dictatorship. 

Nelson Rockefeller's Shady Death And Mysterious Mistress

Nelson Rockefeller had a long, successful political career. Prior to becoming the vice president in 1974, he served as the 49th governor of New York for 14 years. As a father of five, Rockefeller divorced his first wife in 1963 - which at that time was a major no-no for politicians - and seemed to have a reputation for being something of womanizer. He re-married in 1963 to his second wife, Happy, who was 18 years his junior.

Rockefeller then lost the 1964 Republican presidential nomination to Barry Goldwater, and it's been speculated that his extra-marital indiscretions may have had something to do with it. And it's assumed that his wandering-eye stayed with him into his old age, as when he died of a heart attack in 1979 he was with his 25-year-old female assistant, who mysteriously waited an hour to call for help.

John D. Rockefeller Hired Soldiers To Fight For Him In The Civil War

Though John D. Rockefeller considered himself to be an abolitionist, he wanted to play no part in taking up arms when the Civil War broke out in 1861. Citing the fact that he was the primary provider for his family, he received an exemption from the Union, and instead hired soldiers to go and fight on his behalf. This was not an uncommon practice for the rich, and though Rockefeller gave some vaguely remorseful statements about not fighting, his commodities business profited greatly from the war.

Clark Rockefeller, The Impostor And Murderer

The Rockefeller name comes with global recognition, so it's not unthinkable that it would make for an appealing surname for enterprising imposters. Though being part of such a prestigious bloodline would seem to be easily verifiable, Christian Gerhartsreiter - a German immigrant and con man - managed to keep up the bold charade for decades. 

Calling himself Clark Rockefeller and offering only a vague description of his relationship to the famous family, Gerhartsreiter was able to make his way into high society and attain lucrative jobs, as well as marry a wealthy woman in the process. 

But when Gerhartsreiter attempted to kidnap his own daughter, his identity unraveled, and he ended up being tied to a 1994 California murder as well. He's currently serving 27 years in prison. 

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 05:44:49 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/dark-rockefeller-family-facts/harrison-tenpas
<![CDATA[Which Projects Have Proper Manors Actors Appeared In That Are Your Favorites?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/which-projects-have-proper-manors-actors-appeared-in-that-are-your-favorites-/pietrod_alessio

"Proper Manors," the online series, has had many successful Actors appear on the show. In this list you can discover the other Movies, TV Shows and Streaming Series in which they appeared and learn more about your favorite Actors. This list is rankable. Please add any missing content for your favorite cast member.

Which Projects Have Proper Manors Actors Appeared In That Are Your Favorites?,

As the World Turns

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

With Honors

The Office

S. Darko

Child Eater

Angie Tribeca

Hot Bot

I'm Not Ready for Christmas

The Legacy

Fri, 26 May 2017 08:51:30 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/which-projects-have-proper-manors-actors-appeared-in-that-are-your-favorites-/pietrod_alessio
<![CDATA[Top 10 Offenses in the NFL 2017]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/top-10-offenses-in-the-nfl-2017/riley-baines


What a wild off-season it has been in 2017! Marshawn Lynch comes out of retirement to join the Raiders. Adrian Peterson found a home with the Saints. Brandin Cooks becomes the best Wide Receiver Tom Brady has had since Randy Moss. It seemed the rich got richer and the already potent offenses have become even more explosive. Expect a lot of points being scored in 2017. These are the top 10 offenses in the NFL 2017. 

Top 10 Offenses in the NFL 2017,

Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

New York Giants

Fri, 26 May 2017 09:43:32 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/top-10-offenses-in-the-nfl-2017/riley-baines
<![CDATA[Creepy Stories And Urban Legends From Nebraska]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/nebraska-creepy-stories-legends/laura-allan

When people think about Nebraska, they probably conjure up images of corn, steak, football, and... that's about it. However, any Nebraskan will tell you that there's much more to their state than that. For one thing, the place is overflowing with urban legends. From ghost stories to ancient Native American legends, these creepy stories from Nebraska are sure to leave you more than a little unsettled to say the least. And, no, we're not talking about that one bunny legend you've probably heard of. We're talking about some long-standing, twisted tales - some of them based on facts.

One thing you have to decide as you delve into this Nebraskan-unknown is what sort of tale really gets to you? Are you more into witches, or a statue that predicts your death? Terrifying cannibals, or hauntings so intense you'll want to call a priest ASAP? No matter what your scare-of-choice may be, you'll probably find it here.

Let's take a look at some creepy Nebraska-tales that are more than a little ear-y. Oh shucks, we had to make one corny joke here (okay, two). This is about Nebraska, after all.

Creepy Stories And Urban Legends From Nebraska,

A Terrifying 911 Call Raises More Questions Than Answers

Meth is one seriously nasty drug, and it can make people do pretty creepy things. However, this story is both true and a little frightening, to say the least, simply because of the circumstances surrounding it.

In 2005, a couple was pulled over during a snow storm, and questioned about where they were going. They said Omaha - which was an astounding 100 miles away! The officer pointed them toward Omaha and that was the last time either of them were seen alive. The pair were both high on meth, and 911 eventually received a series of calls from the panicking couple. They reported seeing strange shapes, people trying to keep them in their car, and things climbing on buildings. They were so afraid that they left the safety of their car, and ran out into the snow storm. The male's body was found the next day, but it took investigators nearly a week to find the girl. Meth can really mess up your perceptions, and this tale ended tragically. But it does make you wonder, what exactly were these two seeing out there?

The Omaha Public Library Has A Scalp On File

This story is 100% true and super gross, but it's also a valuable part of Omaha folklore. The story says that in 1867 William Thompson, an employee of Union Pacific, was out to do some routine repairs when he was attacked by Cheyenne natives. He was grabbed, scalped, and left for dead. Somehow, the man regained consciousness, and found his scalp not too far away. He grabbed the thing and ran, scalp-less, into town to a local library in an attempt to find help. When doctors told him that the scalp could not be reattached, he did the only thing one can do when you have a big hunk of your own head just lying around: donate it to the public library, of course!

To this day, the Omaha Public Library has Thompson's scalp preserved in a dark room. While it was on display for a long time, it is now only shown on special occasions or at request. Gross, maybe, but also a pretty compelling and distressing story.

You Might Find Hannah Searching For Her Murdered Child

This story is a sad one, but nevertheless pretty creepy. In the 1800s, a young girl named Hannah became pregnant. This wasn't exactly acceptable in those days, so when the baby was born, Hannah's mother took the child and drowned it in the river. She then returned to her daughter and told her that the baby had been stillborn. Heartbroken by the news, Hannah died shortly thereafter and was buried near Plattsmouth in a field, though no one knows the exact location of her grave. Legend has it that, at night, you can hear her calling out for her murdered baby as she walks the area with a lantern in hand. It is also said that no snow falls upon the place where her body lies.

There's A Colony Of Albino Cannibals Living In Hummel Park

Let's start by just pointing out that Hummel Park is pretty damn terrifying. There are ghosts, an ancient Indian burial ground, cults, and it has been the site of so many grisly murders that it's surprising they actually built a park there. In fact, it's actually one of the most haunted parks in the United States.

Probably the most bizarre and frightening legend at Hammel Park is one that you're unlikely to find anywhere else. Legend has it that there are, to this day, a group of albinos living together somewhere out in the trees, in a house, or on a farm within the park. In some versions of the legend, they actually live in the trees themselves. That wouldn't be too creepy except that they will supposedly attack and kidnap you, because they are cannibals who feed on the flesh of those who wander the park alone at night. Yes, you read that correctly: albino cannibals hiding in the trees will attack you and eat you. With a legend like that sulking about, it's a shock the park is still so popular!

The Temple Building Is Both Spooky And Musical

The Temple Theater at The University of Nebraska in Lincoln has a long and terrifying history. When it was constructed, a stage hand was killed, and it is said that his ghost, along with those of several others, still frequents the area to this day. For instance, if Macbeth is being performed, a shadowy figure will always appear, and you can sometimes hear tap-dancing on the stage. The prop departments have even reported things being arranged for them, such as dolls or various items needed for a performance. And, most interestingly, if you leave out musical instruments, you'll sometimes hear someone playing them, even if no one is there.

The school now puts on a haunted house there each year. Seems appropriate enough.

The Black Angel Can Predict Your Imminent Death

If you go to Council Bluffs along the border between Iowa and Nebraska, you may come across the beautiful statue of an angel over a fountain. There are several angel statues, but this one is special - as it has a dark legend attached to it. Some say that you can see fire burning in her eyes at midnight, while others say that children who go behind the base of the statue vanish forever. Most distressingly, though, is that if you gaze into her eyes in the dead of night, you will see your early demise. And if she later appears in your dreams, you know that you'll soon be dead.

This angel may be beautiful, but many have likened her to an angel of death. Although she stands right near the border between Iowa and Nebraska, her legend is still whispered between Nebraskans of all ages. 

The Salt Witch Of The Nebraska Plains

There are a few different versions of this legend, but the plot always involves a pillar of salt. One popular rendition says that there was once a chief who lived out in the plains of Nebraska who was so fierce that no one could get close to him except for his wife. When his wife tragically died, he became inconsolable and wandered out on his own. When he returned, he told his tribe that he had come upon an old, crazed woman who was attacking a younger one. He rushed in to help and saw, to his horror, that the younger woman had the face of his dead wife. He attacked the old woman, burying his hatchet into her head. But before he could reach for his wife, the earth opened up and swallowed both of the women. In their place stood a pillar of salt, and nothing more.

For many generations, Native Americans would go and beat the ground near the salt pillar with their clubs to keep her evil from coming to attack them. The ritual is still performed by some people today who still believe the salt witch may return.

The Legend Of Blackbird Hill Will Leave You Screaming

Just north of Decatur is a little place called Blackbird Hill. It's said that there was once a young woman who had been madly in love with a man, but he went to travel and never returned. Heartbroken, she married another man and moved with him to live on Blackbird Hill. One day, she was shocked to see her long-lost love walking up to her cabin. He had been shipwrecked while traveling and had only just managed to get back to the states. The two quickly realized that they still loved each other, and the woman pledged to leave her husband and to reunite with her lost love. 

Her husband, however, wasn't too keen on this idea. And rather than lose her, the husband attacked her, grabbed her, and ran with her to a cliff at the top of the hill. The lover had just enough time to see his love and her husband falling over the side of the cliff to their deaths, with her shrieking all the way down. Now, no plants will grow along the path where the woman was carried, and it is said that, on October 17th in particular, you can still hear her final scream of agony as she plummets eternally from the cliff.

The Hatchet House's Murderous Teacher

When you're young, some teachers can seem downright evil, but there was once a teacher in Nebraska who probably really was. The story tells that, one day in the early 1900s, an otherwise kindly school teacher at Portal School 22 finally snapped - she took up an axe and killed every last one of her students. She then cut out their hearts, went to a nearby bridge, and threw them over the edge. One legend says that she also cut off their heads and placed them inside each of their desks before finally killing herself.

Now this school is often referred to as the "Hatchet House" and the bridge nearby is known as Heartbeat Bridge - if you listen carefully, you may still hear the beating hearts of the murdered school children.

Wilderness Park Still Shows Evidence Of A Grisly Sabotage

This is another story that's based in horrifying truth. On August 10th, 1894, a train moved down the Rock Island railroad line, full of passengers and cargo. As it reached a trestle, the track suddenly seemed to crumble, and the train plummeted 40 feet down to the ground before being engulfed in fire. At least eleven people died, and many more were injured. That alone is pretty devastating, but it was quickly discovered that the rails had in fact been sabotaged. Spikes had been pulled out and a crowbar had been used, all with the intent of derailing the train. It was the largest mass murder Nebraska had ever seen, and while an arrest was made, no one ever found out who truly did it.

The site is now home to Wilderness Park, and some say that you can still hear the wrenching scream of metal and the crash of the train echoing in the park at night. You may also hear yourself being followed by the footsteps of those who lost their lives in the horrible sabotage. And if you look, you'll find that many parts of the old railway still remain.

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 07:41:17 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/nebraska-creepy-stories-legends/laura-allan
<![CDATA[Pictures of Benito Mussolini Like You've Never Seen Him Before]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/benito-mussolini-photos/rylee_en

Il Duce, otherwise known as Benito Mussolini, ruled Italy as an iron-fisted National Fascist Party Prime Minister from 1922-1943. In most of the images of Benito Mussolini that you typically see, Il Duce appears scowling and rotund, jovial only when he is lifting fascist youth into the air or hanging out with his Axis Power-wielding bro Adolf Hitler.

Certainly, you can't escape a roundup of pictures of Mussolini without him rocking some of his favorite power stances or speaking to large crowds of fascist supporters in Rome, but there are some less-circulated photos of Il Duce doing things that regular, non-dictatorial people might do, like skiing with his son and riding his favorite motorcycle. For some photos of Mussolini like you've never seen him before, you've come to the right place.

Pictures of Benito Mussolini Like You've Never Seen Him Before,

Looking Consternated During The Fascist March On Rome, 1922

Styling On His Favorite Motorbike

Parading Through Rome With Other Fascist Leaders In 1922

Hanging Out With Hitler's Right-Hand-Man, Joachim von Ribbentrop

Escaping Italy's Invasion By The Allies In A German Aeroplane, 1943

Speaking In His 'Characteristic Pose' To A Crowd In 1934

Riding Around Munich Germany With Adolf Hitler In 1941

Getting Cheered On By A Crowd In Turin

Reading At His Desk In Rome, Italy, 1931

Skiing With His Son Romano In 1945

Fri, 26 May 2017 07:46:14 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/benito-mussolini-photos/rylee_en
<![CDATA[Surprisingly Dark Anime You Never Really Noticed Are Bleak AF]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/surprisingly-dark-anime/anna-lindwasser

There's a lot of surprisingly dark and scary anime out there. And it's not just the straight-up horror shows - sometimes, you don't realize the seemingly happy-go-lucky world of a series actually has horrifying implications. For example, you may not have noticed how existentially terrifying Free! is because you were too distracted by the fan service. Yu-Gi-Oh! can get so convoluted that it never occurred to you that the characters have descended into Hell halfway through the card game. 

There are also some genuinely cheerful anime with super dark undertones. Gintama is mostly hilarious, but not so much once you get to the war part. Yuri!!! on Ice is a genuinely heartwarming show, if you glaze over the whole fat-shaming thing in the first few episodes. Fair warning: once you realize that your favorite series is a secretly depressing anime, you'll never look at it the same way again. Check out this list of anime and vote up the ones that are shockingly much more somber and dark than you remember.  

Surprisingly Dark Anime You Never Really Noticed Are Bleak AF,

Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z is a fun, colorful show that vacillates between bad*ss action sequences, jokes at Krillin's expense, and the occasional heartwarming scene. Because you were probably a little kid when you first saw it, you may not realize that there are a couple things about the DBZ universe that are just plain creepy.

For instance, everyone on the planet dies multiple times. Cell kills thousands, Majin Buu decimates cities, and Kid Buu literally destroys the whole planet. Of course, the Namekian Dragon Balls are used to revive all the people, only to have them all die again when Frieza arrives. But man, if you're an Android and you die, the Dragon Balls can't bring you back, so you just stay dead. 

Princess Tutu

Princess Tutu is a show about the ballerina named Ahiru, who is also a magical girl who doesn't remember that she used to be a duck. Her task is to reunite her classmate, Mytho, with all the shards of his destroyed heart. While the premise is a little jarring, the art, the overall tone, and the forgotten duck form promised a lighthearted, fun magical girl show. 

Well, Princess Tutu slaps you awake and says nope. Instead of cutesy magical powers, you get a slew of depressing situations. There's the soulless Mytho, whose friend, Fakir, is so protective and controlling over him that it makes you want to call a domestic abuse hotline. There's a girl named Rue who was kidnapped by ravens as a child and believes she is a raven. And don't forget the existential crisis about whether the main character is human or duck! Oh, and the cherry on top is a horrifying villain named Drosselmeyer who can literally control his foe's every action. 


The whole Digimon franchise has some seriously messed up concepts in these seemingly cheerful kid shows. The basic premise involves placing massive amounts of pressure on young children. The Digi-Destined (or Chosen Children) are paired with Digimon partners with whom they're expected to save the world from destruction. While it's not unusual for shows geared toward kids to heap that kind of responsibility onto child characters, Digimon takes it to another level.

For example, in Season 1, Tai believes he is responsible for his sister's near death from pneumonia. Why? Because when he was inexplicably tasked with watching her when he was too young to look after himself, the illness she already had got worse. His mother blames him so hard that she actually hits him for it. That guilt follows Tai for years. 

In Digimon Tamers, a young girl named Jeri ends up so depressed from the death of both her mother and her Digimon partner that she begins to believe she deserves to die. She's manipulated by a being called the D-Reaper to believe that all of humanity needs to be eliminated, and suffers a complete mental breakdown. 

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket is an allegedly cheerful shoujo anime about a girl named Tohru who forms a tight bond with the wealthy and mysterious Sohma family. The biggest mystery is that members of the family transform into animals when hugged by a member of the opposite sex. While the series does explore the ways in which the curse limits and isolates those it impacts, there are a lot of truly alarming things that the series glosses over.

For instance, social services doesn't appear to exist in this world. Akito, the family deity at the center of the curse, is extremely abusive. Whether it's whipping his cousin Yuki when they're both children, blinding his cousin Hatori (who is also his doctor) in a fit of rage because he dared to fall in love, or smacking a little girl across the room when he's an adult, Akito gets away with catastrophic physical violence. Somehow, no one outside of the family ever notices that anything is amiss.

Social services also falls down on the job when it comes to protecting minors from sexual predators. Tohru's father was her mother's middle school teacher, Shigure and Ayame are 27-year-old men who are constantly making sexually inappropriate comments about 17-year-olds, and in the manga, Kyo's adoptive father ends up pursuing a relationship with his son's same-aged classmate, Hanajima. Because the series presents these things as either romantic or humorous, you might not have realized how messed up the first time - but if you take a closer look, the world of Fruits Basket is actually pretty nightmarish. 


Yu-Gi-Oh! GX takes place at Duel Academy, a boarding school for would-be duelists. Maybe because of the bright colors and the happy-go-lucky personality of Jaden, the main character, GX is known as the the most light-hearted Yu-Gi-Oh! series.

Guys, it's not really light-hearted. In Season 1, the students are so massively stratified based on their dueling skills that low-performing students live in sheds and eat prison food, while high-performing students live in high-end accommodations and eat like kings. Don't forget that one of the teachers repeatedly tries to kill Jaden, too. Oh, and a bunch of kids are missing. 

Later plot lines involve a terrifying force from space that gives people heart failure and liver disease, childhood memories involving memory erasure, underground cage-fights, and one of the most horrifying stories in any anime ever. In Season 3, Jaden has to rescue his friend Johan from a malevolent spirit by entering a place that looks a lot like Hell. Said malevolent spirit is actually Jaden's girlfriend from a past life, Yubel. Yubel manipulates Jaden into committing genocide against card spirits (who are sentient beings) and murdering most of his high school friends. Everyone comes back to life, but the show ends with Yubel living in his body like a parasite. 


Gintama is largely focused on parody and zany hijinks, so it's easy to forget that many of the characters have been through some serious sh*t. Yes, there's a cop who drinks mayonnaise like it's water, and yes, there's a giant duck named Elizabeth with nefarious goals and hairy human legs. But! There is also the main character, Gintoki, who has major PTSD from being an orphan child digging through corpses for food, being an adolescent fighting the Joei war, and from being forced to choose between killing his teacher and his friends. 

Gintoki isn't the only character with a tragic backstory. The aforementioned mayonnaise guzzling policeman had a love interest who died of tuberculosis. Kagura, Gintoki's employee and informally adopted daughter, has a brother who wants to kill her because she was "weak" enough to beg him not to kill their dad. Oh, and at least five other characters are Joei war veterans. 


Most nerdy pre-teens in the world have seen Naruto, but lots of people don't realize how truly disturbing this show is until they're much older. It's easy to get distracted by bad*ss action sequences, awesome magic, and silly fan service, but you could fill a book with all the things about the Naruto universe that are not just bleak, but downright horrifying.

For example, did you realize the world is populated by child soldiers? Nearly every single character has lost multiple loved ones to war and genocide. And what's with the weird, major theme of eyeball theft?   

Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club

Most people remember Free! for the gorgeous KyoAni animation, the copious fan service, and the fact that Rin has shark teeth for some reason. What people might not remember is how existentially terrifying it could get. Sousuke Yamazaki, the antagonist of Free! Eternal Summer, injures his shoulder in such a way that it might stop him from ever swimming again.

Sousuke intended to make swimming his career, so without that option, he's at a total loss. The series ends with him staring off into the distance, watching the waves lap at the shore. Why is that so scary? Because not only does this imply that a 17-year-old boy's hopes for the future have been totally dashed, the series also featured two deaths and several near-deaths via ocean. The symbolism is chilling.

On the other hand, Haruka Nanase, the main character, ends up becoming an Olympic athlete despite initially hating the idea. Why? Because the only thing that makes him feel human is swimming and doing it professionally is the only way he'll get to spend most of his life in the water. Because he finds social interaction so painful, life in the spotlight as an Olympic athlete would be excruciating. Ironically, he can't escape his obligation to participate in human society, so he can never really be free. 

My Love Story!!

My Love Story!! is a supposedly adorable show about the relationship between two high school students named Takeo and Yamato. Many people find the show to be a combination of heartwarming and hilarious, but there are a few details that put a damper on that sweet, sweet love.

Every girl besides Yamato is shallow, petty, and rude. The show is littered with scenes where Yamato's classmates insult Takeo for his appearance, backstab each other, and just generally behave like mean-girl clones with no personalities of their own. But of course, the exception is Yamato, who Takeo views as a flawless angel. Meanwhile, the boys have varied personalities and are usually pretty nice. According to My Love Story!!, nearly all girls are b*tches and only the prettiest ones can be angels. 

Run-of-the-mill sexism isn't the only dark thing about this bubbly show. The way that Takeo treats his best friend, Sunao, is appalling. Sunao makes it abundantly clear that he has no interest in romantic relationships, but Takeo is constantly trying to set him up against his will and implying that his lack of desire is abnormal and sad. Not only does Takeo refuse to accept the fact that his friend is probably asexual, but he actually forces a kiss on him. It's straight-up sexual assault, but the show treats it like a joke! Apparently, abuse is funny, guys. 

Yuri!!! On Ice

Yuri!!! on Ice is the story about the relationship between two professional ice skaters, Yuuri Katsuki and Victor Nikiforov. It's a genuinely good show with amazing music, breathtaking animation, unforgettable characters, and decent queer representation. Unfortunately, something happens in the first two episodes that casts a dark shadow over an otherwise positive anime.

At the show's opening, Yuuri has put on a lot of weight because of depression-induced overeating. Because he's a professional ice skater, he needs to get back into shape if he wants to continue competing. That's fine and all, until you realize that he is constantly shamed and insulted for his size until he loses it all in Episode 3. Sure, an unruly 15-year-old brat calling him fat might not be that dark, but even his lover-to-be, Victor, is cold and ruthless about his weight. 

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 09:21:30 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/surprisingly-dark-anime/anna-lindwasser
<![CDATA[The Myriad Ways American Dad! Is Far, Far Better Than Family Guy]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/why-american-dad-is-better-than-family-guy/zack-howe

American Dad! vs Family Guy: which is better?” It's a debate that's frankly not held enough. Many have preconceptions about American Dad! couched in their established bias towards Family Guy, and thus won’t even entertain the question. Well, it’s time to cast off that prejudice. Today, we're going to learn why American Dad! is the best.

Most people recognize that each show has its star: Roger and Stewie, respectively. But too often, the rest of the casts are ignored. Peter has grown into a funny character over time, but there really aren’t any other characters on Family Guy who carry much weight. That is most definitely not the case on American Dad!. There are few (if any) lame characters on the show. Roger alone offers more funny personas than the entire cast of Family Guy.

That’s but a taste of what’s to come. Let’s take a News Glance with Genevieve Vavance at the reasons American Dad! is better than Family Guy.

The Myriad Ways American Dad! Is Far, Far Better Than Family Guy,

American Dad!

Most cartoons go through those weird, early stages where the animation is a little off, and the jokes aren't quite right. Of course, that only becomes apparent in retrospect, once the show hits its stride. For Family Guy, that is somewhere in the neighborhood of Season 5, if not as late as Season 8. American Dad! had it figured out by Season 3.

The early seasons almost feel like completely separate shows from what they evolved into. In the early stages of Family Guy, Stewie was the only funny one, mostly because his drive for world domination was unique and novel. Fortunately, he became a more dynamic character before that got stale, and Peter has stepped up his comedy game (although he's really the only other funny one). 

In American Dad!, Stan was just sort of weird and frantic in the beginning, but Steve and Francine were already developing, as was Roger. Stan came along shortly thereafter, and is now one of the funniest characters. The humor in American Dad! isn't really about the insane situations the characters find themselves in, but rather the fact that it's these characters experiencing it. 


Seriously, Roger is amazing. One could make the argument that Roger's characters alone make American Dad! better than Family Guy. Dr. Penguin, Martin Sugar, Chex LeMeneux, Ricky Spanish (hopefully you read that in a sinister whisper), all of them serve to bring variety and hilarity to American Dad!.

Roger is, by default, extremely dynamic, and his characters remain inventive and engrossing, each with a detailed life of their own. His casual sociopathy makes for some fascinating storylines, and there's no doubt he's one of the most unpredictable wild cards on television. 

The Female Characters Actually Matter

Francine and Hayley add value to American Dad!, whereas Lois and Meg feel almost like props (especially Meg). Francine actually does quite a bit of heavy lifting, like in "Killer Vacation," when she gets fed up with Stan working during their getaway and helps him kill his target Goran the Mutilator, so they can get back to the vaca.

Or in "Spelling Bee My Baby," when she ruthlessly drives Steve to beat his paramour Akiko. Hayley has her moments too, like her turn as a soulful singer in Roger's Bar during "Love, American Dad Style." Plus, at least half of Roger's disguises are female and his gender fluidity is a running theme. Meanwhile, Family Guy is so aware of its problems with women, it lets audiences know they can turn out during Meg episodes.

It's Grounded In Character Relationships

In addition to boasting superior, funnier character interplay, American Dad! also has a deeper driving force than Family Guy: the characters' relationships. Stan's fraught relationship with and alienation from his kids (and his shortcomings as a husband) give the show more depth. The character relationships matter.

Not ony that, but they often drive the narrative. Sure, this happens with Brian and Stewie, but those episodes are less organic. They just exist to exist. There really isn't another meaningful dynamic between characters in the show. American Dad! has plenty. And without Stan's disapproval of Steve, we wouldn't have Stelio Kontos or his badass theme song. That would be a tragedy beyond measure.

There's An Incredibly Deep Bench Of Well-Developed Characters Who Can Carry An Episode

A Meg episode, or a Chris episode, or a Brian episode — pretty much anything that isn't a Peter or Stewie episode makes you want to turn the channel. That really doesn't happen in American Dad!. Even if the subject character of a particular episode is less interesting (like Jeff, for instance, who has always felt a little flat), the storyline and interplay between that character and others is almost always great. There are some incredibly memorable moments from "Joint Custody," in which Jeff's dad frames him for his own drug dealing operation. Night Ranger, man. Night Ranger.

The Peripheral Humor Is Top Notch

In Family Guy, the humor flows almost exclusively from cheap cutaway gags that have nothing to do with the plot, or the characters on the show. In American Dad!, the world is more robust, allowing for great humor from external sources.

Whether it's the insane Principal Lewis yelling, "Oh sh*t!" as he witnesses a kid get eaten by a werewolf janitor, or a child reporter in his innocent voice proclaiming, "I stepped on a eye," the ancillary humor is just gold. It never misses the mark, and the same cannot be said for Family Guy.

There Are Really No Bad Character Pairings

When you think of memorable character pairings in Family Guy, you probably go immediately to Brian and Stewie, and that's it. In American Dad!, however, there are many examples of dynamic interaction between two characters: Steve and Roger, Francine and Roger, Stan and Roger, Stan and Francine, Haley and Steve, Stan and Jeff, all of them are fascinating to watch (except Klaus, everyone knows he's pointless). There are innumerable instances in which the characters in American Dad! have paired off with uproarious results, but the same can't be said for Family Guy

The Ensemble Works Better Together

The character humor in Family Guy is driven by individuals: Peter is funny, Stewie is funny... end of list. But their humor isn't really interactive. Sure, Brian and Stewie pair off, but it's not really their companionship that generates the humor (at least, not in most cases). It's the "inherent" humor of a talking dog hanging out with a talking baby. 

However, the interactions of all the characters in American Dad! is its strength, and it's not just Wheels and the Legman. The Smith family have a number of zany adventures together, like the Season 3 episode, "The Vacation Goo," in which the entire episode revolves around the familial relationship, making for dynamic interplay between all of the main cast. Everyone feels real, even if they're ridiculous, and the history of their relationships inform the comedy. 

There Is Less Reliance On Shock Value

Much of Family Guy's humor is couched in outrageously offensive jokes, which has its merits, but American Dad! is not as one-note. While American Dad! certainly has its risqué moments, they aren't inherently offensive so much as they are blush-inducing. The humor of American Dad! is often more nuanced and intelligent, like Stan's father issues or Steve's... also father issues. American Dad! gets its laughs from a place of pathos, rather than trying to shock viewers with the most offensive thing it can think of. 

Family Guy Became Predictable And Formulaic, American Dad! Continues To Innovate

Family Guy almost always plays out the same. Some outlandish shenanigans ensue, and they somehow lead to a tangentially related A-plot. For example, in "Airport '07," Peter siphons gas out of Quagmire's plane to make his pickup fly truck, causing Quagmire to get fired. The rest of the episode revolves around the guys trying to win Quagmire's job back.

While American Dad! occasionally is structured this way, it's also never afraid to experiment structurally and formally. And in fact, there are full episodes that seem to exist in alternate realities, like "Rapture's Delight," which takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and utilizes thematic elements reminiscent of a graphic novel. It's unique and wholly different, but still engaging and, most importantly, funny. That's what happens when you have well-rounded characters that serve as more than joke machines.  

Tue, 09 May 2017 08:55:56 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/why-american-dad-is-better-than-family-guy/zack-howe
<![CDATA[Eye-Opening Historical Photos Of Japan After World War II]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-japan-after-world-war-two/will-gish

Life in postwar Japan, a period that officially lasted from 1945 to 1952, was a tumultuous proposition, as the country rocketed from a state of complete destruction and defeat to a lively hive of black market activity and nascent organized crime organizations to, finally, a burgeoning global economic powerhouse. The photos on this list, which span 1945 to about 1950, illustrate the meteoric rise of new Japan, and give some indication of what life was like in Japan after World War II. 

Surely you already know some stuff you'll find here - the devastation left in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the atomic bombs, for instance. You'll see what Tokyo looked like after fire bombing raids that destroyed huge portions of the city, and photos of discharged Japanese soldiers on their way home. Among the most historically significant images of Japan after World War II contained herein are those of Hirohito meeting crowds of Japanese citizens, at which point an emperor considered a god by man was humanized by an expression of tremendous humility.

Explore 1940s Japan in all its tragedy and glory; these historical photos of Japan immediately after the devastating loss of World War II lay bare the psychology of defeat by visualizing the complete, brutal destruction of so many cities. Though some of these photos were taken before Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, they do a great job of illustrating what life was like on the ground immediately after the war ended. 

Eye-Opening Historical Photos Of Japan After World War II,

Clearing Rubble From The Streets Of Tokyo, August 14, 1945

A Man Sits In A Buddhist Temple With Boxes Containing The Ashes Of Hiroshima Bomb Victims, September, 1945

A Repatriated Child, August 30, 1946

Allied B-29 Air Raid Damage, Hachioji, August 1, 1945

US Serviceman Photo Of A Japanese Couple Manually Threshing Rise, 1949

Note the military cap and coat he wears

A Japanese Soldier Tasked With Helping Hundreds Find Adequate Food And Shelter, Circa 1950

A Woman In A New Toyota, 1947

A Repatriated Japanese Soldier Walks Through The Blast Center In Hiroshima, September 1945

American Sgt. Charles Roman Photographs School Boys In Downtown Tokyo, September 1945

Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako Greet A Crowd Of Citizens, Circa 1945

Fri, 26 May 2017 06:40:08 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-japan-after-world-war-two/will-gish
<![CDATA[Slick Pictures Of '50s Greasers Doing '50s Greaser Stuff]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/1950s-greater-photos/mick-jacobs

Thanks to the likes of characters such as Elvis and James Dean, the "greaser" look emerged as a popular look in 1950s America. Featuring slick-backed hair, cuffed jeans, leather jackets, and lots of automobiles, photos of '50s greasers give a glimpse into the trends of the young men of yesterday, some of whom were even famous '50s stars. Associated with the rockabilly music genre, greasers may look like punks, but they are responsible for much of the pop culture you consume today. If you pay attention, you may even find the inspiration for later fashion trends like mod and punk in these 1950s greaser photos. These are the gents who led to your favorite greasy protagonist, Danny Zuko, inspiring men everywhere to perhaps try a new hairstyle or actually learn something about their cars. 

Slick Pictures Of '50s Greasers Doing '50s Greaser Stuff,

Marlon Brando And Gang On The Set Of 'The Wild One'

Greasers And Scrubs Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Having A Smoke

Nothing Slicker Than Your Posse

What Greaser Is Complete Without His Motorbike?

James Dean Sizing You Up

Got His Shades And Swag On

Wanna Take A Ride?

Greasy Rockers

Friends Are Forever

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 09:12:52 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/1950s-greater-photos/mick-jacobs
<![CDATA[12 Hilariously Insane Pictures Of How People Smuggled Booze During Prohibition]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/hiding-alcohol-during-prohibition-photos/mick-jacobs

Prohibition proved to be a ridiculous era of American history, and to combat its idiocy, people hid their booze in equally ridiculous, and ingenious, ways. Photos of alcohol hiding places during Prohibition reveal a populace at odds with the law, willing to fight for their right to party. So how did people hide booze under Prohibition? People pulled all types of stunts to get their booze to the buyers, risking arrest, fines, and even jail time to transport their liquid luxury.

Various contraptions were developed to hide booze on a person's own body, while many air and sea vessels hid booze among their cargo. Furthermore, during a time where society viewed women as delicate and fair, many ladies became the perfect rum runners, able to deflect suspicion with their femininity. Many a criminal was born from Prohibition, but so were some brilliant ideas.

12 Hilariously Insane Pictures Of How People Smuggled Booze During Prohibition,

Grandma Ruth And Her Liquor-Smuggling Vehicle. The Car Possessed A False Bottom For Bootlegging.

Boats Selling Booze In Boston

William McCoy Outfitted His Ship, The Tomoka, With A Machine Gun For Her Booze Smuggling Voyages

The Brick Trick

This Hollowed-Out Cane Is For More Than Just One Type Of Support

Torpedoes Laden With Alcohol

A Tried-And-True Method: The Garter Flask

Woman Hides Tins Of Booze Strapped To Her Thighs

A Boozy Bustier

Mexican Drug Smugglers Bringing Bottles Underneath Their Jackets

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:59:39 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/hiding-alcohol-during-prohibition-photos/mick-jacobs
<![CDATA[20 Historical Photos Of Joseph Stalin Kicking It Like He Wasn't A Monster]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/old-pictures-of-joseph-stalin/will-gish

No reason to beat around the borscht: Joseph Stalin was a monster. Sure, with that big mustache, those military uniforms, his rugged handsomeness, and such a commanding presence, he was one of history's great daddies, a patrician master of naughtiness prepared to bend the whole world over his knee and spank the bejesus out of it, despite being a relatively short dude. Yet the Soviet leader's most enduring legacy is that of Joseph Stalin, horrible person extraordinaire. As the historical photos of Joseph Stalin on this list attest, he obviously didn't lose any sleep over sending millions to the gulag or starving tens of millions to death. 

Have you ever wondered what kind of expression a man like Stalin wears when kicking it with Nazis? Wonder no more. That's covered. If you find yourself hankering for historical Stalin photos of him watching parades alongside children like he wasn't one of history's most tyrannical dictators, you're going to love this slideshow. Prepare yourself for a wild pictorial ride through the annals of Soviet history; you'll be amazed how much a guy can smile in the wake of organizing the Great Purge, in which as many as three million people died. 

20 Historical Photos Of Joseph Stalin Kicking It Like He Wasn't A Monster,

Daddy Needs His Pipe To Take The Edge Off The Holodomor Thing

Stalin Clearly Wins The Battle For Sauciest Soviet Patriarch, Though Lenin Does His Best

Lenin: Keep on mugging, you dirty fool. I'll put you over my knee so fast.

Stalin: I wish you would. 

Lenin: Daddy? 


Broseph Wouldn't Be So Chill With Nikita Khrushchev If He Knew About Nicky's Impending De-Stalinization Of The Soviet Union; Or, A Prelude To Betrayal


Tossing Witticisms At Truman Like They're Not About To Beef So Hard Hindus Consider Them Sacred


Officially Naming An Incendiary Cocktail After His Brotégé, Vyacheslav Molotov

"Dag, Voroshilov, You Funny AF."

Sharing an intimate moment with Klim Voroshilov, 1930s.

Yukking It Up With Winnie The Church, American Statesman Averell Harriman, And The Homey Molotov As The World Burns

Summer 1942

"This Is The Most F*cked Threeway Handshake Ever. I Love It. Winnie The Church Is Buckwild. What Happens Postdam... "

July 25, 1945

"Don't Tell Me To Calm Down. I'm Relaxed AF, Just Cooling In My Chair Like Daddy Supreme."


Chillin' And Smoking A Cigarette With Hitler's Foreign Minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop Like Nazis Ain't No Thang

August 1939

Fri, 26 May 2017 04:07:27 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/old-pictures-of-joseph-stalin/will-gish
<![CDATA[Horrifying Facts About Excoriation Disorder, Your Skin's Worst Nightmare]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/what-is-excoriation-disorder/laura-allan

We've all picked at a scab or two before - no big deal, right? Well, what if you simply had to pick at your skin, and not just scabs or hair, but other parts of you - and you just couldn't stop? These are the symptoms of excoriation disorder, a sneaky condition that most people don't even know exists. You may be wondering what excoriation disorder is, and how does someone even get it? Well, fear not, because we're going to explore what excoriation disorder feels like, as well as some of the more terrifying facts about it.

This disorder is actually not all that uncommon and it tends to be more annoying and stressful than life threatening. That being said, that doesn't make it any less serious. Excoriation disorder has destroyed lives, and is often a symptom of a greater problem. What's more is it's incredibly difficult to stop once you start doing it.

Try not to feel too itchy as we explore what having excoriation disorder is like and how it happens. Some of the facts contained here are bound to make you squirm.

Horrifying Facts About Excoriation Disorder, Your Skin's Worst Nightmare,

You'll Be Left With Lumpy Scars

One of the biggest problems with excoriation disorder is that it leaves a very specific type of scar. When you pick off bits of your skin, it leaves open lesions and sores - some that are circular and some that are longer and skinnier. These lesions may heal, but if the person picking their skin keeps coming back to them, then the wound never fully heals and scars begin to develop.

But these aren't just any scars - these scars will begin to protrude from the skin, and are called nodules. These nodules may also have a layer of crust on them, to show where they are continually being irritated, and may turn a different color than the rest of the skin. These scars can develop anywhere on the body, from the face to the hands to the cuticles of fingers. Either way, the scars are definitely noticeable and can be very difficult to get rid of.

Your Going To Feel Phantom Itches

Excoriation disorder often starts with real itching caused by an injury, but even after you've healed, you may still find you're itchier than usual. You may feel the need to scratch itches that have no real cause, over and over again, in one specific place. This also tends to happen more often when you're really stressed out, which is when most people start to scratch their faces and head.

On top of this, you may start to feel a compelling urge - that could be called an "itch." Then, when you do scratch it, there's emotional relief or pleasure, just like if you had scratched an itch caused by dry skin. This is similar to the itching sensation an addict feels when they crave drugs, and it can be an unquenchable and compelling force. When you start to feel this, then you know that the skin picking has become a serious problem, and it's going to take a lot of work to beat it.

It's More Than Just Picking At A Little Skin

Pretty much everyone picks at their dry skin, sunburns, scabs, or zits - so, does that mean that everyone has a hint of excoriation disorder? Well, not exactly. While it is pretty common - with one in twenty people having it - in order for it to be considered a disorder, some specific conditions have to be met.

First of all, the skin-picking has to be recurrent to the point that there are constantly lesions on your skin, or basically until you're ready to tear yourself open. You must have also tried to stop before and failed, proving that this is more than just a bad habit. The skin-picking must cause you distress, or impairment, in your daily life, as in it has to upset you and make your day-to-day activities more difficult. Lastly, the skin picking cannot be associated with another cause such as a dermatological issue, a medication that makes you itch, or another psychological disorder that messes with your sense of reasoning.

You'll Probably Get Infections

As you might guess, picking at your skin is a great way to irritate your body. In fact, your fingernails are great harborers of bacteria that can be harmful if it gets into your blood, so skin pickers often have to contend with infections. This is especially true for those who bite their skin off, because the human mouth is full of germs that can irritate and infect a wound. The unfortunate part of this is that infected wounds often scar more easily, meaning that nodules are more likely to form. Infected wounds also take way longer to heal which means more scab-picking time, potentially making the disorder even worse.

To top it all off, infections can lead to fevers in extreme cases, and can cause other health problems if left untreated, so this is one way that excoriation disorder can really mess with your health.

It Can Start At Any Age

When it comes to disorders such as this one, there tends to be a specific age range where it begins. However, in this case, there is a period of time when it's more likely to pop up, but you can actually begin developing excoriation disorder at any age. It may happen after an injury or at a time of serious stress. Most people develop it in adolescence - which makes sense because who isn't stressed during puberty and high school - and acne is often a gateway to picking up the habit of picking at your skin. The disorder can also wax and wane over time, getting better or worse depending on the situation or period of life. It has even been known to go dormant for a time before popping back up later in life.

It May Be Linked To Trauma

So, why does someone suddenly start picking at their skin anyway? In some cases it may have to do with past traumas or extremely stressful experiences. Victims of abuse are more likely to develop excoriation disorder, as well as those who have PTSD. Because of this, there may be a link between psychological trauma and this particular disorder.

On a similar note, some people begin experiencing this disorder after a serious injury. It may start with just picking at the scab, but because major injuries can take a while to heal, people have plenty of time to really make a habit out of it. The scratching also deepens the wound, which leads to more itching, creating a cycle of constantly re-injuring the wound.

It Happens Most Often To Women

Unfortunately, women are much more likely to develop this disorder than men. No one is entirely sure why women have this problem more often, but the statistics are pretty telling. Of the roughly five percent of people afflicted with this condition, seventy five percent of them are women! Combine that with the fact that people tend to develop it when they're young, and this means that if you're a girl and you're going to be a skin picker, it's most likely going to happen when you're an adolescent. The timing couldn't be much worse.

Some People Destroy Their Bodies Because Of It

Speaking of serious health issues, it's worth noting that most excoriation experiences are minor (though problematic), or are focused on one specific part of the body. But there are also extreme cases, and those are the ones where things get really nasty.

Specifically for those who pick at their faces, the disfiguration their itching causes can be permanent. They can end up with patchy and discolored skin, a lumpy appearance, and chronic wounds all over. People who suffer from this may also try to hide their faces, or go to extreme lengths to hide the problem altogether, leading to secrecy, stress, and strained personal relationships. Some people also pick at their entire body, which means that their skin never really gets to heal entirely, and they're just about always suffering from an infection. In extreme cases such as these, surgery may be required in order to fix the damage, which can be too expensive for many people to afford.

It Tends To Be Associated With OCD

Just because this disorder cannot be caused by another psychological condition, that doesn't mean it doesn't often go hand-in-hand with one. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves the repetition of an activity, thought, or behavior over and over... and over again without being able to stop. That might mean having certain rituals that must be completed upon leaving the house, needing items to be arranged in a certain way, or that things simply must be really clean. Just like OCD, excoriation disorder involves a repeated behavior - picking at your own skin.

People who happen to have OCD may be more susceptible to Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior, of BFRB. Excoriation disorder is more well-known as a type of BFRB, so it stands to reason that the two tend to go together. In some cases, excoriation disorder is even classified as a type of OCD.

You Could Use Your Fingernails Or Tools

When imagining skin picking, you probably think of someone using their fingernails to scratch away at their arms or face. And while that is common, people also use tools like tweezers, scissors, knives, and other sharp instruments to remove skin and scabs, sometimes to the point where they bleed. While this can actually be slightly more hygienic in some cases (your nails can be dirty!), it can also be more damaging and dangerous to the skin, as well as more painful. In some cases, people even use their teeth to bite off skin, especially around the cuticles of the fingers. Afterwards many people eat the skin that they have removed from their body.

Mon, 02 Jan 2017 05:34:24 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/what-is-excoriation-disorder/laura-allan
<![CDATA[20 Photos From The March On Washington You've Definitely Never Seen Before]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/march-on-washington-photos/sarah-hatheway

On August 28, 1963, thousands of protestors made their voices heard. A crowd of over 200,000 people gathered in Washington D.C., demanding equality and social justice in the United States. Through the event, civil rights leaders and religious groups aimed to shed light on the struggles of the black community. Pictures of the March on Washington - formally known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom - transport you right back to a critical point in the country's history.

It's remarkable to note how modern these March on Washington photos appear. They were taken decades ago, but the concerns voiced by protestors are as relevant as ever. Scan these images, and you'll see protestors playing guitar, joining hands, and proudly sporting the American flag. You'll notice familiar faces, too - Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the march, and civil rights activists Bayard Rustin and Cleveland Robinson appear as well.

These photos of the 1963 March on Washington capture a significant moment in time, and remind viewers just how far the country still has to go.

20 Photos From The March On Washington You've Definitely Never Seen Before,

No U.S. Dough To Help Jim Crow Grow

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Crowd Gathers

Integrate Schools Now!

Aerial View Of The March

Bayard Rustin And Cleveland Robinson

On The Washington Monument Grounds

A Patriotic Protestor

Protestors Playing Guitar

By The Reflecting Pool

Fri, 26 May 2017 05:29:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/march-on-washington-photos/sarah-hatheway
<![CDATA[All The DC Heroes And Villains Who Tap Into The Speed Force]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/dc-characters-who-use-speed-force/brent-sprecher

The heroes and villains of the DC Universe derive their powers from many mysterious forces, from the Quantum Field that fuels Captain Atom, to the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum that powers the Green Lantern Corps. But the Speed Force that imbues DC speedsters with their amazing abilities is one of the most mysterious – and arguably the most powerful – forces in the DC universe. If you've ever wondered, "Why is the Flash so fast?", the answer is the Speed Force.

The Speed Force is an extra-dimensional energy source that grants users incredible powers, most notably the ability to run at fantastic speeds. But it's also an energy realm, through which those who use the Speed Force can travel, and to which they will return to upon death. It's sort of like a speed-based version of heaven. So let's discover all of the DC heroes and villains who use the Speed Force, and learn about the myriad powers the Force provides. 

All The DC Heroes And Villains Who Tap Into The Speed Force,

Bart Allen

A descendant of the Allens born in the 30th century, Bart was born with super speed, but suffered from a hyper-accelerated metabolism that could cause him to grow old and die before his time. When their technology failed to help him, Bart was sent into the past in the hopes that the Flash at the time, Wally West, would be able to find a solution to his problem. Wally pushed Bart to use his powers to the limit of his abilities, and this helped "shock" his metabolism back to normal.

Bart first suited up as Impulse, but he also donned the mantle of the second Kid Flash, and the fourth Flash. In the New 52 timeline, Bart is Kid Flash, but he is not related to the Allens nor connected to the Speed Force. He's actually a terrorist from the future named Bar Torr, and he has not been seen since Rebirth. His powers include a super speed that is beyond most speedsters, super agility, super stamina, super reflexes, accelerated healing, the ability to create air vortices, and the ability to lend and borrow Speed Force energy.

Black Flash

A physical manifestation of Death itself, the Black Flash's mission seems to serve as a psychopomp, guiding speedsters to their death by dragging them into the Speed Force. The Black Flash appeared when Barry Allen and Johnny Quick died, and has tried to claim Wally West on several occasions. Wally defeated Black Flash by racing him to the end of time, where death no longer had any meaning.

In addition to standard Speed Force powers like super speed, super stamina, and super agility, Black Flash can turn intangible by vibrating his body at different frequencies, can stop time at will for all but those who are tapped into the Speed Force, can kill a person with a touch, and is seemingly immortal.

Max Mercury

Born in the early 19th century, Max Mercury became the first ever speedster to tap into the Speed Force, when a dying Shaman of the Blackfoot Clan drew a lightning bolt on his chest with a pink substance. Max devoted himself to protecting the native people and became known as Ahwehota, the Windrunner. Max was called by the Speed Force and attempted to enter it numerous times, which propelled him further and further into the future until he arrived in present day.

In the present, Max became "The Zen Guru of Speed," and a mentor to the Flash (Wally West) and, later, to Impulse (Bart Allen). Max possesses the Speed Force-imbued powers of most speedsters (super speed, super reflexes, super stamina, super durability, accelerated healing, and a protective Speed Force aura), as well as enhanced senses, the ability to turn intangible by vibrating the molecules of his body, vortex creation, and an empathic ability to sense when another speedster is in trouble and travel to their location.

Professor Zoom

Genetically engineered in the 25th Century, Eobard Thawne became obsessed with the Flash and the Speed Force. His mind was so consumed, every time Eobard was blocked from pursuing his interests, his future self came back in time to surreptitiously kill those who got in his younger self's way, even his own parents.

Eobard was appointed professor of the Flash Museum, and earned the nickname "Professor Zoom" because of his obsession with the Speed Force. He so loved the heroic age of the 20th century, he got plastic surgery to look like Barry Allen and used the Flash's old Cosmic Treadmill to travel back in time to meet his idol.

Eobard miscalculated his destination in time, and arrived after Barry Allen had died in the Crisis on Infinite EarthsWally West serving as the current Flash. Despondent, he went to the Flash Museum, where he found out he was destined to become the Reverse-Flash, the Flash's greatest villain. Eobard has lived up to his destiny by becoming the nemesis of not only the Flash, but all of those who tap into the Speed Force. He made it his mission to erase Barry Allen from history, and establish himself as the one true Flash.

His powers include super speed, super reflexes, super stamina, super durability, accelerated healing, Speed Force negation, time travel, age metamorphosis, and the ability to tell when someone is from a parallel Earth. He also has the power to send victims into his Negative Speed Force dimension.


When a former Cold War Eastern Bloc military pilot was infused with the Speed Force after his experimental jet was hit by lightning, he believed he was specially chosen to receive the powers and became Savitar, named after the Hindu sun god. Savitar dedicated his life to unlocking the mysteries of the Speed Force, and became the leader of a cult of followers called the Thunderbolt Agents. Savitar led a campaign against the world's speedsters to sever their connection to the Speed Force. Understandably, this led him into conflict with the Flash, Impulse, and others.

Savitar was trapped in the Speed Force at one point, but he died after an encounter with a resurrected Barry Allen. In addition to the Speed Force-imbued powers of most speedsters, Savitar can turn intangible by vibrating his molecules at super speed, create air vortices, absorb the Speed Force from others, generate electrical Speed Force energy, and share his powers with others.

Wally West

As a child, Wally West idolized the Flash and was even the president (and only member) of the Blue Valley Flash Fan Club. Wally was such a big fan of the Flash that his Aunt Iris – who happened to be dating Barry Allen at the time – set up a meeting with the boy and his idol at Barry's lab. Lightning, as it does in comic books, struck twice, this time hitting Wally and dousing him with the same chemicals that doused Barry. Wally developed powers just like his idol, and learned at his side as Kid Flash.

In his role as Kid Flash, Wally became a founding member of the Teen Titans. Following the death of Barry Allen during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally took up the mantle of the Flash until he was seemingly killed during Zero Hour. In Rebirth, now going by the name Wallace West, he continues to work as the Flash, but in a distinctive silver-and-red costume.

Wally has many of the same abilities as Barry – super speed, super reflexes, super stamina, super agility, accelerated healing, a Speed Force aura – but he also has the ability to project electricity from his hands and make solid energy constructs, similar to the constructs created by Green Lanterns. Wally also has the power to "steal speed" from anyone or anything that is moving.

Johnny Quick

One of the first speedsters to use the Speed Force didn't even realize he was tapping into it until just before his death. Johnny Chambers, born in the early 1900s on an alternate Earth called Earth-Two, was an advanced mathematics student who discovered a mathematical formula that granted him superhuman abilities when he chanted it: 3x2(9YZ)4A. Chambers modeled himself after Earth-One's speedster hero, the Flash, and became Johnny Quick.

For half a century (his abilities decelerated the aging process), Chambers believed the formula was tapping into a "fourth dimension," but during a battle with the speedster villain Savitar, he realized that the higher dimension was actually the Speed Force, and that his abilities had been prevented from developing because of his belief his formula had limitations. He discovered this just in time to save the life of his daughter, but it cost him his own life. Johnny's powers included super speed (he could run up to half the speed of light), super agility, super stamina, super reflexes, a protective aura, accelerated healing, prolonged life, and (for some reason) the ability to fly.

Barry Allen

Though he was not the first hero to bear the moniker of the Flash, Barry Allen is the most famous speedster to go by that name. While working as a forensic scientist in his hometown of Central City, Barry was accidentally doused with a combination of chemicals and struck by lightning. Instead of dying, he was granted superhuman speed and became the Flash, in tribute to his childhood idol, the original Flash (Jay Garrick).

In addition to being "the fastest man alive," Barry possesses a whole host of speed-related abilities including: accelerated healing, accelerated thinking, enhanced senses, a protective Speed Force aura, super stamina, super agility, super reflexes, molecule vibration which allows him to pass through solid matter, and time travel.

It was later revealed (via a bit of retconning) that Barry is actually the originator of the Speed Force, and that he generates the kinetic energy it's comprised of with every step he takes.

Future Flash (Barry Allen)

20 years in the future, Barry Allen is still the Flash, but his methods have changed. Blaming himself for Wally West's death, Barry decides to use his abilities to kill his enemies, in an effort to gain enough speed power to travel back in time and prevent his mistakes. During his journey to the past, he kills Grodd, Mirror Master, Captain Cold, and Reverse-Flash (Danny West).

Finally, Future Flash arrives 20 years in the past and battles both his younger self and Wally West, defeating them soundly. In addition to standard Speed Force powers like super speed, super agility, super stamina, super reflexes, and accelerated healing, Future Flash can create solid energy constructs, fly, phase through solid objects, share and steal Speed Force energy, and deliver a super-massive Speed Force punch.

Fast Track (Meena Dhawan)

Dr. Meena Dhawan was an employee at the Science and Technology Advanced Research Laboratories (S.T.A.R.) Labs when she was hit by the "Speed Force storm" in Central City. Granted powers by the experience, she donned a costume and joined the Flash as Fast Track, helping him train young speedsters to use their powers. After she was seemingly killed by Godspeed, she returned as an evil agent of Black Hole.

Dhawan has typical Speed Force-imbued powers – super speed, super agility, super stamina, and a Speed Force aura – but has the added abilities of lightning projection, molecule phasing, vortex creation, Speed Force sense, Speed Force theft, and super perception, which allows her to process the world rapidly while running at super speed.

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:21:57 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/dc-characters-who-use-speed-force/brent-sprecher
<![CDATA[The World's Smallest Horse Is Named Einstein And He's So Cute It Hurts]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/worlds-smallest-horse-einstein/katejacobson

Sometimes, the world gives you a gift you didn't even know you needed – as is the case with a tiny horse named Einstein. This adorable miniature horse is a bundle of energy, and yet, when he was born, he was only six pounds and 14 inches tall. Since then, he's grown a little bit – but not enough to catch up to his mom or dad. 

Einstein the mini horse is technically not the smallest horse in the world, but he is the smallest proportional horse. A dwarf horse named Thumbelina holds the technical title of smallest horse. But Einstein is still really, really tiny. He was born in New Hampshire to two other miniature horses, and, much to his owner's surprise, he was even tinier than he was supposed to be. However, despite his short stature, he's made a big name for himself. He's been featured in magazines, on TV shows, and even has his own book about all the cute friends he lives with. Take a deep breath and prepare yourself for a cuteness overload – because Einstein is literally one of the cutest things we've ever seen. 

The World's Smallest Horse Is Named Einstein And He's So Cute It Hurts,

He's Got His Own Book

As if he wasn't cute enough in person, he's got his own adorable book called A Friend for Einstein, the Smallest Stallion. His owners – Dr. Rachel Wagner and Charlie Cantrell – co-authored the book about Einstein and his animal friends, which include a boxer named Lilly, a tortoise named Saratuga, and two dwarf Nigerian goats named Eleanor and Isabelle. Awww!!! 

Einstein's Parents Are Both Champion Miniature Horses

Einstein was born in 2010 at Tiz A Miniature Horse Farm in Barnstead, NH, owned by Judy Smith. His two parents were two champion miniature horses at the farm, but they were average size for their breed. Typically, newborn miniature foals weigh about 16 pounds when they are born and measure at 15 to 22 inches tall. Adults stand between 34 to 38 inches. But even after Einstein reached maturation, he was still only the size of a baby. 

Is He A Dwarf Horse Or A Miniature Horse?

Believe it or not, there is a distinction between the two. All miniature horses are born with some genetic signs of dwarfism, but not all minis actually display traits of dwarfism (or are affected by it). These genetic markers also occur in large horses, too, but they are much more common in miniature horses. What determines whether a horse has dwarfism is whether they have the characteristics of it. Specifically, if a horse's head is disproportionate to its body, then it demonstrates dwarfism. Einstein shows no signs of being a dwarf horse, as he is perfectly proportionate.

Fri, 26 May 2017 04:05:52 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/worlds-smallest-horse-einstein/katejacobson
<![CDATA[27 Rare Audrey Hepburn Photos]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-audrey-hepburn-photos/sarah-hatheway

Audrey Hepburn is one of the most beloved actresses of all time. She rose to prominence in classic romantic comedies, imbuing films like Sabrina, Funny Face, and Roman Holiday with a unique charm. These rare Audrey Hepburn photos give you a glimpse into her life and career.

Despite her glamorous appearance, Hepburn's life wasn't always easy. Born in Belgium on May 4, 1929, she moved often as a child. She weathered the events of World War II, and after a brief stint in the ballet world, came to the United States in 1951. Hepburn made her American debut in the Broadway play Gigi, and Hollywood soon came knocking.

These photographs of Audrey Hepburn trace her years in film, and show behind-the-scenes looks at the productions of some of her most famous movies. From costars and romantic partners to studio portraits, these pictures of Audrey Hepburn show them all.

27 Rare Audrey Hepburn Photos,

An Outtake From Breakfast At Tiffany's

Posing At Kew Gardens

With Billy Wilder In 1953

With A Parasol

With Hubert De Givenchy

With Her Signature Cigarette Holder

On Set With Gary Cooper

In Character As Holly Golightly

With A Yorkie

Posing For Promotional Shots

Fri, 26 May 2017 03:07:28 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-audrey-hepburn-photos/sarah-hatheway
<![CDATA[Things Most Fans Don't Know About Bruce Timm, The Mastermind Of The DC Animated Universe]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/surprising-bruce-timm-facts/erik-barnes

Bruce Timm has collected a lot of nerd love over the years, given his creation of the critically acclaimed DC Animated Universe. Fans enjoy the simplistic and sleek Bruce Timm art that has both a realistic and dynamic style. He certainly is worthy of all the praise that he has been given, but who is Bruce Timm?

While Timm has many fans due to his creation of DC animated shows such as Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League, there are some obscure facts about him that are unheralded. Did you know he had a hand in creating Pinky and the Brain? Or that he is a self-taught artist? Or that he is known for drawing "naughtier" artwork? Read on for a list of Bruce Timm facts you probably haven't heard before. 

Things Most Fans Don't Know About Bruce Timm, The Mastermind Of The DC Animated Universe,

He Is A Self-Taught Artist

While he admitted to taking some art classes later in life, Timm says in a Wizard Q&A that he taught himself how to draw. He even admits that he "still can't draw perspective to save his life." While he still wishes that he had gone to art school, you cannot deny that he's doing incredibly well as a self-taught artist.

His Batman Was Styled After Space Ghost

When designing The Dark Knight for the lauded Batman: The Animated Series, Bruce Timm was inspired by another iconic cartoon. Timm looked at character models of the 1960s classic Space Ghost cartoon and wanted his Batman to adopt a similar style. If you look at some of the character models side-by-side, you can definitely see a resemblance.

He Made He-Man Mini-Comics

Before making it big in animation, Timm would devote some time to create He-Man miniature comic books that were packaged in with Masters of the Universe action figures. This was one of the first times Timm was paid to write comic book stories. He also contributed to the art, as a few comics credit him as either the inker or the artist.

He Co-Created Harley Quinn

While Paul Dini is usually credited with Harley Quinn's conception by writing the character into an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, it was Bruce Timm who designed the sleek, simple, and iconic look of the character. Paul wrote in Harley's bubbly personality and Timm brilliantly matched that with his drawings of Harley's madcap expressions. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Quinn was originally supposed to be a one-off character for BTAS, but was so well-liked that she was used in multiple episodes.

He Helped Create Freakazoid!

Many fans of the cult show Freakazoid! might not know that the fast-talking, oddball hero was partially an invention of Bruce Timm. Timm helped design the dynamic character and some Freakazoid's main baddies, such as Cave Guy and Cobra Queen. Timm left Freakazoid! early on when the show's direction leaned more toward comedy than action-adventure.

He Loves Art-Deco Architecture

When developing his artistic style, Timm was heavily influenced by art-deco buildings and models. This carried over to all the character models and backgrounds for his shows. When creating Batman: The Animated Series, Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski teamed up to develop "dark deco" in order to give the show a somber, 1930s feel. 

He's Kind Of A Perv

While his work is mostly for children's programming, some of Bruce Timm's art isn't appropriate for kids. Timm enjoys drawing cheesecake centerfolds and nudes of female characters. He actually has a book of erotic drawings of naked ladies published for fans to purchase. 

He's An Eisner-Winning Comic Book Artist

While Bruce Timm is usually praised for his work in animation, he's no slouch in the comic book world. The Batman story he co-created with Paul Dini entitled "Mad Love," won the honorable Einser Award in 1994 for "Best Single Issue." Timm was also nominated for an Eisner that year for "Best Penciller/Inker" for "Mad Love."

He Constantly Battled Censorship

In a Q&A with Wizard, Bruce Timm revealed that he frequently butted heads with the network censors when making Batman: The Animated Series. The network was concerned about many of the show's darker themes and stories, but Timm would reportedly speak about how their stories matched the tone and atmosphere of Tim Burton's Batman film. Given that the censors couldn't argue against it, they usually allowed most of Timm's sophisticated narratives and themes pass through.

He Has Worked On A Great Number Of '80s Cartoon Classics

If you grew up in the 1980s, you have to thank Bruce Timm for his contribution to your childhood memories. Timm worked as an animator and artist for many '80s classic cartoons, such as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, The Real Ghostbusters, and many more. Timm started working for Warner Bros. in 1989 in Tiny Toon Adventures, which eventually landed him his gig as the brain behind Batman: The Animated Series

Mon, 01 May 2017 06:04:01 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/surprising-bruce-timm-facts/erik-barnes
<![CDATA[The Insane Life of the Punk Rocker Who Ate Feces And Beat People Up On Stage]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-gg-allin/harrison-tenpas

Kevin Michael "GG" Allin's enduring rock and roll legacy was built on mythically extreme live performances. As the mercurial frontman for such bands as the Texas Nazis and the Murder Junkies, Allin did things on stage that ranged from disgustingly vile to outright illegal - the latter of which landed him in jail dozens of times.

Sometimes referred to as the "Madman of Manchester," Allin's exploits made him a legend in the world of punk rock, cementing his reputation as a rock star without equal when it came to what he - often quite literally - left on the stage. Allin was not without his controversies, though, having had several run-ins with the law as well as being deemed by some to be a fraud, using shock value to cover up his sub-par music. Nonetheless, the man did some truly out-there things, both on- and off-stage, that will leave you in a state of both awe and revulsion. 

Here are just some of the craziest GG Allin facts and stories.

The Insane Life of the Punk Rocker Who Ate Feces And Beat People Up On Stage,

John Wayne Gacy

At some point during the 1980s, GG Allin struck up a pen-pal relationship with convicted serial murderer John Wayne Gacy. The two eventually became close enough friends that Gacy gladly designed the poster that was used in the documentary about Allin's life, Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies. Gacy's artwork also landed him what is essentially an executive producer credit on the film. Prints of his work were sold at $15 a pop and ended up raising around $12,000, which covered a bulk of the documentary's production costs.

Todd Phillips

The 1993 documentary, Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, provided a unique look into the life of one of rock and roll's most controversial figures. The 52-minute documentary - which actually saw Allin die of an overdose during post-production - was the creation of an NYU student named Todd Phillips. Phillips, who had become enamored with the punk icon and his life story, would eventually go on to direct Hollywood blockbusters like Old School and The Hangover, both taking a decidedly different direction in subject matter.

He Went On Jerry Springer

GG Allin hit up a few talk shows in the early '90s - including one pretty entertaining appearance on Geraldo discussing the topic: "What is art?" But his appearance on the Jerry Springer Show was likely his most notable. Allin, who was flanked by his 17-year-old girlfriend, faced a fierce grilling from Springer about subjects like rape, bestiality, and violence as they pertained to his performances. Allin held his own during the interview, reveling in the attention and thoroughly enjoying the disgusted gasps of the guffawing audience.

His Last Show Ended With A Riot

GG Allin and the Murder Junkies played their final show at the Gas Station in New York, NY, on June 27, 1993. It was not intended to be their final performance by any means, but Allin would end up dying from a heroin overdose just hours after leaving the venue. In a fitting end to the madcap-musician's career, the concert ended in a full-blown riot that saw Allin's crazed fans chasing him through the streets of New York City while he was, of course, fully nude.

He Routinely Defecated On Stage

GG Allin cycled through about a half-dozen bands, at least partially due to his volatile stage antics, which - to put it politely - weren't for everybody. When Allin took to the stage, he wanted to leave a lasting impression - and those who were able to see him live would probably attest that he succeeded in doing so considering that he started straight-up pooping on stage around 1986

Beyond defecation, Allin willingly secreted other bodily fluids (pretty much all of them) on stage quite frequently. He would also strip nude and start fights with members of the audience in an inventive bit of crowd-work.

He Became Intimate With A Banana During A Live Performance

While playing a show with his band, the Murder Junkies, in November of 1991, Allin took things a little too far on stage and was permanently banned by the concert's host, New York University. It seems that during his performance, Allin had taken to calling the students a slew of profane names as well as throwing chairs into the audience, inciting something of a melee. That's certainly reckless behavior in its own right, but the real pièce de résistance came when Allin drew a banana from his pocket and, pants down, inserted it into his rectum.

He Died From A Heroin Overdose

For a man who prided himself on being rock and roll's foremost exhibitionist - the very personification of not-giving-a-f*ck - Allin had a pretty clichéd rock-star death. He was discovered dead on the morning of June 28, 1993, in a friend's New York City apartment, having succumbed to a fatal heroin overdose and was dead at the young age of 36.

He Claimed To Have Been Arrested 52 Times

In an interview conducted shortly before his death in 1993, GG Allin claimed that he had been arrested 52 times for his misdeeds on stage and off. The legitimacy of that number is still up for debate, but he definitely did one lengthy stint behind bars during his time on Earth.

In 1989, Allin was arrested and charged with "assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder" after an incident with a female acquaintance in Ann Arbor, MI. Allin claimed that the event - which included cutting, burning, and consuming blood - was consensual, but he eventually plea bargained down to a felony assault and served about a year-and-a-half in prison.

He Had Always Dreamed Of Killing Himself On Stage

Not surprisingly, GG Allin had ambitions of going out in a blaze of glory. In 1989, the shock-rocker began making his first proclamations that he intended to kill himself on stage, pointing to Halloween 1990 as his farewell show.

Allin ended up being apprehended for assault in Michigan just prior to what would've been his final gig and never ended up following through on his grim promise. After his time in jail, he seemed to walk back the idea of an on-stage suicide, claiming he would only do it "at the height of his powers."

His Real Name Was Literally Jesus Christ

GG Allin was born on August 29, 1956, in Lancaster, NH. He was the second son of Merle Colby Allin and Arleta Gunther - a deeply religious couple who lived in a two-room log cabin with no electricity or running water. The name "GG" actually came from a nickname he received from his older brother, Merle Jr., who had some difficulty pronouncing his given name, Jesus Christ, pronouncing it as "Je-Je."

As it turned out, Merle Sr. had visions that GG was to be the next savior, hence his not-so-subtle name. Throughout GG's early years, his father would become more and more unhinged, at one point even digging the family's graves in the cellar and threatening to carry out a murder-suicide. His mother filed for divorce shortly before GG started school, and legally changed his name to the more nondescript Kevin Michael Allin.

Tue, 02 May 2017 09:59:23 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-gg-allin/harrison-tenpas
<![CDATA[Breathlessly Tragic Tales From The Life Of French New Wave Icon Jean Seberg]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/tragic-jean-seberg-facts/lisa-a-flowers

When it comes to movie stars with tragic lives, Jean Seberg is up there with the most tragic of them all. As these true Jean Seberg stories illustrate, the fate of the Bonjour Tristesse and Breathless actress remains as culturally, and politically, significant today as it was in 1979, the year of her death.

An all-American, small-town Iowa girl, Seberg rose to become one of the biggest French New Wave stars of all time. From her involvement with the Black Panther party to her eventual suicide (which was largely the result of a deliberate smear campaign launched by the FBI), her bio is as legendary as it is troubling. Some details of her death suggest that her tragic demise might have been the result of an actual conspiracy; her associations marked her as a dangerous member of a band of outsiders in the eyes of the authorities. She most certainly become immortal, then died. 

Seberg has a reputation as a politically digressive femme fatale, but the truth is far more complicated. Feast your weary eyes on the items below to uncover tragic Jean Seberg stories and sad Jean Seberg facts that illustrate how insidiously the powers that be sometimes figure in public (and private) lives. 

Breathlessly Tragic Tales From The Life Of French New Wave Icon Jean Seberg,

She Was Surveilled And Harassed By The FBI, CIA, And Other Intelligence Agencies For Years For Supporting The Black Panthers

The FBI's fearsome surveillance, stalking, and harassment of Seberg (under J. Edgar Hoover's COINTELPRO program) is well known; after the actress began publicly supporting the Black Panther party, officials launched a meticulously insidious mission designed to "cause her embarrassment and to cheapen her image with the public."

The smear campaign began with the false rumor that Seberg's child had been fathered by a Black Panther, but didn't end there: as sources confirm, Seberg subsequently "suffered years of politically motivated burglaries, wiretapping, stalking and [...] international surveillance from US military intelligence, US Secret Service, and CIA, among others." 

A week after Seberg's death in 1979, the FBI officially admitted to having targeted her. The bureau's actions were widely denounced in the media.

She Was Set On Fire (Literally) During The Filming Of "Saint Joan"

In 1956, Jean Seberg, an aspiring, unknown 17-year-old actress from Marshalltown, Iowa, was chosen by director Otto Preminger to play Joan of Arc in Saint Joan. The film hit theaters in 1957, when Seberg was only 19.  

While filming the pivotal scene in which Joan is burned at the stake, something happened that many eventually came to see as ominously symbolic. As TCM describes it, Seberg's clothes briefly ignited when some gas canisters shot out flames at the wrong moment. For an instant, she was surrounded by fire; but the blaze was quickly put out, and she suffered no serious injuries. In a brief moment of panic as her costume caught ablaze, Seberg was reputed to have shouted, "I'm burning!"

Seberg's authentic reaction to the authentic event was so gripping Preminger incorporated some of it into the film.

Her Infant Daughter Died, And She Attempted Suicide Regularly Thereafter

In 1969, while shooting a film in Mexico, Seberg became romantically involved with, and was impregnated by, student revolutionary Carlos Ornelas Navarra. The FBI, which had been surveiling Seberg on account of her association with the Black Panther Party, planted a rumor with news agencies that the child had been fathered by a high-ranking Black Panther. The rumor was designed to discredit her support of black nationalism by chalking it up to a crush on a man who had knocked her up.  

Seberg's estranged husband, French diplomat, novelist, and director Romain Gary, told the press the child was his, but the damage was done. Seberg was so upset she went into labor four months early, and her daughter, Nina, died two days after being born.

Seberg was devastated by the loss, and was said thereafter to have attempted suicide annually on the anniversary of her daughter's death.

Her First Two Films Were So Badly Received And Such a Nightmare To Make She Suffered A Nervous Breakdown

Seberg's breakout role (at least in the eyes of the French filmmakers who made her a youth culture icon), came in Bonjour Tristesse, directed by Otto Preminger, who had taken a chance on the actress when he picked her out of 18,000 other unknowns to star in Saint Joan (Bonjour Tristesse was Preminger and Seberg's follow-up to Joan). 

Making and promoting Saint Joan and Bonjour Tristesse was extremely trying for Seberg. Preminger was infamous for being a nightmare to work with, a true old school Hollywood tyrant. What's more, the notoriously press-shy actress hated the attention she got while filming Saint Joan, and was deeply hurt by savage reviews. In 1961, she said,

"I have two memories of Saint Joan. The first was being burned at the stake in the picture. The second was being burned at the stake by the critics. The latter hurt more. I was scared like a rabbit and it showed on the screen. It was not a good experience at all. I started where most actresses end up."

Bonjour Tristesse was similarly loathed by Americans, who hated Seberg's performance. Despite the negative press, the film (which has since been reappraised and has grown considerably in reputation) brought Seberg to the attention of legendary director Jean-Luc Godard, who at the time was neither legendary nor well known. Godard met Seberg through her French husband, director Francois Moreuil, and the rest is history.

Before being cast by Godard and becoming one of the most well-known faces of the French New Wave, Seberg checked into a mental health clinic. As she described in a post-Breathless interview for French TV, at 21 years old, she had suffered three years of exhaustion, constant press attention, savage attacks from film critics, periods of extensive isolation and separation from her family, and a divorce. 

For Godard and his peers in the French New Wave, there was no substitute for Seberg. His close friend, Francois Truffaut, once called all-American Seberg "the best actress in Europe." Truffaut tried to cast Seberg in Day for Night, released in 1973, but, for reasons still unknown, was unable to get in touch with her.

Godard explained his reasons for casting Seberg in Breathless: "The character [she played in Breathless] was a continuation of her role in Bonjour Tristesse. I could have taken the last shot of Preminger's film and started after dissolving to a title: 'Three years later.'"

After Repeated Failed Suicide Attempts, She Successfully Overdosed On Barbiturates And Alcohol At Age 40

In the aftermath of her daughter's death, and in light of the FBI's continued harassment, Seberg's mental health steadily deteriorated, and she attempted suicide several times. On August 30, 1979, she disappeared. Her then-husband, Ahmed Hasni, claimed that he went to bed with her after they saw a movie together, and woke up to find her gone. 

Seberg was found dead nine days later, her body wrapped in a blanket in the backseat of her car in Paris. A bottle of pills, an empty water bottle, and a note were found with her; the latter was said to be addressed to her son, and read, "Forgive me. I can no longer live with my nerves." She was buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris.

Though Her Death Was Ruled A Suicide, Authorities Point To Suspicious Circumstances

Though Seberg's suicide was publicized as inevitable, given her history of depression, many investigators thought otherwise. In 1980, a year after her death, charges were filed against "persons unknown"; police hypothesized someone had been present at the scene of her death, and had refused to act on her behalf to save her.

These conjectures were based on the amount of alcohol in Seberg's blood, which investigators claimed was enough to have made her comatose and incapable of even getting into her car, let alone driving it. Police didn't find liquor bottles in or around the vehicle, which implied that she'd either consumed alcohol before (somehow) driving, or that someone had taken away the evidence after the event.. 

Suspicion fell on Jean's "consort before her death," actor Ahmed Hasni (who was actually her husband). Hasni was reputed to have abused her; he also apparently "completely disappeared" after selling off her apartment, memorabilia, and worldly goods. Seberg's ex-husband, Romain Gary, also denounced the FBI in "an anguished press conference" shortly after his ex-wife's death, and insinuated their meddling might have had something concrete to do with what happened.

It's possible that the world will never know what happened to Seberg during those nine days.

She Donated Large Sums Of Money To The Black Panther Party

During the heyday of the Black Panther movement, Jean Seberg became involved with Hakim Jamal, a cousin of Malcolm X's who was killed (apparently over a political disagreement within the movement) in the early '70s. Some say Jamal was the catalyst for Seberg becoming involved with the Black Panthers, though her biography makes it clear that social justice issues had always been close to her heart. Reports of the affair differ widely, but most sources agree Jamal's wife called Seberg's father and asked him to try to convince her to end the affair. 

Over the course of the affair, the FBI estimated Seberg gave $10,500 (about $62,000 in 2017) to the party, mostly in large checks. Sources close to Seberg dispute the veracity of the FBI's claim and suggest the bureau's evidence was fabricated, if only because of the mention of checks; the actress had a clandestine process for donating to the Party, which she did only in cash, and through intermediaries.

Black Panther Elaine Brown recalls Seberg's donation process:

"Jean had given us quite a bit of money by then. She gave it in incremental amounts, several thousand dollars at a time. Our arrangement was that she would telephone Masai or me when she had a contribution to make. She would simply leave a message that she had called. An envelope of cash would then be delivered to my mother’s house for one of us to pick up. She used a pseudonym when she called, 'Aretha,' after the Queen of Soul. The three of us had laughed in deciding on that name. Jean felt if she was known as a major contributor to the party, she would not get work in Hollywood, and would not, in turn, have the resources to continue. It was logical."

She Had An Affair With A Black Panther Leader, So The FBI Pursued A Smear Campaign Against Her

After her affair with Hakim Jamal, Seberg allegedly became romantically involved with another Black Panther, Raymond "Masai" Hewitt. This relationship was said to have put her under increased scrutiny by the FBI. (It obviously did, as it led to officials deciding to fabricate the rumor that would eventually lead to her undoing).

Hewitt, the Minister of Education for the Panther party, had long been a target of the FBI's COINTELPRO program, and his involvement with Seberg was the perfect opportunity for the bureau to up the ante on its smear campaign.

She Ran Guns For The Black Panthers And Was Committed To Systemic Radicalization In America

Seberg's involvement in the Black Panther party was more than ideological: she was said to have been arrested for running guns for the movement, and, according to Elaine Brown, the only female leader of the Black Panther party, she regularly gave large sums of money to the organization. Seberg was eventually "unofficially blacklisted" from Hollywood, along with Jane Fonda and other left-leaning stars of the era.

Brown describes Seberg and her commitment to the cause at length:

"There was nothing at all radically chic about Jean Seberg. From the moment Masai and I entered her rented house in Beverly Hills, I felt her genuineness and decency. She was expressive, like a little girl, excitedly interested in our programs. Transplanted from an all-white, all-American youth in Iowa, she really wanted to know about black people, about the nature of our oppression and the price of our freedom.

She had supported other efforts of blacks in the past: the NAACP—surprisingly, when she was a teenager in Iowa; and, more recently, the school and other social programs of a flashy, independent Muslim named Hakim Jamal (whom Masai knew). She had come to the realization, she told us, that black people could never be treated fairly or justly unless entire systems in America were revolutionized. She wanted to support such an effort."

Her Ex-Husband, Heartbroken And Depressed, Committed Suicide Not Long After She Did

In an act that cast even more darkness on the tragedy of Seberg's life, her ex-husband, Romain Gary, took his own life by gunshot just a year after her death. His suicide note was said to have detailed his anguish and heartbreak over Seberg's demise, though he also specified that his decision was not directly inspired by her loss, but rather by "a nervous depression" he could no longer live with.

Tue, 09 May 2017 10:13:32 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/tragic-jean-seberg-facts/lisa-a-flowers
<![CDATA[Rare Pictures Of Dogs During WWII]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/world-war-2-dog-photos/mick-jacobs

Though primarily viewed through the eyes of humans, World War II impacted more than just mankind: it also affected man's best friend. Pictures of dogs in World War 2 give some insight into how everyone and everything contributed to the war effort, including animals. Canines, using various combinations of their good nature and heightened senses, provided skills that were instrumental in helping and healing both soldiers and civilians; many of the dogs here served as mascots and sidekicks for their owners. Many WWII soldier dog photos even depict pooches who received medals for their service and bravery, something most people will never receive in their lifetimes. But many other dogs in these WWII photos are just like everyone else: civilians caught in the crossfire of war. 

Rare Pictures Of Dogs During WWII,

A French Patrol Pass With Their Military Dogs Through Snow Mantled Scenery

General Patton And His Bull Terrier, Willie, 1944

Champion Bulldog Queenie Was A Mascot To Raise Funds For War Weapons Week, England, 1941

War Dogs On Deck

"Smoky" The Yorky

"Jaint de Motimorency," With His Owner, Lt Peter Baranowski

Marine And His Dog Sleeping During Break In The Battle On Okinawa, 1945

Marines And Trained Dogs Prepare To Trek Through The Jungles Of The Northern Solomon Islands

"Lucky" Receives A Leg Splint In Belgium

Sergeant Joe Kodachrome, Aka Sgt Joe

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 09:00:37 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/world-war-2-dog-photos/mick-jacobs
<![CDATA[The Craziest Things People Do To Boost Their IQs]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-things-people-do-to-boost-iqs/cynthia-griffith

It’s no secret – most people want to be smart. And how do we prove to the world (and mainly, ourselves) that we are crazy IQ geniuses? By scoring sky high on the Intelligence Quotient (AKA IQ) test. While lots of people take this test seriously, for some, it is a matter of going to the extreme to score over 140, the threshold that separates the "geniuses" from those of "above average" intelligence.

So, can you improve an IQ score with just brain-enhancing video games alone? What are the best ways to get smarter, anyway? Does anyone actually know how to boost an IQ score, or are those who claim that they can just plain wacky?

If being a little bit nutty is a prerequisite for a high IQ (hey, it worked for Albert Einstein), those adhering to the guidelines listed below are definitely one step ahead of the rest of the world. Decide for yourself whether or not that step is right off the deep end. Here are some of the craziest things people have done to try to get a high IQ score.

The Craziest Things People Do To Boost Their IQs,

Getting Hypnotized Is Another Popular Way To Try To Get Smarter

While hypnosis can help some people quit smoking or enhance their creative abilities, studies show that it cannot teach anyone how to do things they don’t already know how to do. In other words, it cannot make anybody smarter. Even with this information readily available to the public, the Internet is still abundant with alleged IQ-increasing hypnosis videos. Millions of people are viewing them, but the high-IQ society, Mensa, still only consists of 2% of the population.

Image Streaming Is Said To Get You An Extra 20 Points Or So

Image streaming is a really fancy phrase that describes the act of talking to yourself and then answering yourself. Essentially, you ask yourself a question with eyes closed and then answer it in a stream-of-consciousness fashion with whatever comes into your mind. You may also recognize this strategy as the general public’s definition of insanity. If this post proves nothing else, it is that the line between genius and insanity is incredibly easy to cross. Advocates for this sort of intelligence boosting activity claim that image streaming can increase the IQ by as much as 2.3 points per hour and lead to a total of 20 extra exam points.

Gene-Editing Software Is Being Made Available To IQ-Conscious Parents

For some, the race to the IQ finish line begins upon conception. The IQ-conscious members of society want super smart babies, and they’re willing to do a lot to achieve that goal. A company in China called BGI (formerly the Beijing Genomics Institute) is attempting to manipulate intelligence through DNA. Could future parents be able to purchase intelligence packs for their unborn children? If so, would such advantages be available to all or just the upper echelon of society?

Some Try To Increase Intelligence By Intentionally Making Themselves Depressed

The paradoxical phenomenon that intelligence equates to depression just as ignorance translates to bliss is fairly true. Artists have long been notorious for intentionally making themselves depressed under the claim that a sad state of mind brings about better art. Nowadays, intellectuals are getting in on the gig as well. So, if you notice your roommate curled up in a ball with a bucket of ice cream and a sappy sounding podcast, this could be the sign of a bad break up, or they might be preparing to take an IQ test. Today, scientists are saying that the temporary state of sadness can have positive mental outcomes, such as improving memory, judgment, and motivation.

Some People Try To Open Their Minds Up By Taking LSD

On the road to cognitive advantage, some people are just plain tripping – as in, they are taking LSD. Psychedelics have often been believed to increase people’s intelligence, and there are plenty of forums for thought on the subject. Risking getting caught in an acid trip just to obtain a high IQ score might sound farfetched, but many recreational drug users are of the belief that psychedelics “open the mind.” Oddly enough, they’re right.

A study published in Current Biology concludes that consuming acid does, in fact, enhance global and between-module communication within the brain, thus affording recreational drug users a unique view of the world. This effect is known to neuroscientists as ego death or psyche death. It has not conclusively been found to make anyone smarter, but some believe it could make terminally ill patients less anxious and more “at one with the universe.”

Taking Estrogen Is An Alleged IQ Booster With Odd Side Effects

It turns out that estrogen is to mathlete what steroids are to weight lifter. Getting hooked on hormones is a habit of some rather eccentric IQ enthusiasts. This is mainly due to the fact that the Society for Neuroscience made claims that elevating estrogen levels could improve test accuracy and help brain cells communicate seamlessly with one another. Once the news that “the hormone estrogen can sharpen mental performance ” got out, the Internet was abuzz.

This claim was based on a peer reviewed research study, but popping pills with hormones in them can increase the risk of cancer, cause mood swings, and even lead to depression. Men who take estrogen can, over the course of time, develop feminine features, as well. All in all, this isn’t a smart way to score bonus points, and it can definitely cause irreversible damage.

Riding Motorcycles Is An Alternative Route To A High Score

Apparently, when you put a motorcycle manufacturer in a room with a video game creator and throw in some backing from a famed university, you reach an unexpected revelation. You learn that motorcycles can make you smarter. This is the finding as reported by Yamaha Japan, Ryuta Kawashima, and Tohoku University.

According to the research, engaging in a high-speed street race on a motorcycle opens up otherwise closed parts of the brain, thus promoting accelerated levels of concentration and information processing. It can also help to improve the memory. The cool thing about this speedy IQ booster is that it seems to also be useful in revitalizing an aging brain. So, the next time you see a 50-year-old ripping through town at 150 mph with a trim, helmet-less 20-something seated on the back of his Hayabusa, don’t think mid-life crisis; think high IQ.

Some People Are Smoking Their Way To The Top

There is a pretty heated global debate over the legalization of marijuana. Many believe weed to be a super drug with positive real-life applications. Some studies suggest that smoking weed in moderation can allot a five-point IQ increase. However, heavy weed smoking – more than five joints a week – had the opposite effect on one study's participants by reducing their IQs an extra few points.

In the race to cognitive superiority, weed is not the only substance hopeful intellectuals are taking into account. Neuroscientists just found out that nicotine really does make people smarter. It does so by boosting the release of acetylcholine, a chemical that sends signals all over the brain. Short term results of cigarette smoking include enhanced fine motor skills, increased memory, and increased concentration, but at an intellectual price. Over time, this process turns sour on the smoker by dramatically increasing the likelihood of dementia.

Some Wanna-Be Smarties Resort To Self Electrocution

This one's definitely shocking. In 2014, a group of neuroscientists discovered that people could temporarily excel on exams like the IQ test by electrocuting themselves via a process known as transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS for short. If frying your brain for the sake of a high score seems pretty intelligent to you, then congratulations. You’re smarter already...

The idea of electrocuting the brain into functioning better has been around for centuries, but it regained notoriety when self-brain-zapping kits hit the Internet at unbeatable prices. People who are into this sort of thing are buying up “brain simulator kits” for between $100 and $400, on average. Some adventurers are even making them at home. Scientists warn that this sort of procedure is invasive and risky at best. They sincerely exhort DIY-ers to be careful not to fry the wrong side of their brain. Yikes!

Urine Therapy Is A Whole New Craze In Cognitive Enhancement

Urine therapy is the latest craze to hit the IQ-boosting streets. It’s exactly what it sounds like – the act of drinking urine, preferably your own. Advocates for urine therapy claim the fluid is just the opposite of a toxin. They say it is a natural cure that unlocks a power equivalent to "sunlight." In other words, they believe it is quite illuminating.

Not only are people guzzling urine to increase intelligence, but some also even claim it can cure diseases. This technique features controversial testimonials from people who claim they were cured of chronic illnesses like HIV and cancer once they began drinking urine. Those who utilize urine for the purpose of boosting their IQ are sometimes known to bathe in the substance. Bathing in it allegedly helps them to unleash a “divine manifestation of cosmic intelligence.”

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:18:42 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-things-people-do-to-boost-iqs/cynthia-griffith
<![CDATA[U.S. Presidents with the Best Smiles]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/u-s-presidents-with-the-best-smiles/roblein

Which U..S. presidents had the best smiles?

A good smile in a president often warms one up to that president. That wasn't always the case -- for most of the history of the presidency, smiling seemed undignified, or in the case of George Washington, a way to show his bad teeth. Because of that, I only listed presidents Theodore Roosevelt to Donald Trump on this list because ... well ... it was tough to find photos or paintings of presidents with smiles before T.R.

So who do you think had the best smiles among presidents? Please vote thumbs up for the smiles you like and thumbs down for the grins you can't bear.

U.S. Presidents with the Best Smiles,

Barack Obama

Bill Clinton

John F. Kennedy

Ronald Reagan

Theodore Roosevelt

Warren G. Harding

William Howard Taft

Woodrow Wilson

Harry Truman

Donald Trump

Wed, 24 May 2017 02:51:25 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/u-s-presidents-with-the-best-smiles/roblein
<![CDATA[LOL Scaling Ranks]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/lol-scaling-ranks/jakeadair2

These are overall scaling rankings. It does not necessarily take into account team composition, enemy team composition, or role. Feel free to rerank in any way, with no more guidance than: best scaling champion to worst scaling champion. 

There are obviously situations in which some champions would be better (Tryndamere when he can split, Master Yi when enemy has no CC, Miss Fortune and Oriana on a wombo combo). Scaling will differ at different ranks as well, as Nasus or Malphite may be incredibly strong at low elo, whereas global abilities like Shen ult scale very well at high elo. Some champions who technically have good scaling numbers may be very easily kited, and thus not strong late game. Some champions rely heavily on single instance burst, which is less effective late game.

The list should attempt to incorporate the value of single target damage, AOE damage, CC, champion-saving abilities, movement-related abilities, objective control and everything else that matters late game (which is often team fighting, but can be picks, split pushing, etc.). At the end of the day, the best late game champions will be the ones that help win the game as it goes later and later. This is not to say that the higher rank champion will always win a team fight against lower ranks, or will always win a duel against lower ranks. Everything is situational and team composition often matters much more than pure scaling. Sometimes the value of a certain abilities is amplified and sometimes that late game Jinx or Tryndamere may be completely useless. 

I am interested in everyone's thoughts on my attempt. I aknowledge that there are some champions I just don't know enough about the really rank well (Urgot), and that my impressions can be based on a limited sample size. I think if people re-rank or speak up about what looks "about right" and what is way off, it will be a useful tool for newer players. 

LOL Scaling Ranks,

Fiora, the Grand Duelist

Gangplank, the Saltwater Scourge

Kassadin, the Void Walker

Kog'Maw, the Mouth of the Abyss

Master Yi the Wuju Bladesman

Vayne, the Night Hunter

Yasuo, the Unforgiven

Tryndamere, the Barbarian King

Vladimir, the Crimson Reaper

Viktor, the Machine Herald

Fri, 26 May 2017 01:43:33 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/lol-scaling-ranks/jakeadair2
<![CDATA[25 Fascinating Photos And Illustrations From Gold Rushes]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/gold-rush-photos/liam-ross

Have you ever wondered what life looked like during the gold rush? While most Americans are familiar with the California Gold Rush, there have actually been gold rushes in Alaska and Australia as well. Images from these madcap periods of entrepreneurship, expansion, and greed provide a fascinating window into the lives of people who lived for one thing: gold.

It behooves us, then, to view pictures from gold rushes as an integral part of the complex tapestry of human history. After all, the search for gold brings out both the best and worst of humanity: ingenuity and depravity, in equal measure. Still, one has to appreciate the endurance and fortitude of the people who went out to stake their claim and find their fortune in the boomtowns and mines of the gold rushes, regardless of how perilous it was to get there. So enjoy these photos and illustrations from gold rushes, and see if you can find part of yourself reflected in the prospectors and the people they lived with.    

25 Fascinating Photos And Illustrations From Gold Rushes,

The Town Of Deadwood, Dakota Territory

Two Missionaries Heading To Preach To Gold Miners In Alaska

The Main Street Of Dawson, A Gold Rush Town

An Example Of Sluice Mining In Alaska

An Elderly Miner From Allin Named "Daddy"

Australian Miners Using A Makeshift Sluice In New South Wales

Prospectors Braving The Chilkoot Pass On The Way To The Klondike Goldfields

The First Train On The Yukon Railroad

A General Store During The Height Of The Klondike Goldrush

A Line Of Prospectors Climb Stairs Cut Into The Ice Of Chilkoot Pass On The Way To Gold Claims

Tue, 23 May 2017 10:05:35 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/gold-rush-photos/liam-ross
<![CDATA[Sad Pictures Of Hurricane Katrina's Aftermath]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/aftermath-of-hurricane-katrina-photos/katejacobson

In 2005, a massive hurricane rolled through the Gulf Coast, devastating people from the Bahamas to Louisiana. It was Hurricane Katrina - the costliest storm in American history. The Category 5 hurricane destroyed entire towns, killed nearly 2,000 people, and became one of the deadliest storms in modern history. Photos from after Hurricane Katrina show just how horrible it really was.

The storm hit Louisiana the hardest. People living along the coast struggled to rebuild their lives in the wake of the devastation. Officials estimate the storm cost about $108 billion. It took years for people to go back to their homes, some of which were flooded or completely destroyed. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was horrific and life altering, and won't be forgotten anytime soon. 

Sad Pictures Of Hurricane Katrina's Aftermath,

Trying To Rebuild

A Gutted Building

What Used To Be A Liquor Store

A Doll All On Her Own

An Abandoned Wheelchair

Trying To Sort Through The Mess

A Torn Out Tree

A Pile Of Rubble

Cleaning Out A Contaminated House

A Collapsed House

Thu, 25 May 2017 09:10:57 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/aftermath-of-hurricane-katrina-photos/katejacobson
<![CDATA[28 Rare Photos That Prove The 1930s Were Way Weirder Than You Thought]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/everyday-things-made-in-the-1930s/chwang

The 1930s are like the forgotten middle child of the early 20th century. The decade is often overshadowed by the World Wars and the Roaring '20s, sometimes purposefully overlooked because of the deep, negative impacts of the Great Depression and the cultural memories associated with it. And, while the economic downturn was indeed horrible, the '30s have their own unique story of people fighting to live that everyday life – and succeeding in some pretty fun and quirky ways. 

This list is a compilation of photographs from the 1930s that shows society through a lens that isn't primarily focused on the tragedy of the Great Depression. Get a glimpse of the rise and fall of popular fads, innovative ideas, and unexpected things you'd be surprised to find in the '30s. 

28 Rare Photos That Prove The 1930s Were Way Weirder Than You Thought,

Television Cameras At Lord's Cricket Ground

A Magic Shop For Magicians

A Woman Does Her Daily Exercises Using A New Apparatus

Canned Beer Vending Machine

Dynasphere Wheels, A Possible Replacement For Transportation

The First Portable Milk Bar At Waterloo Station

Two Women Seated Under Lamps For Artificial Sun Bathing

Electric Manicure Device – A Manicurist Files Her Nails During A Demonstration

Owl-Shaped Ice Cream Stand In Los Angeles, California

A Dog, Baby, And Couple Traveling In One Car

Thu, 25 May 2017 09:42:22 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/everyday-things-made-in-the-1930s/chwang
<![CDATA[22 Mind-Boggling Examples Of "Zelda Logic"]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/funny-zelda-logic-that-makes-no-sense/crystal-brackett

The greatest Legend of Zelda games constitute the iconic Nintendo franchise that's made its way both into history and the hearts of gamers worldwide. While traveling through Hyrule on your epic adventures as Link, you're bound to notice more than a few things in Zelda that make no sense. Instead of diving too deep into the rationality behind it all, gamers have embraced the wacky rationality found in the game, dubbing it "Zelda logic."

Sometimes, things just work differently in video games than they do in the real world, and the funny Zelda logic that Nintendo developers have wiggled into their game are absolutely no exception. Of course, fans who have noticed this logic have supplied the Internet with an arsenal of funny Zelda memes, giving a special commemoration to those rules that don't make sense. Be it a design flaw, player boundaries, or just plain ridiculous logic used to fill in the gaps in the story, these special and questionable gameplay quirks can always be appreciated with a bit of humor. Vote up your favorite silly rationales in Hyrule that would never fly in the real world. 

22 Mind-Boggling Examples Of "Zelda Logic",

Master Grass Cutter

Don't Think About It Too Much

Weapon Crafting

All The Time In The World

Backflips Are Always Easy

Underwater Breathing Made Easy

Bottled Up

Wisdom Is In The Beholder

Why Warp When You Can Run

Never Harm An Animal

Tue, 09 May 2017 08:18:52 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/funny-zelda-logic-that-makes-no-sense/crystal-brackett
<![CDATA[Mara Wilson's Transition From Child Star To Literary Maven]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/mara-wilson-facts/evan-lambert

Child stars don't often turn out as well as Mara Wilson. After achieving early international success as one of the Mrs. Doubtfire child stars, and later as the titular character in Matilda, Wilson emerged from her child star chrysalis as a successful word smith. She regularly contributes to national publications, and, in 2016, dropped knowledge in the form of a memoir. She's prominent on Twitter, where she jokes about international politics and her own social awkwardness. With her cynical, self-deprecating wit, Wilson is far from Matilda, as these Mara Wilson facts will attest. 

If you're experiencing some 100% natural curiosity over how Mara Wilson became a Twitter star, you're in luck. This list will tell you everything you need to know about Matilda all grown up; you'll find all the facts and stories you need to answer the nagging question, what happened to Mara Wilson?

Mara Wilson's Transition From Child Star To Literary Maven,

She Returned To Acting In 2013 With A Recurring Role On A Podcast

In July 2013, Wilson originated the recurring role of Faceless Old Woman on the Welcome to Nightvale podcast. Other a 2011 short in which she starred, it was Wilson's first acting role since quitting Hollywood in 2000. Among other things, her character runs for mayor, and lives secretly in various peoples' homes. 

She Turned Down A Role In Donnie Darko

Wilson described to The AV Club what it was like to read the script for Donnie Darko while suffering from sleep deprivation and nausea during a publicity tour for another project:

"It was just the most terrifying thing. I was sleep deprived and I was exhausted and I was hungry and I didn’t know what was real anymore and then all of the sudden there was this goddamned 6-foot metal rabbit who may or may not predict the future and there was time travel and there were wormholes and there was all this crazy sh*t and I thought it was the scariest thing I’d ever read."

Would you quit life after that? Yes. Yes, you would. 

She Suffers From OCD And Works With A Mental Health Organization To Raise Awareness

In the mid-2010s, Wilson began speaking publicly about her mental health issues, which are rooted in her OCD. In an interview with Daily Dot in 2014, she commented, "I’ve always been an extremely anxious person. I have panic attacks, I have OCD, I’ve always been nervous. I’ve always had a lot of really strange fears, most of which I’m embarrassed to admit."

In 2015, Wilson partnered with nonprofit mental health organization Project UROK to raise awareness for mental health issues, saying, “There was a big stigma around this. We were all worried... especially with me being a child actor, how the public would approach it and would understand it. Twenty years ago, we didn't talk about mental illness."

Wilson recorded a video for Project UROK, in which she discusses her experience with OCD and offers advice for dealing with mental health issues. She also wrote and performed a live theater piece entitled What Are You Afraid Of? addressing her anxiety, fears, and mental health. 

She Quit Acting After Her Mother Died

Many people have asked Mara Wilson why she quit acting so early in her career. She sometimes traces her decision to disillusionment with Hollywood after her mother passed away in 1996. Though her career slowed down dramatically in 1996, she didn't officially quit acting until 2000, when she was 13. 

As she told Parade

"I found it kind of overwhelming. Most of the time, I just wanted to be a normal kid, especially after my mother died. I think if I could do it over again—as much as I loved meeting the people I did on the films after Matilda—I wish that I had stopped after Matilda."

Wilson has written that acting was more a hobby than a passion, and that she had never planned on pursuing it forever. Waxing philosophical on her blog, she wrote

"A philosophically-inclined friend once remarked, in a conversation about ethics, that he thought it was fine to forsake a task as long as you knew there was someone else who could perform that task as well or better than you could. I agree, and I think that there are many much more talented, much more conventionally attractive actresses out there who are taking the roles I would have been offered. To paraphrase the showtune, anything I can do, Anna Kendrick or Ellen Page or Jennifer Lawrence (or any actress from the plethora of actresses waiting to be 'discovered') can do better."

She Pursued A BFA In Acting At NYU, Where Socially Awkward Classmates Were Weird About The Whole Child Star Thing

Mara Wilson gets recognized a lot in public (and private), which made it difficult for her to keep a low profile when she pursued a BFA in acting at NYU. In her very first, a group of awkward fellow freshman girls knocked on her dorm door at midnight to ask if she was Mara. As she recalls

"I would find people knocking on my door late at night, like Thursday night at 12 am. I would open the door in my pajamas and there’d be a crowd of freshman girls, saying ‘Are you Mara?’ ‘Uhhh, yeah’. And they’d say 'Well, we just really wanted to meet you.' And then they’d look really disappointed, because they probably expected at least for me to be wearing more than my pajamas. I felt bad, like I was letting them down because I wasn’t being glamorous, because I wasn’t the exciting person they thought I would be. And then they would often ask me to party with them…"

Despite the bizarre interruptions and occasionally awkward social situations, Wilson graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 2009. 

She Came Out As Bisexual In Solidarity For the LGBTQ Community After The Pulse Nightclub Shooting

In the wake of 2016's shocking massacre at Pulse, a gay club in Orlando, Wilson took to Twitter with a message of love for her LGBT fans and to announce her bisexuality. She declared herself a two on the Kinsey scale, and wrote "the LGBTQ community has always felt like home, especially [...] when I, uh, learned something about myself. So thank you.”

She Wrote A Poignant Public Letter To Her Younger Self In 2014

In 2014, Wilson wrote a letter to herself as a child actor in a blog post entitled "Answers For My Younger Self." In it, she provides 81 itemized pieces of information for her younger self, which range from affirmations of self to jokey asides like "F*ck yes, you will swear a lot" (number 66). 

The letter includes some poignant revelations concerning Wilson's struggles over the years with fame, Hollywood, OCD, and conceptions of the self. The letter ends, 

"Let’s end on a perfect square, I know that will make you happy. Yes, I do: stop trying to control everything. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Being insecure doesn't make you more endearing. Forgiveness feels GREAT. Please take time to enjoy being your age. Things might suck right now, but they will be better someday. And even when they’re not, at least you can always write about it."

She's Very Active, Very Insightful, And Very Funny On Twitter

Why are you still sleeping on Mara Wilson's Twitter account? She posts a billion times a day (okay, fine, that's hyperbole) and is witty and informative. As of May 2017, she has 347,000 followers, and has posted nearly 100,000 Tweets. Join the revolution, people. 

She Wrote A Critically Acclaimed Memoir To Reclaim The Public Narrative Of Her Life

Wilson's well-received 2016 memoir Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame introduced readers to the real Mara Wilson, wit and all. Though she didn't shy away from the harsh realities of child stardom and her mutual breakup with Hollywood, Wilson presented herself as a charming, hopeful young adult with a bright future and an inextricable past. 

Wilson wrote the book to reclaim the public narrative of her life, and in doing so humanize those who fall through the cracks of popular culture and become the butt of cruel jokes and apathetic conjecture. As she said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times

“When you see that somebody’s last credit is ‘Thomas and the Magic Railroad’ when they’re an awkward 12-year-old, you’re, like, ‘Oh, how sad.' You don’t know what happens between those IMDB entries. I knew there were people who felt sorry for me and people who were making up stories about me. I think I wanted to reclaim that narrative.”

She Jumped Into Television In 2016 With Roles in 'Broad City' And 'Bojack Horseman'

While 2016 wasn't the best year on record, it was Mara Wilson's year. She landed a role as a waitress in a critical (and Mrs. Doubtfire spoofing) episode of Broad City, the brainchild of comedians Abbi Jacobson and (longtime Wilson fan) Ilana Glazer, with whom Wilson has some mutual friends. As Wilson tells is, she got the role, at least in part, by letting Jacobson know via Twitter she was totally down to make an appearance. She followed Broad City with a recurring role on Bojack Horseman, in which she voices a demanding, pretentious, intellectual black widow spider known as Jill Pill. 

Thu, 04 May 2017 10:25:51 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/mara-wilson-facts/evan-lambert
<![CDATA[Actual Scientific Explanations For Haunted House Phenomenon]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/real-scientific-explanations-for-haunted-houses/mariel-loveland

We've all felt the uneasy, spine-tingling feeling that someone or something is watching us - be it an intruder, a ghost, or something far more sinister. And the truth is, scientific explanations for ghosts really don't mean much when you're overcome with that creepy-as-heck feeling in the middle of the night. All the logic in the world couldn't disprove what you already know: your house is probably haunted and some sage or holy water isn't going to cut it.

On the other hand, most of the time there really is a normal, logical explanation behind seemingly paranormal experiences. Even an apparent demonic possession can be explained pretty soundly with science (sorry, Lucifer). There's a real science behind haunted houses, and the reason our bodies sometimes feel on edge is usually kind of anticlimactic. Listen, no one is trying to tell you to buy property on top of an Indian burial ground anytime soon, but before you pack up all your belongings and move out of your haunted mansion in the middle of the night, you should really consider a couple of facts.

These scientific explanations for haunted houses may ease your mind, but you should probably still burn your Ouija board just in case.

Actual Scientific Explanations For Haunted House Phenomenon,

Automatism Makes Mediums Think They've Channeled Ghosts

How sad would it be to live in a world where a medium couldn't actually contact the dead? While some mediums are able to expose details so specific that they can't possibly come from anyone but your dead relative, a whole bunch of mediums are shams. The worst part, though, is that many of them really, actually believe they have a gift.

Mediums are often misguided by their spirit-channeling talents because of automatism, an altered state of conscious where people aren't aware of what they're saying or thinking. When mediums effectively clear their minds, readying themselves to be filled with other-worldly messages, they become filled with random ideas and images instead. Mediums often attribute this to channeling a spirit, but the reality is that it's all just random. It's the same science behind why your dreams are super strange, nonsensical, and sometimes super creepy.

The Ideomotor Effect Causes Unexplained Things To Happen

Every little girl who has ever been to a sleepover probably used a Ouija board at some point. Some of our parents may have (reasonably) banned them from our homes, but for the rest of us, we enjoyed scaring ourselves by waiting for ghosts to communicate with us through a series of letters even more inconvenient than T9 texting. While it's definitely possible that a few odd-ball spirits have attached themselves to Hasbro's bestselling occult-themed toy, most of the time those messages can be attributed to the ideomotor effect. In fact, most scary sleepover games (hello, "Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board") have no paranormal ties whatsoever.

Ideomotor action occurs when our muscles unconsciously move thanks to the power of suggestion. Basically, merely thinking about something wills it to happen. This was tested by physicist Michael Faraday who discovered that the tables used during a séance moved or appeared to levitate only because people expected them to do so. Once people expected a table to move, they unintentionally moved it. In 1853, this was tested in an experimental séance (where no ghosts were present). Half the people involved were told the table would move to the left, and half were told it would move to the right. As a result, the table didn't move at all.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Causes Ghostly Hallucinations

Strange voices, hearing things in your house rustle around, and even seeing ghostly shadowy figures can all be attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning - the notoriously slow, silent killer. According to a 1921 study in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, a family began experiencing strange, paranormal things when they moved into an old house. They heard strange noises and truly felt like they were being held down in bed by ghosts. The feeling of weakness was undeniable and so was their fear. The ghost turned out to be a faulty furnace that was seeping carbon monoxide throughout the entire home. As soon as the furnace was fixed, they never heard or saw anything weird again.

So, if you're feeling a ghostly presence, you may want to check your carbon monoxide detector. If that hasn't buzzed, you should probably move before you end up in The Conjuring.

Infrasound Makes You Feel Like You're Being Watched

If you suddenly feel a sense of panic for no particular reason, it could be the result of infrasound - sounds that are too deep for humans to hear, but that we can still pick up on. Think of it like a dog whistle: we can't hear it, but dogs can. Does that make the sound any less real? Humans can only hear sound waves between 20 and 20,000 Hertz, but we can still feel the vibrations of everything else. This often manifests in the pits of our stomachs as strange, indescribable feelings. Ever feel awe-struck and happy for no reason? You can blame it on infrasound. The feeling depends entirely on the circumstances. If you're in a creepy house alone at night, you may feel panic rather than excitement.

Infrasound happens for a few reasons - storms, wind, weather, and the like. Even your kitchen refrigerator can emit them. This happened to be the case for Vic Tandy, a scientist who was convinced that his laboratory was haunted after seeing what he thought was a ghost. Tandy, a scientist and fencing enthusiast, eventually noticed that his fencing sword had been vibrating on its own, and then understood what had happened: A new fan he had installed in his lab was emitting vibrations of about 19 Hz. Since eyeballs have a resonant frequency of 20 Hz, when the fan vibrated his eye, it caused him to see shadows because his brain couldn't interpret what was happening. When he turned off the fan, all the ghosts went away.

A Mold Infestation Can Make Your Home Feel Haunted

Mold is a pretty boring answer to a really exciting - and terrifying - problem, but it's an answer nonetheless. Rather than burning some sage, you may want to invest in some quality bleach-based cleaners.

The reason you may feel terrified for no explicable reason, or suddenly see things that aren't there, could be because of toxic mold growing in your home. Research shows that certain molds have somewhat ghostly effects, causing irrational fear and even dementia. Whatever you do, don't spray the area with holy water, as dampness just helps mold thrive.

Seeing Spooky Shadows? It's Probably Some Extra Electricity

It Follows was so scary mostly because we've all felt like we were being followed at some point. The shape-shifting, evil shadows that follow the main character around throughout the film didn't just haunt her house - they haunted her entire body. And once your whole body is haunted, you're kind of screwed.

In the real world, seeing shadow people has a pretty boring explanation: an excess of electricity in your brain. Swiss scientists tested this theory by electrically stimulating an epileptic patient's brain. After the quick shock, she saw a shadow person behind her copying all of her movements (just like in It Follows). She even claimed that the ghost grabbed her, but it turned out to be a miscommunication in the left temporoparietal junction of her brain - that's the part that helps you tell yourself apart from others, and in this case, it created a creepy duplicate.

Solar Winds Create Mysterious Ghosts

The earth is completely blanketed in magnetic fields. As a result, some places have stronger magnetic fields than others - and if you ask a paranormal investigator, they'll probably attribute that to ghosts. But if you ask a scientist, they'll definitely disagree.

The reason so many ghost encounters happen at night is actually because of the sun. The sun is constantly pushing solar winds towards the earth and these winds in turn push into the earth's electromagnetic field. During the night, you're faced away from the sun, so this causes the electromagnetic field to expand, which in turn, has a greater effect on our brains. We already know that an electric shock to the brain can cause hallucinations - this is a similar premise.

Ghostly Orbs In Pictures Are Purely Camera Problems

Many of us want so badly to believe that those floating, glowing orbs in photos are real-life proof of ghosts. The problem is that while ghosts may be haunting every inch of your house, they're probably never going to let themselves be caught on film. Even real ghost believers are skeptical about orbs because they're usually just the result of a faulty camera.

Ever notice how orbs are mostly in flash photography? That’s because when a small bug or piece of dust gets caught in the flash, it reflects the light back - and since the camera doesn't have enough time to re-focus before the shutter clicks, it comes out like a blurry circle. There's also a high possibility that whatever paranormal photographer took the picture accidentally smudged the lens with his finger. Oops.

Drafts Close Doors, Make Things Move, And Make Us Feel Cold

Haunted houses always have a few hallmarks - doors randomly closing, things getting knocked off of shelves, and rooms suddenly getting filled with brisk, cold air. A ghost needs energy to move, so it sucks all the heat out of the room, uses it as fuel, and leaves behind cold spots, right? Sorry to break it to you, but no, it's just the weather.

Drafts entering through open windows, doors, or chimneys can cause some ghost-like things to happen. Cool air rises and hot air drops, so when outside air enters a room, it rushes around trying to equalize the temperature. This results in rooms randomly getting colder or slightly breezy. Many times drafts cause open doors to slam and lighter objects like paper and picture frames to blow off of shelves. If you feel like your body is suddenly getting colder, this could really just be from a lack of humidity - so go grab a sweater, you'll be fine.

Ions Are Actually Making Your Hair Stand On Edge, Not Ghosts

Many ghost hunters carry something called an ion counter, which literally counts the ions in the atmosphere. When that sucker goes off you know a ghost is taking a stroll nearby. However, ions are pretty natural - and they're the very reason you get an electric shock when you're wearing certain types of clothing.

Ions are caused by a ton of natural factors like weather, solar radiation, and radon gas. You can even buy ionic hair dryers that emit negative ions to help evaporate water faster. Ions have such a strong presence that they can even change our moods. Negative ions calm us, and positive ions give us headaches. If you live in a house filled with negative ions, you may feel tired and tense, but it's definitely not because of a ghost.

Tue, 02 May 2017 06:41:45 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/real-scientific-explanations-for-haunted-houses/mariel-loveland
<![CDATA[Creepiest Ghost Stories From Houston]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/ghost-stories-from-houston/lyra-radford

While Texas ghost stories abound, Houston ghosts specifically are an interesting and eclectic bunch, to say the least. The city has a little bit of everything going on, with its own collection of the angry dead beneath an old hospital and a battleship that somehow gained access to a crack in time and space. There’s even a bar with its very own night watchman, a ghostly hero named William! 

Sure, other cities in Texas have terrifying tales, like Dallas scary stories. But Houston's creepy stories are a strange mix of chilling, amusing, and in some cases, heartbreaking. Some of the best tales are gathered right here, ready to prove that nothing beats a good old-fashioned ghost story from Haunted Houston.

Creepiest Ghost Stories From Houston,

Ashton Villa

This three-story mansion from the 1860s was the home of James Brown and his oldest daughter, Bettie. Bettie refused to wed a man and remained in the mansion, throwing parties, puffing on cigars, and obsessing over her possessions. Even after her death in 1920, it seems she couldn't stand the thought of leaving home.    

Much of her collection is on display in the mansion's Gold Room, where her presence is most often felt. Her old chest of drawers reportedly locks and unlocks itself, despite the fact that its key has been missing for decades. Her fan turns itself on and her bed refuses to remain made up. It’s believed that Bettie’s youngest sister, Matilda, also haunts the Ashton Villa, because she was the only accomplished piano player in the house and witnesses have heard and seen the piano playing with no one on the bench. 

Prankster Orphans Haunt The Spaghetti Warehouse

Don’t let the quirky name fool you because the Spaghetti Warehouse is widely regarded as one of the most haunted places in America. The building used to be a pharmacy until the pharmacist fell down the elevator shaft and died. His wife died a year later, supposedly from a broken heart. She’s been seen roaming the second floor of the now-restaurant.

She isn’t the only one haunting the building - multiple spirit orbs have been photographed all over the place and things frequently go missing or get rearranged. Also, someone seems to like untying people's shoelaces. Waitress Patti Chapa says she witnessed her shoelace floating parallel to the floor, stretched out. Some think that it's the work of dead children, because there's an old urn cabinet upstairs that used to store the deceased charges of orphanages when they had no money to bury them properly. The disembodied voices of children can often be heard on that floor. 

The University Of Texas Medical Branch's Ewing Hall

According to legend, the property now belonging to the University of Texas was once owned by a man who threatened to haunt his children if they ever sold it. Well, after he died, his daughter went ahead and sold the property, which became Ewing Hall. The thing is, right when Ewing Hall was finished, a face appeared on the fourth floor paneling on the side of the building facing the ocean. It allegedly resembles the former owner.

The panel was sandblasted and repainted, naturally, but the image came back. Even stranger, it moved down a notch to the third floor panel. Once again, they removed the face, only to have it reappear one floor down. The face has settled in on the second floor panel and can still be seen there today.   

Houston’s Brewery Tap Has Its Own Ghostly Hero

Located downtown in Houston’s Historic District, the Brewery Tap is home to more than just good beer. Various spirits stick around the pub, the most famous of which is William. William worked at the brewery back when the building was the Houston Ice & Brewing Company. A large stack of beer kegs fell on him, killing him. Now, William hangs around the bar, flushing toilets, messing with the sinks, and even posing for photographs with customers.

One night, William saved the life of a bartender named Cathy from a knife wielding prowler. Cathy was closing down the bar alone when William pulled out a chair and knocked it over in front of her. Cathy jumped back in shock and was suddenly able to see the outline of a man holding a knife lurking just outside the pub's window. She called the police and they arrested the prowler, but had William not stopped her, she could have been killed. 

Esperson Buildings Are Haunted By Their Maker

The elaborately distinct “his and hers” structures known as the Esperson Buildings in downtown Houston were constructed by Mellie Esperson. She had her husband's name, Niel, carved on the first of the two and her name was carved on the other.

After Millie’s passing, the paranormal activity began. She is said to haunt the elevator, causing it to frequently malfunction. Her figure has been sighted in the lobbies and the halls in both of the buildings. People have reported cabinets slamming shut on their own, the feeling of being watched (especially at night), and the sound of heels on the granite floor when no one is around. 

The Old Jefferson Davis Hospital Is Full Of Ghosts And On Top Of Bodies

The Jefferson Davis Hospital was plopped right on top of a Confederate cemetery. In other words, many of the graves still remain, though the headstones were removed. In fact, the building’s basement was actually built above ground (so all those human remains couldn't get in the way). The hospital sat vacant for decades and had a date with a wrecking ball, but plans changed and it was decided the old building would be transformed into artist lofts.

The building was always been rumored to be haunted. Everyone believed the dead were angry about its construction and couldn't rest while it was sitting atop their graves. During its use as a hospital, patients, employees, and visitors all reported seeing ghostly figures roaming the hallways and they often heard disembodied voices. During the years of its vacancy, the Jefferson has attracted a plethora of urban explorers and ghost hunters. Many claimed to have heard screams, eerie howling sounds, and to have even captured spectral anomalies in photographs.

The Rice Hotel Has A Merry Band Of Dancing Ghosts

What’s now known as the Rice Lofts was once the Rice Hotel, where John F. Kennedy spent his last night before his assassination in November, 1963. The JFK room was allegedly a hotspot for paranormal activity with all its random cold spots, a shaking bed, and frequently rattling doors. Strange lights and orbs have also been seen by guests.

The notoriously haunted ballroom with its ghost dancers has been investigated by psychic Chip Coffey. Now, it seems most of the dancing spirits have moved the party up to the rooftop since the Rice Lofts' renovations. 

There's A Portal On Battleship Texas

After having survived two World Wars, the historic Battleship Texas of the US Navy was anchored off the Houston Ship Channel and is now a destination for paranormal encounters. Not only is there a red-headed sailor who haunts Deck Two, but there is also a freaky rip in time and space located in the trophy room. No, seriously. A caretaker claims she walked in through the trophy room doorway and found herself in a cemetery in France. 

A Haunting Serenade Can Be Heard In The Julia Ideson Building

The Julia Ideson Building is a public library located in downtown Houston that is reportedly haunted by a former caretaker. Back in the early 20th century, Jacob Frank Cramer kept watch over the building. He’d walk up and down the halls with his dog, Petey, and once he got to the top floor, he’d take a break and play his violin. Cramer lived on the property, in a basement apartment beneath the library, until he died in that very same space in 1936. But according to employees, Cramer still keeps watch because one can hear his footsteps and the sound of his violin.

La Carafe Hosts Seances On The Second Floor

Built in 1866, La Carafe is one of the oldest bars in Houston. Locals and staff like complain that it is haunted. They’ve reported bottles flying off shelves, stomping footsteps, and glass breaking upstairs when no one is there. Also, several people have recounted hearing a child bouncing a ball around and seen the ghost of a former manager in the window.

While there is some paranormal activity in the bar downstairs, most of the noise and chaos is heard on the second floor. Apparently, they host occasional seances up there, so it should come as no surprise that some unruly undead hang around the bar. 

Wed, 10 May 2017 03:21:24 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/ghost-stories-from-houston/lyra-radford
<![CDATA[Rare Photos Of The '92 Clinton Campaign]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-photos-of-the-_92-clinton-campaign/rylee_en

Rife with puffy jackets, big hair, and a legendary saxophone, the images from Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign are a true delight to behold. Do you remember when Hillary was First Lady of Arkansas, standing by her man with big 'ol smiles as they blazed the campaign trail in a bus? Can you recall when Bill amazed the nation by showing us that a President could have a little soul? Can you conjure a time when the Clintons and Gores looked like a happy, young foursome ready to double date and change the world? No?

Well, feast your eyes upon a roundup of rare images from the 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign trail. They laughed; they cried; they drank coffee with old men in New Hampshire; they got endorsed by Richard Dreyfuss. Come on, hop on the campaign bus and take a tour through early '90s American politics.

Rare Photos Of The '92 Clinton Campaign,

Double Dating On The Campaign Tour Bus

Riding Across The USA With Al Gore On Their Campaign Bus

Meeting Some Young Boys During A Tour Of Chicago Housing Authority Buildings, Chicago, IL

At A Picnic Sponsored By The Wisconsin State Democratic Party

Richard Dreyfuss Showing His Support For The Campaign At The DNC

Greeting Crowds And Kissing Babies In Ann Arbor, MI

Throwing A Football At Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

Hugging His Daughter Chelsea On Election Day, Little Rock, AR

Playing His Famed Sax, Cherry Hill, NJ

Celebrating His Victory With Hillary On Election Night, Little Rock, AR

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 03:12:59 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-photos-of-the-_92-clinton-campaign/rylee_en
<![CDATA[Revealing Look Inside California's Hardest Prisons - San Quentin And Folsom]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/pictures-inside-california-prisons/katejacobson

San Quentin and Folsom state prisons are two of the toughest institutions in California. These prisons - which opened in the mid-1800s - have been home to thieves, con artists, and serial killers. Photos from San Quentin show how average every day life could be, while construction photos from Folsom show how prisoners were forced to build their own walls. 

These facilities still operate today, and collectively are home to about 6,000 prisoners. They are some of the largest prisons in the country, were used as the backdrop for many crime dramas - both fictional and true. In particular, San Quentin State Prison has proved a fascination for many writers and filmmakers. They've housed some of the most notorious criminals in US history. Some of the famous inmates of San Quentin include Charles Manson, Charles Ng, and the Tool Box Killers. 

These photos in California's hardest prisons will give you a little insight into what life was really like inside these jails, from the turn of the century to modern times. 

Revealing Look Inside California's Hardest Prisons - San Quentin And Folsom,

Folsom's Entry Gate In The Early 1900s

Cell Blocks And The Wardens Of Folsom

A Collection Of Inmates

A View Of The Yards

Folsom As It Was Being Built

One Of First Female Inmates Of San Quentin

San Quentin Exterior

Prisoners Just Hanging Around

Housing In San Quentin

An Early Shot Of San Quentin

Thu, 25 May 2017 05:45:15 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/pictures-inside-california-prisons/katejacobson
<![CDATA[Photos Of Girls Being Extremely Basic]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-girls-being-basic/nathandavidson

Are you currently wearing a puffy vest and Ugg boots with a Starbucks in hand? Perfect, because it's time to get back to basics with this gallery of basic bitch memes and basic girl photos. What's a basic bitch? Well, in a nutshell, it's a term used to describe someone who mindlessly follows trends to the point where they become a parody of them. Below you'll experience a plethora of basic bitch photos depicting basic bitches and their unflinching support of white girl stereotypes. And if you're a basic dude looking for signs you're dating a basic bitch, you've come to the right place. This photo gallery will either expose your girlfriend for being basic or clear her on all charges.

What are you waiting for? It's time to play some basic bitch songs, aka all of Taylor Swift's catalogue, and enjoy this photo gallery of girls being all basic. If this all applies to you, proceed with caution, and maybe not a highly caffeinated Starbucks beverage. 

Photos Of Girls Being Extremely Basic,

You Are What You Drink

Basic Girls Going Solo

Basic Starter Kit

Keeping Up With The Smiths

All In One Peace

On The Basic Bubble

Basic Convention Center

Horse Of The Same Color

A Claus For Concern

Habitat For No Humanity

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 07:00:24 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-girls-being-basic/nathandavidson
<![CDATA[Spot-On Truths About Millennials]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/truths-about-millennials/nathandavidson

Millennials (also known as Generation Y, Generation Me, Echo Boomers, and the Peter Pan Generation) constantly receive flack for being seen as entitled, lazy, and Earth's "special little snowflakes." Everyone loves to bash on Millennials, especially Baby Boomers, but is the hate warranted? In case you can't quite figure out the Google search engine (Boomers), assembled below are spot-on truths about Millennials to help you decide for yourself. This collection of memes presents both sides of the Millennials vs. Baby Boomers argument, including things you should probably stop blaming on Millennials. Hopefully, these memes will help clear the air on Millennial bashing, Millennial side hustles, and Baby Boomers who literally can't even. 

Spot-On Truths About Millennials,

Millennial Poetry

Whine Not

Love Yourself

You've Gotta Be Kitten Me

If Only The Baby Boomers Had Handled The Economy Better...

Millenial Tombstone

The Millennial Message

Statistics Show

Boomers Need To Give Better Advice

Holy Shift

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 06:49:51 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/truths-about-millennials/nathandavidson
<![CDATA[Where Exactly Did The Elements Of Satanic Imagery Come From?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/where-did-all-the-most-prominent-elements-of-satanic-imagery-come-from-/jacob-shelton

You may not realize it, but the Devil hasn’t always been such an important character in Biblical mythology. When the Bible was first written, there wasn’t even a Devil to speak of, but (like any popular character) as soon as he was introduced, his fans wanted more. The Devil was initially introduced as a minor foil to God. There isn’t even much of a description of Satan's appearance in the good-book, but artists were able to answer the question, “What does Satan look like?” by pulling from their imaginations and other mythologies. If you’ve ever seen pictures of the Devil and wondered why is the Devil red, or just what the Devil looks like, hopefully this collection of historic information about how Satanic imagery has changed over the years will shed some light to the subject.

Why does the Devil have a pitchfork? Does he have a lot of hay to work with in Hell? Does he just think it looks cool? And why does the Devil have horns? Are they actual horns or are they part of a headband that keeps his hair back? And what does 666 even mean? If you’ve spent any time looking at photos of demons, then you’ve likely asked yourself many of these same questions. And because of the changing nature of art and beliefs, the Devil has taken on many forms. Beyond the Devil himself, there’s also some prominent Satanic imagery that needs explanation, like the inverted cross and pentagrams. So, go ahead and light a black candle, play your records backwards, and get ready to learn about sweet, sweet Satan.

Where Exactly Did The Elements Of Satanic Imagery Come From?,

Is The Pentagram Good Or Bad?

Pentagrams, simple five-pointed stars, have been around forever - but who decided that they were spooky-ooky? Initially, pentagrams were used as part of Christian symbolism to represent the five wounds of Christ (two hands, two feet, and the crown of thorns), but over the course of a few generations the cross became a more prevalent symbol. Then during the Enlightenment, Christian-influenced academics looked in Pythagoras’s use of the pentagram as a representation of the five elements, which he assigned to the points on the star: earth, water, air, and fire on the four lower points; with spirit resting on the topmost point.

Finally, in the 19th century, French Satanist Eliphas Levi, declared that the inverted pentagram was an "intellectual subversion" of Christianity because of its reversal of the natural order, placing matter over the spirit world.

When Did The Devil Earn His Wings?

While Satan's leathery bat wings are less-notable than his bright-red sheen or the trident pitchfork he carries around on a regular basis, there are many depictions of a sad, sulking Satan with wings. Once again, this is an artistic rendering that came from guys who were trying to make their pieces stand out by inferring ideas from scripture. Beginning around the 14th century, angels were shown having massive feathery wings, and demons - who are technically fallen angels - were given bat wings. And, of course, the Devil has the biggest bat wings of them all. By the 16th century, John Baptist Medina had cemented the idea of a winged Devil with his beautiful engravings that accompanied the fourth edition of Milton's Dante's Inferno - the first to feature illustrations. Medina's depictions of a winged Devil, complete with horns, would dominate depictions of Satan until the 19th century.

Where Did Satan Get His Goat Legs?

If you've ever seen the seminal silent film, Häxan, then you have some idea of what a half-man-half-goat Satan looks like, and while the concept of the Devil or Lucifer has existed since at least the 6th century, scholars believe that it wasn't until the 19th century that his goat legs appeared. The most plausible theory for the appearance of his goat legs is that neo-paganism was coming into vogue, so poets and artists were suddenly interested in using the Greek goat-god, Pan, as a source of inspiration. So, when it came to painting the Devil, it was natural that the god of chaos and pan flutes would be used as a stand in for Old Scratch.

Is The Antichrist A Thing?

The concept of the Antichrist is something that's only entered the cultural-consciousness in the last 50 years or so. For something that's become a lynch-pin of Bible-belt faith, it's ironic that the Antichrist is only mentioned four times in the Bible - and each times it's described as someone who does not "acknowledge Jesus Christ." What it seems like the Bible is saying is that anyone who turns on Christ is automatically anti-christ, much like how people who don't eat yams are... anti-yams. 

It wasn't until the 6th century that the Antichrist became a corporeal being, when Saint Irenaeus (the same guy who came to the conclusion that 666 was the number of the beast) decided that the creature was a literal thing, specifically one of the beasts from the Book of Revelation. Then in the Middle Ages the Antichrist was finally portrayed as a human instead of a creature, beginning the trend of depicting the end-of-days in a more figurative way.

How About That Pitchfork?

So, here's the thing about the pitchfork - it's actually a trident. Satan's pitchfork began as a pagan symbol for Poseidon, until the three prongs of the trident were appropriated by Christianity to represent the trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In medieval times, the trident was turned into a symbol for the Devil and changed into a pitchfork. There's no explanation for why the change was made - tridents are way cooler than pitchforks - although it likely had something to do with artists depicting Satan as a pitchfork-carrying demon living in an agrarian society, rather than one living a life by the sea.

Who Decided On Satan's Red Skin Tone?

If you're picturing the Devil in your head right now, you're probably thinking of a bright-red creature similar to Tim Curry in Legend. Or maybe you're just thinking of Tim Curry in Legend. But how did people decide on red? Initially the Devil was actually depicted as being blue, because in the 6th century blue was viewed as being way more evil than red. But as tastes and generalizations about what was and wasn't evil began to change, so did depictions of the Devil who changed from a blue-robed figure to a straight-up red-skinned horned demon.

Who Gave The Devil His Horns?

Satan's most well-known attribute is his horns, but if you've cracked open a Bible recently you'll know that the scripture makes zero reference to the Devil having horns. It actually doesn't really describe him at all. So, where are the horns from? In the first era of Christianity, the church was still trying to wipe out paganism, so one of the main sources of propaganda was to take a pagan deity and turn him into something sinister. That's how Egyptian gods like Bes and Isis - a feminine deity who is often shown wearing the headdress of Hathor - became variations of a horned Devil.

When Did The Devil Become So Handsome?

The 19th century was a turning-point for the depiction of Satan in art. Not only did the Devil find his goat legs, but this was also the century that introduced the idea of Satan as a smooth-talking, mysterious figure. Both in Goethe's Faust, and Mark Twain’s Mysterious Stranger, Satan takes on the role of a cunning, sly figure, who tricks people into their own hell rather than scaring them into doing his bidding, as he did in the story of Job. Even though Goethe's Mephistopheles is the central antagonist in the tale, he's given lines that make him sound like a proto-Morrissey, and it is delightful. One of the greatest lines in the book comes from the demonic character who says, “I am not omniscient, but I know a lot.” 

Aside from his smooth-talking ways in literature, the 19th century also saw him taking on a rather clever style in the world of visual art. There was a movement to present Satan's image via bronze busts by artists like Mark Matveevich Antokolsky and Auguste De Wever. Each artist had a different take on the cunning Mephistopheles, but in each version he was presented with a menace unseen in previous iterations.

Does The Devil Actually Like To Gamble?

When did the Devil get into gambling for people's souls? The closest he got to doing that in the Bible was when he bet God that he could make Job curse his name - but that's really all that Biblical scholars have to go off of. He never has a fiddle contest with anyone in order to grant them their wildest dreams or anything - so where did this part of the story come from? Faust, a German legend by Goethe and later retold by Christopher Marlowe with puppets by Jan Švankmajer, introduces the concept of the Devil as an entity who's happy to roll the dice for your immortal soul. This particular story follows a doctor who grows bored with his life and decides to make a deal with the Devil, who is all too happy to take Faust up on his offer.

Is 666 Actually The Number Of The Beast?

The number "666" is so synonymous with Satan that there are even people who will go so far as to add more items to their purchase at a coffee shop just to make their total come out to $6.66. What did this number do to become so maligned? The three-digit number originally comes from Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, who decided that the beast from "Revelation 13" was in fact the Antichrist, and that the numerical values associated with the letters of his name added up to 666

Although that may not be a reference to the actual Devil, many scholars believe that "666" was a way to speak out against Emperor Nero, as his name added up to 666 when written in Aramaic. It's also possible that Nero may have already been dead by the time the Book of Revelation was written, but one interpretation is that Irenaeus was using Nero as a way to compare rulers who were using Nero-esqe tactics like taxation, confiscation of property, and economic marginalization. 

Tue, 02 May 2017 05:32:28 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/where-did-all-the-most-prominent-elements-of-satanic-imagery-come-from-/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[The 15 Bloodiest, Most Violent Family Feuds In History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/bloody-historical-family-feuds/setareh-janda

Forget the Montagues and Capulets; history is littered with real-life family disputes that led to violence. These bloodline battles were waged both formally and informally, through both political means and vigilante justice. Often igniting cycles of violence, these  bloody family feuds rarely had happy endings.  

From ancient times until today, the bloodiest family feuds in history are filled with stories of honor, vengeance, politics, and kinship. Though that may sound romantic, it wasn't: family feuds often resulted in horrifying acts of barbarism and cruelty, like the Black Dinner Massacre. Some violent historical family feuds – like the one between the notorious Hatfields and McCoys – involved different families warring against one another. Others – like the extended family drama that was the War of the Roses – involved civil wars within a single family unit. But no matter how they began or who they involved, the result was always the same: factionalism, violence, and death. 

The Montagues and Capulets may be one of the most infamous family feuds in literature, but these bloody family feuds in history reveal that truth is stranger than fiction.

The 15 Bloodiest, Most Violent Family Feuds In History,

The Hatfield-McCoy Feud Climaxed With The New Year's Massacre

The war between the Hatfields and McCoys is perhaps the most notorious family feud in American history. Lasting from roughly 1863 to 1891, the decades-long conflict between two proud, rough-hewn Appalachian families began over a hog, of all things. Randolph McCoy – the patriarch of the McCoy family – claimed that a Hatfield scoundrel had stolen one of his hogs. The trial – helped in no small part by the influence of William "Devil Anse" Hatfield – did not go in McCoy's favor. And so the bloodletting began: McCoys murdered and maimed Hatfields. Hatfields murdered and maimed McCoys. Young lovers were torn apart. Lives were extinguished before they began.

The feud came to a bloody climax in the New Year's Massacre of 1888. Hatfields surrounded the home of a sleeping Randolph McCoy in the middle of the night, and released a barrage of bullets. Two of McCoy's children died, though he escaped and his wife barely survived.

The Hatfield-McCoy feud had become so violent, the United States government actually got involved, and the case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court. Eventually, eight Hatfields were sentenced to life in prison, and an allegedly mentally challenged member of the family was executed. After that, the feud fizzled out.  

The Percy-Neville Feud Anticipated The Wars Of The Roses

The Percy and Neville families were two of the most powerful houses in the north of England by the middle of the 15th century. With great power, however, came great tension — they mistrusted one another and each jockeyed for power, alliances, and influence.

Tensions first broke out into actual physical confrontation in August, 1453, when the two families fought after a Neville wedding. Though the crown intervened in the feud later that year, it actually did little good: their bitter rivalry echoed in the ensuing Wars of the Roses, with each family taking sides and escalating the conflict.

The Civil War Never Ended For The Lees And The Peacocks

Texas, 1867. The Civil War ended two years earlier, but that didn’t mean tensions dissolved. Bob Lee, for one, remained an unrepentant Confederate. So when Lewis Peacock was actively collaborating with the Reconstruction government and protecting Union sympathizers, Lee simply could not abide it.

Tensions between the two escalated to the point of bloodshed. Each family amassed various allies in the area, and eventually the U.S. Cavalry had to intervene between the warring clans.  

Clan Conflict Led To A Monumental War In 12th-Century Japan

Two of Japan's most powerful clans in the 12th century were the Taira and the Minamoto. One, however, had more power than the other: the Taira basically ran the imperial government. Though the Minamoto had risen against the Taira, it didn't end well for them in 1160. Twenty years later, they gathered their forces again, this time with a vengeance.

War broke out between the two families, with the Minamoto successfully convincing other clans to join their cause. Battles grew and conflict escalated in size until they plagued the country. The war lasted five years. By the time the Genpei War (as we know it today) ended in 1185, tens of thousands of people lost their lives, and a new shogunate was established with the Minamoto in charge. 

The Pazzi Conspired To Kill The Medici In The Very Cathedral They Helped Build

By the late 15th century, Florence was more or less Medici turf. The famous banking family was on the cusp of becoming a dynasty. The problem? The Pazzi, another wealthy Florentine family, didn’t want that to happen.

So on April 26, 1478, members of the Pazzi attacked and attempted to assassinate the two most prominent members of the Medici clan at High Mass in the Duomo, the city’s main cathedral that the Medici themselves had funded. The Pazzi assassins successfully murdered Giuliano de Medici, but his brother Lorenzo managed to escape.

The repercussions were swift: the conspirators were executed and the entire Pazzi family was banished from Florence. For proud Florentines in the 15th century, that was a fate worse than death. 

The Sutton-Taylor Feud Was A Texas-Style Family War

In 1868, Texas was an untamed land where the law wasn't always held in the highest regard. The Taylors – bleeding-heart Confederates – bit their thumb in the face of U.S. federal law. In the years following the Civil War, racial tensions were high, especially in the South. In 1866, a member of the Taylor family fired the first shot of the feud: he killed an African American man at a dance. In the following years, Taylors would shoot both African Americans and U.S. soldiers, symbols of the Reconstruction government that the Taylors loathed.

The Suttons, on the other hand, were lawmen, and the Taylors became a thorn in their side. So, when a Sutton killed a Taylor suspected of being a thief, the blood feud began to spiral out of control. Dozens of people on both sides died, and the feud did not end until 1876, when Texas Rangers intervened and put an end to it.

A Stewart King Served Death À La Douglas At The Black Dinner

Though the Stewarts had been the Scottish royal family since the 14th century, they didn't command everyone's love and respect by the 1400s. Case in point, the Douglas family rivaled the Stewarts in terms of prestige and power, and they didn't always play nice with the royals. So in 1440, the 10-year-old King James II invited two prominent Douglases (Dougli?) to dinner at Edinburgh Castle, and promptly had them murdered at the table.

The so-called "Black Dinner" was only one bloody moment in the troubled history between the Stewarts and the Douglases. A few years later, the king himself plunged a knife into William Douglas and tossed him from a window at Stirling Castle. Finally, the conflict came to a head when the Douglases and Stewarts met on the battlefield in 1455. The Stewarts prevailed, establishing a central monarchy that ruled Scotland through the Late Middle Ages. 

Members Of The Campbell Clan Massacred The MacDonalds Of Glencoe

The Campbells and the MacDonalds were two rival Highland clans in the late 17th century. Theirs was the worst kind of rivalry in Scotland: a cattle rivalry. MacDonalds stole Campbell cattle, and vice versa. Things came to a head in February 1692, when members from Clan Campbell participated in one of the most infamous events in British history: the Glencoe Massacre.

After MacDonalds from Glencoe didn't sign a loyalty oath to the new King William and Queen Mary on time, the government sought to brutally punish the family for their impudence, and make an example of them for other Highland clans. The Campbells were all too eager to take part in the bloodshed.

So, an army of men – including, but limited to, Campbells – traveled to Glencoe and requested hospitality, claiming they needed to camp on MacDonald land. After the MacDonalds had given the group hospitality – they gave them food, drink, and entertainment – for nearly two weeks, the men turned on the clan, killing men, women, and children as they slept in their beds. Most of the MacDonalds who managed to flee the scene of frenzied murder ultimately died in the hills, as a result of the bitter February weather. To this day, some claim the Campbells are still cursed for breaking the laws of hospitality.

The Graham-Tewksbury Feud Erupted Into Open Warfare In The Wild West

The Grahams and the Tewksburys were two successful ranching families in the Arizona territory at the end of the 19th century. In the beginning, the two families were actually friendly and cooperated with one another. Enter: James Stinson, another rancher who accused the Tewksburys of stealing his cattle.

In a move the Tewksburys would never forgive, he wooed the Grahams to take his side. For an entire decade, the Tewskburys and the Grahams were at war. The conflict featured shootouts, vengeful cowboys, and assassins, the so-called "Pleasant Valley War" claimed at least 25 lives between 1882 and 1892.

The Wars Of The Roses Were Basically A Brutal Family Soap Opera

Family feuds don't have to be between rival clans. In fact, some feuds erupt within genetic lines. Such was the case of the Wars of the Roses, when no less than the English throne was at stake.

The Houses of York and Lancaster were two branches of the same royal family, and they all descended from King Edward III. So when King Henry VI – a Lancastrian king – proved to be a weak and unstable ruler, his York cousins took advantage and claimed the throne for themselves.

For three decades, England was engulfed in an aristocratic interstitial war, and a bloody family soap opera. Thousands died on and off the battlefields of England during this turbulent period. The throne passed back and forth until 1485, when yet another cousin – Henry Tudor – defeated the Yorkist King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:58:02 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/bloody-historical-family-feuds/setareh-janda
<![CDATA[The Weirdest Rules Of The Hays Code]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/weird-hays-code-rules/rebecca-shortall

You've probably heard the expression, "They don't make them like they used to." When that comes to the movies, that figure of speech likely refers to a specific time - 1930 through 1968, to be exact. During that span, most films had to adhere to the Motion Picture Production Code, otherwise known as the Hays Code.

What was the Hays Code? It was a set of moral guidelines, thought to ensure that audiences only consumed appropriate entertainment. Old Hollywood scandals from the 1920s had painted Tinseltown and the abusive studio system as a place of crime and sin, and political pressure spurred executives to take action. Something had to be done to rein in the morally bankrupt Hollywood machine, and a Presbyterian elder named Will H. Hays seemed to offer a solution. His system of "don'ts" and "be carefuls" soon morphed into an official code. By 1930, several major studios agreed to the new set of rules.

Beyond being strict, the Hays Code was downright bizarre. Strange rules in old Hollywood outlined how men and women could interact, forbid dancing, and even limited funny portrayals of religious figures. The weirdest rules in the Hays Code read like parody, but they influenced Hollywood for years. It's both entertaining and intriguing to consider how the Hays Code changed movies.

The Weirdest Rules Of The Hays Code,

No Branding Animals

It's a safe bet that audiences don't want to see more realistic depictions of animal cruelty on screen. However, the Hays Code's oddly specific ban on branding also applied to human beings; it was a "repellent subject."

No Interracial Realtionships

None of the Hays Code has aged well, but it's particularly cringe-inducing to read its sections on race. The document called relationships between black and white people "miscegenation" - in itself a queasily outdated word - and forbid studios from showing them on screen. Fortunately, movies like Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967) managed to get one over on the Code enactors.

No Glamorous Safe-Cracking

Per the Code, criminal activities that included safe-cracking were not to be glamorized under any circumstances. Why? The Hays Code authors were apparently worried about giving audiences ideas; the rule appears under a section beginning, "[Crimes against the law] shall never be presented in such a way as to throw sympathy with the crime as against law and justice or to inspire others with a desire for imitation."

No First Night Scenes

Given the Hays Code's obsession with morals, you would think they might give some leeway to portrayals of passion between appropriately married couples. But even that was considered too racy - the Code forbid "First Night" scenes. In general, "the treatment of bedrooms must be governed by good taste and delicacy" in approved films.

No Silhouettes Of Nudity

Nudity is still heavily regulated in movies. But in the days of the Hays Code, not even a hint of bare skin could be shown. That extended to silhouettes of nude bodies, too. The Code primly noted, "Transparent or translucent materials and silhouette are frequently more suggestive than actual exposure."

Undressing was a no no as well - scenes in which a character changed outfits could only be included when "essential to the plot."

No Lustful Kissing

There's a reason why vintage movies feature seemingly dry, close-mouthed kisses. The Hays Code prohibited "excessive and lustful kissing," apparently so that the scenes wouldn't could "stimulate the lower and baser element." Oddly, it doesn't define what qualifies as "excessive" or "lustful."

No White Slavery

The Hays Code says, "White slavery shall not be treated" - though, curiously, the rule comes under the heading of "Sex." No mention is made of the enslavement of any other race.

One Foot On The Floor During Bedroom Scenes

When it came to depicting men and women in the bedroom, the Hays Code offered filmmakers two options. They could have the couple sleeping in separate twin beds, like the wholesome, sexless partners the audience supposedly clamored for. Or, they could show the couple sleeping in the same bed, with one caveat: the woman had to have one foot on the floor for the duration of the scene. Presumably, this was to reassure viewers that no racy acts were about to occur.

No Funny Religious Figures

The Hays Code was overtly religious in its construction, so perhaps it's not surprising that it banned all negative depictions of faith from the silver screen. Priests, ministers, nuns, and clergymen had to be portrayed as honorable so as to prevent "the lowering of the audience's respect" for religion.

Indecent Dances Are Forbidden

Dance was a tricky subject for the Hays Code; dance was recognized as "an art" and "a beautiful form of expressing human emotions," but it was also condemned for being capable of "represent[ing] sexual actions, whether performed solo or with two or more." Ultimately, the Code forbid "indecent" dances featuring "movement of the breasts [or] excessive body movements while the feet are stationary."

Thu, 11 May 2017 06:40:35 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/weird-hays-code-rules/rebecca-shortall
<![CDATA[PDA Memes That Will Remind You No One Wants To See That]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/pda-memes/nathandavidson

PDA is an ongoing and ever-changing epidemic, but thankfully PDA memes are here to help your lonely ass get through it. As the nature of interaction shifts amid the advent of social media, nowadays you'll find PDA occurs just as frequently on your timeline as it does in the marching band section of the bleachers. PDA photos permeate everything from Facebook to Instagram, so arm yourselves with PDA memes to ward off any unwanted displays of affection.

Whether you find yourself for PDA or against it, these PDA memes serve as a helpful guide for all digital and physical situations of PDA, the worst romantic gesture on the planet. If you're into PDA, these PDA pictures will hopefully break it to you easy what you're doing wrong and why you need to cease and desist. If you absolutely despise PDA, then PDA photos give you the power to stand up for yourself the next time you face it on a subway platform. Because when you get down to it, PDA stands for one thing only: pretty damn annoying.

PDA Memes That Will Remind You No One Wants To See That,

Better In Thought Than Practice

If You're Doing Any Of These... Stop It

Oh Deer

Public Displays Of Weirdness

Two Couples One Dude

Just Don't Do It

Anti-PDA Cat

Bae Caught Me PDA

Parental PDA

Rest In Peace

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 02:33:19 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/pda-memes/nathandavidson
<![CDATA[Red Rooms: Myth Or Reality?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/do-red-rooms-really-exist/christopher-myers

Allegedly, red rooms are some of the most horrific places on the deep web. Now, this is not your standard type of creepy, Internet website - red rooms cross the line into some seriously dark and depraved stuff. You've been warned.

In a red room, you can supposedly view a live stream of someone being tortured and murdered - and some say that the audience can even participate by exchanging Bitcoins for particular acts of horrific violence. These two things distinguish a "true" red room from a typical snuff-film uploaded to the deep web... both being things that, sadly, definitely do exist (as if you needed another reason to avoid the dark web and all the horror stories that go along with it).

But are red rooms real, or are they just an urban legend? This list presents evidence for, and against, the existence of red rooms - you be the judge.

Red Rooms: Myth Or Reality?,

The Surface Web Is Already Full Of Enough Darkness

Let's be honest - if you spend enough time surfing the normal web, you might just stumble across some stuff you can never unsee. All sorts of terrible things, from child pornography to sites run by ISIS exist on the regular ol' Internet. So, it stands to reason that if you can't find something on the surface web, even hidden in some obscure and secure location, it probably doesn't exist on the dark web either.

And according to Wired Magazine, many of the claims about the dark web are overblown. The dark web accounts for only a tiny fraction of the Internet - between 7,000 and 30,000 hidden Tor sites by most recent estimates. That adds up to about 0.03% of the total content of the Internet. Those who use it are also few. Of the nearly two million daily Tor users, only 1.5% of the overall traffic has to do with any sort of hidden site. The rest of the users are just protecting their regular browsing history.

If Red Rooms Are Real, You Definitely Won't Stumble Onto One

According to IT experts that frequent the deep web, if a red room were to exist, it would be heavily guarded and only a select few people would even be able to view them. Certainly, there are plenty of alleged red room scams on the deep web (as well as law enforcement sting operations in effect). So, this immediately poses a problem for both the payer and the seller of the red room.

Anyone performing an illegal activity in one of these rooms is going to have a hard time advertising without making the authorities aware of their dealings. Likewise, anyone seeking illegal activity is going to be wary of spending massive amounts of money on a product they cannot verify. Long story short, you really have to try if you want to find one.

Peter Gerard Scully Is On Trial For Doing Horrible Things

People who believe that red rooms are real often point to Peter Gerard Scully. Scully is currently on trial in the Philippines, and has been accused of many flat-out terrible things including child pornography, kidnapping, human trafficking, rape, and the murder of a 12-year-old girl whose remains were discovered at one of Scully's former residences. In all fairness, it should be noted that he has pleaded not guilty to the charges and the trial is still pending.

However, among Scully's alleged exploits is a film titled Daisy's Destruction (also referred to as The Destruction of Daisy). This is just one of many videos that Scully is said to have uploaded to the dark web. If you have seen any of these videos, you are either a member of the Filipino or Australian police, or you have committed a horrific crime. The contents of the videos, and the charges placed against Scully, are supposedly so awful that the Philippines has actually considered bringing back the death penalty specifically for this case.

Even if the charges against Scully prove to be true, it is not clear whether his dark website No Limits Fun can be considered to be a "true" red room, as it is unknown whether or not anything was ever streamed live on the site.

Some Claim Red Rooms Exist On The Surface Web But Are Only Accessible Via The Dark Web

A common claim made by multiple sources who frequent the dark web is that red rooms do exist, but the live streaming itself occurs on the surface, or clear web. This gets around the latency problem inherent in using Tor.

Basically, to get in you have to somehow develop a relationship with the group who created it. This takes multiple steps, starting with Internet relay chat and finding someone who already knows the link. Once there, you would need to make an account and get an invite.

All of this is an absolutely terrible idea for more reasons than can be mentioned, so the best advice here is to perish the thought.

Tor Allegedly Can't Stream Live Video

One of the chief arguments against the existence of red rooms is the claim that Tor is just too slow to stream live video. But even if this claim is true, Tor is not synonymous with the deep web - Tor is simply a way to browse the deep web. It does mean, however, that it would be technically impossible to actually operate these red rooms using Tor, so a different distribution mechanism would be needed.

This is why some people claim that if red rooms do to exist, they would not actually be found on the deep web at all. Instead, they would be hidden in heavily restricted and secure areas of the surface web.

"Animal Crush" Sites Exist

One such site on the deep web called "Cruel Onion" was even shut down by the FBI. These sites feature the sexualized killing of small animals such as mice, rabbits, puppies, and kittens, and often - allegedly - include a forum where people can make requests. Seriously, Internet, you should be ashamed of yourself.

In 2016, Brent Justice was convicted for making these videos and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. His accomplice, Ashley Nicole Richards, pled guilty and received a reduced sentence. They were the first to be convicted of this type of crime under the US Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010. The two had a rather active client base and would often take requests.

The Site Called The Human Experiment Is Allegedly A Red Room

Some people claim that this is a legitimate red room, while others say it is just a way to scare people away from the deep web. Allegedly, the site is a place where people perform horrible medical experiments on animals and people and payment with Bitcoins is required to see live feeds of this messed up stuff. Being that all the evidence that this site even exists amounts to the testimony of Reddit users and a YouTube video, it should be taken with a grain of salt.

Apparently There Is A Demand

Given the proven existence of snuff films and other depraved video-rings of this nature, the laws of supply and demand seem to suggest that red rooms could exist. The question becomes whether or not the demand for them would still exist at the high price-point that such a site would require.

Logistically, a red room would be an extremely difficult thing to create. It doesn't exactly have a natural distribution mechanism, and the risks involved in being even marginally attached to such a site are huge. Higher prices naturally drive down demand, so it is possible that the price necessary to justify the high costs incurred to produce a red room would drive demand for such a product to near zero. To put it another way, no matter how many people love Oreo cookies, they wouldn't exist if they cost a million bucks to produce.

The question basically comes down to: "How much more expensive would it be to create and maintain a red room, compared to similar known products with established illicit markets?" Silk Road is a good comparative example of such an illicit market, but with much less risk and much higher demand, and that particular darknet business model proved unsustainable.

People Have Live Streamed Murder - And Were Obviously Caught

Some people have actually been dumb (or crazy) enough to stream murders live. You wouldn't exactly call it a red room, but rather a place where criminals willingly make their crimes a matter of public record. It does prove, though, that the technology for a red room theoretically exists.

One example involves two men in Slovenia who beat a third man to death - all while streaming it on Facebook Live. They were promptly arrested and are awaiting sentencing. Far from the only instance of this, there have been other murders, rapes, and suicides streamed on Facebook Live. However, horrible people who stream their horrible actions live online one time before being arrested, is a far-cry from making a full-fledged business out of it through a red room.

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 08:37:16 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/do-red-rooms-really-exist/christopher-myers
<![CDATA[The Strange History Of Los Angeles's Most Infamous Hotels]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/strange-histories-of-hotels-in-los-angeles/andy-miller

Los Angeles is a tourist town; people flock from across the globe to visit Hollywood and the beaches, the theme parks and studios. As a result, the hotels of Los Angeles are some of the most interesting places to stay in the world. From the Chateau Marmont's history to the Skid Row speakeasies, the hotels in Los Angeles offer something for everyone. The coolest hotels in Los Angeles all have rich histories. Some, like the Knickerbocker Hotel, have creepy pasts, and others, like the Georgian, were the home to lots of criminal activity. Below are the strange histories of Los Angeles's most infamous hotels.

So, where do you want to stay in the City of Angels?

The Strange History Of Los Angeles's Most Infamous Hotels,

Ambassador Hotel

The Ambassador opened on Wilshire Boulevard on New Years Day, 1921. At the time, Wilshire Boulevard was a dirt road surrounded by dairy farms. The arrival of the 500-room hotel brought quick and decisive changes. During its hey-day, the hotel and its world class night club, the Cocoanut Grove, set the trends for all of Los Angeles and the film industry.  The Ambassador hosted six Academy Awards. Every president from Hoover to Nixon stayed at the hotel. Hollywood’s elite packed the Cocoanut Grove night after night – Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball, and Jimmy Stewart were all regulars. It’s even been rumored that Rudolph Valentino supplied the hotel's paper mache palm trees from the set of his film The Sheik

As the 1960s progressed and cities were falling into disrepair from the rise of the suburbs, the fate of the Ambassador was forever changed. Robert F. Kennedy won the presidential primary for California on June 4, 1968. He addressed his supporters from the Ambassador’s Embassy Room ballroom. Moments later, he was gunned down and killed in the kitchen by Sirhan Sirhan. It was a morbid and monumental sign of the changing times. The Ambassador struggled along until the mid-1980s and finally checked out its last guest in 1989. It was demolished to make way for a new school in 2006.

Biltmore Hotel

The Biltmore is perhaps Los Angeles’ most elegant hotel. It certainly was upon its opening in 1923. Designed by architectural firm Schultze and Weaver, the building is a synthesis of Italian and Greek Renaissance, with touches of Moorish flavor. It is all designed to pay homage to California’s Castillian heritage. It is a striking building with countless ballrooms and extravagant lobbies. In the Biltmore, the beauty is in the details – gold, vaulted ceilings, frescoes, an ocean-liner-inspired pool and spa. 

Many of Los Angeles’ great historic hotels went into decline during Prohibition and the Depression. The Biltmore, however, continued on its merry way thanks to its infamous “speakeasy,” the Gold Room. It’s hard to consider it an actual speakeasy when there were double-sided mirrors for the paparazzi. The Gold Room is perhaps the most well-documented speakeasy of its time. The Biltmore’s rich history includes high times like hosting the Academy Awards throughout the '30s and '40s, feeding the crew of Graf Zeppelin on its journey around the world, and hosting the 1960 Democratic National Convention when John F. Kennedy won the primary. In less sunny remembrances, it was also the last place that Elizabeth Short, better known as the Black Dahlia, was seen before her murder in 1947. Troops stayed on the second floor before departing to the Pacific in WWII. Needless to say, many consider the hotel to be extremely haunted.

Pico House

The Pico House is the last hotel from the original downtown of Los Angeles. It sits just North of the 101 Freeway, near Chinatown, on the Old Plaza. Built in 1870, the Pico House belongs in a Western film. Ezra Keysor, the architect, designed it in the Italianate Style.  The hotel's namesake, Don Pio Pico, was the last Mexican governor of California before it became a part of the United States. Pico threw lavish parties in the hotel square and entertained the masses. 

Upon its completion, the Pico House was considered the greatest hotel south of San Francisco. However, Los Angeles was a lawless city during the 1870s, and lynch mobs ruled the streets. The Chinese Massacre of 1871 occurred right outside the Pico House as belligerent mobs hung, beat, and burned the Chinese population that was helping with the railroad. Upon the completion of the railroads, the downtown and financial districts outgrew the Old Plaza and moved south to what are now Broadway and Main Streets.

Knickerbocker Hotel

The Knickerbocker Hotel opened in Hollywood in July of 1929. Famed architect EM Frasier designed the hotel in the Spanish Colonial Style, and it immediately attracted the film industry’s elite. It was perhaps best known for two things – its world class bar, the Lido Room, which hosted live Tango music, and the lobby’s chandelier. The light fixture cost a reported $120,000 in 1925. 

The Knickerbocker had a lot of ups and downs. It began as one of the hippest hotels in town and hosted celebrities Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe on their honeymoon. However, there are reports of Monroe’s ghost haunting the lobby. Elvis stayed at the Knickerbocker while filming his first movie, Love Me Tender. In some of the more "down" moments for the hotel, director DW Griffith had a stroke in his room at the hotel and died shortly thereafter, and Frances Farmer was dragged kicking and screaming while in a manic stupor from the hotel, institutionalized the next day. Irene Lentz, a costume designer who was deeply bereaved by the death of Gary Cooper, committed suicide by jumping from the building. In the 1960s, the neighborhood began to decline, and the hotel was converted to a Senior Living home. 

Today, it is best remembered for its association with Harry Houdini. When Houdini died in 1926, he promised his wife Bess that he would visit her from beyond if it were possible. Bess held a séance on Halloween for 10 consecutive years. The tenth and final year was a media sensation – even the Los Angeles Times covered it. The seance was on the roof of the Knickerbocker Hotel. That night, Houdini failed to reach out to the gathered. As the séance disbanded and the guests began to mingle, the sky opened up and thunder and lightning rained down. They all rushed inside for cover. The next day, they discovered that it did not rain anywhere else in Los Angeles. 

Tropicana Motel

At one time owned by Sandy Koufax, the Tropicana Motel did not have much going for it esthetically, but it made up for it with amazing clientele. Located in West Hollywood on the corner of Santa Monica and West Knoll, it was just a hop, skip, and jump down the road from the Troubadour. As a result, just about every rock band from the '60s through the late '70s set up camp at the famed budget motel. Jim Morrison was often there. Led Zeppelin and the Mamas and the Papas were frequent guests.Tom Waits was a long-term resident. He even broke off a section of the kitchen counter so he could move a piano into the kitchen. The Clash and Blondie had memorable visits. The motel’s restaurant, Duke’s, was a late-night hangout for the after hours crowd. Unfortunately, the location was too good, and it all came to an end in 1987 when the wrecking ball cleared the way for a new and bigger Ramada. 

The Georgian Hotel

The Georgian opened in 1933 at the end of Route 66 in Santa Monica. Rosamond Borde, the proprietress, envisioned her posh hotel as a getaway for the Hollywood elite. After all, Santa Monica was a sleepy beach town back then, and the Georgian offered a number of services. It had a barbershop and playground; it hosted galas in its lobbies. These amenities were all well and good, but what ultimately drew the Hollywood elite was the alcohol. During Prohibition, the Georgian had a top notch bar that hosted stars like Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, as well as mobsters like Bugsy Seigel and his crew. Being an old hotel, there are also whispers about a ghost in the kitchen. Santa Monica may no longer be a sleepy beach hamlet, but the Georgian is still taking guests and serving drinks.

Hotel Alexandria

The Hotel Alexandria is located in downtown Los Angeles. It opened in February 1906 and was the nicest hotel in Los Angeles before the Biltmore was built. The Alexandria was so popular that a second building was built, and then a neighboring wing was added. The added wing was on the adjacent property and owned by William Chick. He built the building to connect to the Alexandria – the hallways from the original building were extended onto his new addition, and the add-on rooms were handled just like the rest; the guests checked in at the front desk as usual, etc. 

In 1938, ownership changed hands, and the hotel became the property of Phil Goldstone . At the time, the add-on wing was owned by William Chick’s daughter. They argued over finances, and Goldstone eventually sent in bricklayers to seal off the original hotel from the Chicks' building. William Chick never planned on running his rooms separately from the main hotel, so there was no lobby or check-in for the wing. To make matters worse, there weren't even stairs connecting the sealed-off floors to each other, and there was no retail space on the ground floor. The phantom wing was completely cut off from the outside world and lay undisturbed until 2012, when it was finally bought and converted to condos.

Contractors Discovered A Long-Forgotten Speakeasy Beneath The Hotel Rosslyn Annex

The Rosslyn Hotel Annex in downtown Los Angeles opened in 1923 on the corner of 5th and Main. It was designed by the Parkinson and Parkinson Firm in the Beaux Arts style and still stands today, although it has been re-purposed as low income housing. In 2010, the building was bought by the SRO Housing Corporation, and they discovered a long-forgotten speakeasy, the Prohibition haunt for those looking for a good time when drinks were hard to come by. Down in the basement, they found a barbershop and bathrooms directly across from a speakeasy named the Monterey Room. There was also a marble-lined tunnel that led up to 5th Street and a secret passage that led to the original Hotel Rosslyn across the street. 

Hollywood Stars Fished For Their Dinner At The Sportsmen's Lodge

The Sportsmen’s Lodge has a long and storied past. Located in Studio City, it is just three miles from Universal Studios and Hollywood. It has had various names and passed through countless owners. In the 1920s, it was still primarily known as Hollywood Trout Farm, although it offered hotel accommodations, as well. Republic Pictures was located nearby, and its Western film stars often stopped off at the Trout Ranch for a bit of fishing and a drink on the way home to their little ranches in the San Fernando Valley. At this point, Roy Rogers and Rex Allen, John Wayne and Gene Autry were all regulars. 

In 1945, the name was officially changed to Sportsmen’s Lodge. Hollywood A-listers often caught fish off the storied docks, and the kitchen would then cook up the catch. Clark Gable, Katherine Hepburn, and Humphrey Bogart were regulars at this point. The Lodge made adjustments as the San Fernando Valley grew and developed into a sprawling suburbia. A ballroom was added – it was the only large room for rent in the region, and it could hold 500 guests. Many San Fernando residents were married at the hotel, had bar mitzvahs, and hosted family celebrations in the ballroom throughout the '50s and '60s – becoming a beloved institution in the process. The Sportsmen’s Lodge is still open for business, but major overhauls have made it virtually unrecognizable.

The Figueroa Hotel Was A Feminist Stronghold

The Hotel Figueroa has one of the richest histories of Los Angeles’ many hotels. In fact, Hotel Figueroa was revolutionary. It was the first hotel catering exclusively to women. The YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) purchased land on the corner of 10th and Figueroa in 1925. Unlike the YMCA, which concerned itself with community, the YWCA was focused on social issues. At the time, women were beginning to assume more prominent roles in society, especially in business. The YWCA grew concerned as women began to live more independent lives and travel on their own, believing they needed a safe place that catered to their own needs. Thus was born the Hotel Figueroa. 

The Hotel Figueroa opened its doors in 1926. The top floors were reserved exclusively for women. Men and their families were permitted on the bottom two levels. There was a hair salon and pool and even a phone bank for important calls. Live music was hosted once a week, as well as dry dances. Unfortunately, rising debt forced the hotel to change its format. In 1928, the top floors were no longer reserved exclusively for women, but the YWCA still owned and operated the hotel. Then, the stock market crashed, and they were forced to sell it. The Hotel Figueroa’s feminist history was slowly forgotten as the area declined. Interest in the hotel and its rich past was only re-ignited upon the revival of the surrounding area in the early 2000s with the building of LA Live.

Thu, 04 May 2017 08:23:03 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/strange-histories-of-hotels-in-los-angeles/andy-miller
<![CDATA[13 Heroic Military Animals You Had No Idea Existed]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/animal-war-heroes/eric-vega

Everyone knows their pet would stand beside them in their time of need, but what if they went above and beyond? History is full of decorated war animals who risked life and limb by sticking by the sides of the soldiers who needed them most. 

These animal war heroes have all been distinguished for going beyond the call of duty and saving human lives, solving impossible challenges, and working their way into the hearts of the soldiers they served with. They performed their jobs with the utmost bravery and conviction, and have been honored with numerous titles and commendations. These are the most decorated war animals that saved the day, animals who exemplified their countries and will be remembered for their honorable actions.

13 Heroic Military Animals You Had No Idea Existed,

Sergeant Stubby

Sergeant Stubby was an American dog that served as the mascot for the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division in the US Army in World War I. In 1917, he was smuggled overseas to France by his owner, Private J. Robert Conroy, where he won over a commanding officer with his impressive ability to salute. He was injured in a gas attack, but managed to make a full recovery. He would later use his knowledge of deadly gases to warn the sleeping troop of an attack before the alarms could sound, saving countless lives.

Stubby would also track down injured troops in the trench, listening for English words and barking to alert nearby medics. His most astounding achievement was the capture of a German spy, whom he caught making a map of the allied trenches. He managed to subdue the soldier with bites to the legs until troops showed up. After the incident he was given the rank of sergeant, the first animal in the Untied States to receive and official rank.

He retired after an injury from a grenade blast put him in the hospital. By the end of his career, Sergeant Stubby had served in 17 battles, won numerous commendations, and met with three different presidents. His body is kept in the collection of the National Museum of American History.

Simon The Cat Was A Decorated Naval Crewman

This feline served on the British naval vessel HMS Amethyst during the Chinese Civil War. He was awarded the Dickin Medal for his instrumental role in a three month siege that occurred in the Yangtze river in 1949. Originally found as a stray in Hong Kong, Simon was smuggled aboard the Amethyst and quickly bonded with the ship’s captain. He immediately set to work on killing the rat infestation that had been plaguing the ship. 

Unfortunately, Simon was badly wounded when the Amethyst was bombarded by communist Chinese troops. After receiving medical treatment for his wounds, he would begin to recover. Eventually, he killed a giant rat nicknamed “Mao Tse Tung,” earning him a promotion as an Able Seaman. For defending the crews food supply from the most deadly of beasts, and allowing the crewman to survive a full three months under siege, Simon became the first and only cat to receive the Dickin Medal. He would pass away shortly after returning to shore in England, and Time magazine would write a tribute in his honor.

G.I. Joe Saved The Lives Of 1,000 Men

G.I. Joe was an American carrier pigeon responsible for saving the lives of an estimated 1,000 men during World War II. During an attempt to take back the German-occupied town of Colvi Vecchia, Italy, American bombers were prepping to unleash a payload to support British troops on the ground. However, and unexpected German retreat meant the British could take the village ahead of schedule.

The problem was, no one could get a message to the Americans about to bomb the whole town. As a last ditch effort, Joe was sent back to the base with a message to stop the bombing. Beyond anyone's predictions, Joe was able to fly the 20 miles back to base in just 20 minutes. He arrived just before the planes were scheduled to take off, earning him the Dickin Medal for animal gallantry, the only American animal to receive this British commendation.

Siwash The Duck Fought The Japanese On Tarawa

Siwash was a duck from New Zealand, pictured above standing on the remains of a Japanese bunker, who served with the US Marine Corps in World War II. Amazingly, she was wrongly assumed to be a male during her time as a marine. Her wartime prowess was documented with a full page spread in Life magazine. It is unclear exactly how Siwash joined the First Battalion of the Tenth Marines, but the story goes that she was won by a marine in the unit during a game of poker.

She is most famous for her actions on the island of Tarawa, where she engaged in bill-to-beak combat with a Japanese rooster. Although she sustained injuries to the head, she managed to drive back the enemy and help secure the beach. She received many honors for her bravery, including a purple heart, and would eventually retire at the San Diego Zoo.

Jackie The Baboon Sacrificed A Limb For His Country

Jackie the baboon served his country in the trenches of World War I after being shipped out with the 3rd South African Infantry regiment. He was originally the pet of Private Albert Marr, a young South African man who joined the military and asked if he could bring Jackie with him. Jackie partook in drills like any other soldier, and was so respected for his good behavior he was made the official mascot of the unit. 

He was given a proper uniform, trained to salute and rest at ease, and was even used as a late night watchman. His acute hearing allowed him to warn the regiment of nearby enemy movements. When Private Marr took a bullet to the shoulder, Jackie stayed by his side and even licked the wound in an attempt at some simian first-aid. His military service would come to an end when he was wounded by shrapnel during an enemy bombing run while trying to build a small stone wall for protection. One of his legs would be amputated, but Jackie and Private Marr would both survive the war. Back home, the duo worked with the Red Cross to help raise money for injured troops.

Wojtek The Bear Was On The Frontlines In WWII

While it may seem like keeping a live bear as a pet isn’t the best idea in the world, that thought didn’t stop a group of Polish soldiers who purchased a baby bear in a market in Iran. Wojtek was raised by the soldiers and was socialized to humans at an early age. He was adopted into the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps, where he was on the official roster and even received military rations. 

He was known for his love of beer and eating unlit cigarettes, and his presence was a massive morale booster for the weary soldiers. It wasn’t all games for Wojtek as he served in several battles in Italy, carrying shells and supplies for his regiment. After the war Wojtek would spend the remainder of his life at the Edinburgh Zoo, where he would be regularly visited by the men who raised and served with him.

Sergeant Reckless Served Bravely In The Korean War

Sergeant Reckless started her life as a racehorse in Korea under the name Ah Chim Hai, a name that translates to “Flame of the Morning.” She was purchased by Lieutenant Eric Pederson, who recruited her into the Marine Corps under the Recoilless Rifle Platoon, Antitank Company, Fifth Marine Regiment. Her duty was to carry hefty weapons and ammunition, but she would soon be known for her exuberant personality.

She loved attention, and was known to enjoy some beers with her fellow soldiers. Reckless had the freedom to wander camp and had a reputation for eating anything offered to her, but her favorite meal may well have been scrambled eggs and Coca Cola. Sergeant Reckless performed bravely in the Korean war, and did far more than an ordinary beast of burden. She helped lay down communication lines and was extensively trained for frontline combat situations. Eventually, she was promoted to staff sergeant and would retire with full military honors.

Sergeant Bill Was A Combat Veteran Who Captured An Enemy Soldier

Sergeant Bill was a Canadian goat that served as a member of the 5th Canadian Battalion, and was shipped out overseas to fight in World War I. A family in Saskatchewan gifted the goat to the battalion after they traveled through town on their way to a camp in Quebec. The men smuggled Bill on the S.S. Lapland, and was a nuisance to some of the officers while stationed in France. He was put under military arrest twice, once for eating some important documents, and again for charging a superior officer. 

He regained favor amongst the brass after successfully capturing a Prussian soldier at the second battle of Ypres, and was eventually granted the official rank of sergeant. His war record was superb as he managed to save three human lives and survive countless injuries, including shrapnel wounds and trench foot. He would received numerous medals and commendations for his actions, and would eventually retire back in Saskatchewan with the family he came from. Today, his body is memorialized in the Broadview Historical Museum, still wearing his dress blues.

Winnipeg The Bear Was The Inspiration For Winnie The Pooh

In 1914, a Canadian military veterinarian by the name of Harry Colebourn was headed to the battlefields of World War I. Before he left port, he bought a bear cub for a mere $20 and named her Winnipeg after the Canadian city. He then smuggled “Winnie” on a boat to France, and she immediately became popular with the troops in camp. She boosted morale and was said to be a proficient navigator, but the dangers of trench warfare meant Colebourn had to make a tough decision.

He took her to the London Zoo, where she remained a staple exhibit for 20 years. Children were allowed in Winnie’s enclosure and were free to pet and even rider her, as one zookeeper described Winnie as “the only bear they ever trusted entirely.” It was here Winnie met author A.A. Milne and his son, Christopher Robin. The boy fell in love with the bear and inspired his father to write a story about Winnie and Christopher Robin. 

Judy Spent Three Years As A POW

When the S.S. Van Warwyck came under attack in World War II, Judy did her best to guide the crew to safety. She was a dog from Hong Kong who had been taken as a mascot for the British naval vessel, and she helped her crew find fresh water and stay alive for two days while they were all stranded on an island in the South China sea. They would escape using commandeered boat, but would soon find themselves in the heart of a Japanese village.

Judy and the crew were sent to a POW camp, where they would spend the next three years living under harsh rule. The beatings were frequent, even for Judy. She risked her life defending the prisoners of the camp from assault, often pissing off the Japanese soldiers enough for them to turn their full wrath on her. The only reason she wasn’t killed was her adoptive owner, a soldier named Williams, who convinced the drunkard Japanese commandant to grant Judy official POW status. Even with her newfound legal status, Judy would still get into trouble. She would bark at the guards, wild tigers, and once got into a battle with a crocodile. After the war, Williams smuggled her to England where she lived the rest of her life as a war hero.

Mon, 22 May 2017 08:19:42 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/animal-war-heroes/eric-vega
<![CDATA[Celebrities Reimagined As Redheads]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/celebrities-reimagined-as-redheads/nathandavidson

Whether for a new role or an attempt to start a new fashion trend, celebrities are constantly changing their hairstyles, which means tons of redhead celebrities. Plenty of gorgeous natural redhead celebrities exist out there like Lindsay Lohan and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, but what if every celebrity had permanent red hair and freckles? A risky undertaking to be sure, considering the strange redhead myths people still probably believe about gingers. Well, thanks to red hair color Photoshop and the Internet's idle hands, you no longer need to let your imagination run wild.

They're all right here in this amazing (and slightly terrifying) gallery of reimagined redhead celebrities. This red-hot tribute to celebrities with red hair comes courtesy of the amazing Tumblr blog Put a Rang On It and their unmatched red hair Photoshop skills. One might even call it the first red-letter day in the history of the Internet. Now that you know what Morgan Freeman might look like as a ginger, you're free to start casting the Shawshank sequel, Redheaded Redemption.

Celebrities Reimagined As Redheads,

Ryan Gosling

Channing Tatum

Kit Harrington

LeBron James

Ashton Kutcher

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Hugh Jackman

Nicolas Cage

Beyoncé Knowles

Sean Connery

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 05:16:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/celebrities-reimagined-as-redheads/nathandavidson
<![CDATA[The Funniest Male Cheerleader Photos Ever]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/funny-male-cheerleader-photos/nathandavidson

It takes balls to be a male cheerleader, both figuratively and literally. Being a male cheerleader requires incredible strength, endurance, and most notably the guts to defy the patriarchy by part-taking in something seen as "emasculating." This photo gallery goes out to those dedicated male cheerleaders, whose funny cheerleader pictures and cheerleader faces make the sport even more compelling to watch. If you understand the risks of cheerleading, tip your hat to these courageous men cheerleaders who stand tall in the face of failed dismounts.

Who knows, you might even see a couple photos of famous male cheerleaders throughout history. It's time to stand up and cheer for the men who proudly cheer on their favorite teams with this gallery of funny cheerleader photos. Let's hear it for the boys!

The Funniest Male Cheerleader Photos Ever,

Dexter's Fab

Louisiana Hot Sauce

How 'Bout Them Cowgirls

"Did They Just Say 'Toros' In The Atmosphere?!"

Preparing For Launch

Taking A Dive

Hura-Can't Do It Like This

Balls Of Fury

That Time James Corden Cheered For The Rams

Follow Along, Ladies

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 09:29:15 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/funny-male-cheerleader-photos/nathandavidson
<![CDATA[Incredible Photos From The Fall Of The Berlin Wall]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/berlin-wall-fall-photos/kellie-kreiss

What started out as a makeshift barbed wire and concrete barricade separating the already politically divided nation of Germany, quickly became a symbol of the Cold War and the historic clash between capitalistic and communistic idealism. In response to the droves of people who were attempting to flee Eastern Germany for greater economic opportunity in the west, the GDR (or, the communistic German Democratic Republic) began constriction on the Berlin Wall.

From the beginning of its construction on August 13, 1961, until its eventual destruction on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall strictly limited the movement of East German citizens to the west, separating them from their families and their jobs, and forcing many people into economic desperation. Over the years, East and West Germans worked together to find effective ways of helping East German citizens escape to the west by ramming barricades with cars, jumping out of the windows of buildings along the wall, as well as escaping through sewers and tunnels that were dug beneath the wall. And though over 150 people were killed trying to escape, over 5,000 East Germans were successful.

For nearly 30 years, a politically and physically divided Berlin anxiously anticipated the end of the Cold War and reunification of the country. So, when an announcement was made by the GDR on November 9,1989, that they would again provide visas to East German citizens, people took it as a sign that the war was reaching its end, and the very idea of reunification inspired citizens to take their future into their own hands. The rest, of course, is history: Germans on both sides began hammering away at the oppressive wall, climbing over it, and celebrating the fact that they had found their freedom as a unified nation once again.

The photographs documenting this monumental occasion are an inspiring reminder of people's ability to persevere under the harshest of circumstances - and of their ability not only to endure, but to overcome.

Incredible Photos From The Fall Of The Berlin Wall,

After The News Broke Of The Potentially Reunified State, Crowds Quickly Gathered Around Boarder Checkpoints

Germans On Both Sides Of The Wall Took The Destruction Into Their Own Hands

Many East Germans Made Their Way West Through Checkpoints Such As Checkpoint Charlie, Celebrating With Everyone They Met

The Decision To Allow Visas Was Quickly Embraced By Both East And West Germans, Who Believed It To Be A Sign Of The Country's Reunification

In Light Of The Announcement, Guards Attempted To Quell Excited Crowds In Berlin

On November 9, 1989, The East German Government Announced Its Decision To Again Provide Exit Visas To East German Citizens

Guards Remained Present At Various Entry Points Along The Wall

Families From East Berlin Were Anxiously Welcomed Back Into West Berlin

East And West Germans Joined Together In Celebration Of The Long-Awaited Fall Of The Berlin Wall

East And West Germans Celebrated A Unified Berlin With Drinking And Dancing In The Streets And On Top Of The Wall

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:55:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/berlin-wall-fall-photos/kellie-kreiss
<![CDATA[Anime With The Most Gorgeous Train Station Scenes]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/anime-with-the-most-gorgeous-train-station-scenes/hannah-collins

Whether on another planet or just in another country, decades in the past or far into the future, beautiful anime train station scenes entrance viewers all across the genre. Dreamy train station scenes in anime leave you with that tingling, wistful feeling of a journey about to be taken. As a picturesque and quaint form of travel, beautiful anime train station scenes allow the illustrators to flex their skills, depicting beautiful hills, oceans, and urban landscapes rolling by. Furthermore, a train's movement from one destination to another can symbolize a character's own growth, and the tranquility of a train car allows them peace in which to mull over their evolution.

Train stations have transfixed anime creators for quite some time, from the space operas of the '70s and '80s like Galaxy Express and Night On The Galactic Railroad to modern "slice of life" classics like Your Lie In April. In fact, train scenes have become such a staple there are even entire photoblogs dedicated purely to the depiction of travel in anime. Coupled with an anime's unique animation style, anime train scenes can be just as engaging, and as emotional, as any combat or death scenes in a series.

Anime With The Most Gorgeous Train Station Scenes,

5 Centimeters Per Second

Galaxy Express 999

Clannad After Story

Galaxy Railways

Rail Wars!

Au Haru Ride

Kabaneri Of The Iron Fortress Part One: The Light That Gathers

Kabaneri Of The Iron Fortress

The Place We Promised

Toki wa Meguru: Tokyo Station

Mon, 01 May 2017 10:16:34 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/anime-with-the-most-gorgeous-train-station-scenes/hannah-collins
<![CDATA[14 Creepy Motel Ghost Stories]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/creepy-motel-ghost-stories/jacob-shelton

As a rule, all motels are scary motels. They have doors that open directly to the street and they tend to be inexpensive enough that any drifter with a wad of cash can stay for a night or three. Creepy hotel stories featuring ghosts ring true because most of them stem from something very real occurring on the premises, whether that's a gruesome crime or a weirdo lurking around the parking lot. These scary stories from motels come from all over the world, and they contain all different kinds of bumps in the night, from feral ghosts to eerily uncomfortable rooms.

Ghost stories from hotels are so affecting because they speak to humans' fear of the unknown. Ghosts that haunt motels seem especially chilling, not to mention sad - why aren't they haunting a house, or a still-living loved one? These tales of haunted motels might seem like the stuff of horror movies, but they felt all too real for the guests who lived through them. They're enough to make you stay home indefinitely.

14 Creepy Motel Ghost Stories,

The Grabbing Ghost Of Red Roof Inn

While on a road trip from New York to Virginia, a couple stopped at a Red Roof Inn. The woman who wrote about the incident said that she woke up to the sensation of being pulled down the bed by her legs. She assumed it was her partner, but the interruptions continued:

"I wake up to [the] feeling of being pulled 2 more times. Each time getting more and more frustrated at the guy. I murmur 'stop it.' Finally the last time... I wake right up shouting 'STOP PULLING MY LEGS' As I'm crawling back up to my man, shouting this, I whack him on the chest! He wakes up very surprised 'WTF! I'm sleeping!' I was so angry I said 'STOP PULLING MY LEGS!' He sat up and said 'How can I be pulling your legs? I was sleeping HERE!'"

The couple was unsettled, but was planning to stick around - until something happened to the man in the bathroom. He wouldn't say what it was, but whatever occurred convinced them to leave as fast as possible.

The Malevolent Force In Room 127

There's something off about room 127 in the Motel 6 in Lincoln City, OR. As one reviewer on TripAdvisor recounts, around 3:00 a.m. they "felt a huge and malevolent force" holding them down on the bed:

"It took a lot of effort, and prayer to get this unseen force to set me free. I prayed and went back to sleep. It happened again, two more times. In the morning, the presence was gone. I read Psalms 25 and 24 and checked out. I told my experience to a young employee there and she said she was not surprised. According to her, the staff always hears weird noises and footsteps when there's no one there."

Gram Parsons Haunts The Joshua Tree Inn

The Joshua Tree Inn offers a welcome retreat in California's Mojave Desert. If you stay in room 8, you might run into Gram Parsons, one of the most important country singer-songwriters of all time. Parsons overdosed in the motel in 1973 and supposedly his spirit haunts the room. Odd shadows sometimes appear and objects have been known to shake by themselves.

Seven Spirits Linger At Buckhorn Baths Motel

The Buckhorn Baths Motel in Mesa, AZ, has a reputation. The site was visited by paranormal investigator Rob Koller and he believes that the closed-down motel is haunted by seven different male spirits. According to Koller, there are five documented deaths on the premises, including a massage therapist who died of a heart attack mid-session.

Koller told AZ Family, "Our theory was basically, the spirits being here for so long, so dormant, they were probably happy to have us here."

The Spirits Can't Leave Las Vegas

An anonymous commenter on the Paranormalistics blog shared a ghostly encounter from Las Vegas. He stayed at the Motel 6 on Tropicana and saw three different entities during the night.

The first time he awoke, he saw "two young men sitting around the desk/table next to the TV, turned slightly away from me, but toward each other. They were both wearing red letter/varsity jackets, and seemed to be having a good time."

The second time, "there was an elderly woman, this time at the foot of my bed, wearing what appeared to be a thin nightgown. She was again smiling... and seemingly greeting me with an outreached hand. I'm not exactly sure if she was reaching out to me, or starting to wave, as I was now very alarmed. Although she seemed to be about as friendly as the men, she also, to my mind, felt far more like a spirit."

He eventually pulled the covers over his head and fell asleep.

Someone's Walking Across The Ceiling In Room 203

In July of 2013, a 44-year-old man had to take a business trip to Bangor, ME. He checked into a Ramada, but as soon as he got to room 103, he felt like he was being watched. Then, the toilet exploded. Maintenance was mystified, but the man was moved to room 203 - directly above his previous room.

The man still felt like he was being watched. He fell asleep with the TV on, but the volume suddenly jumped up, forcing him to turn it off. He heard someone walking across his the ceiling, and his blanket ended up at the foot of the bed. The feeling of being watched wouldn't go away, so the man stayed up and sat in a chair until morning.

Keep Out Of Room 106

Vagabond Inn in Bakersfield, CA, received a blistering review of room 106. It was so negative, in fact, that the motel removed the review from its Yelp pageIt reads:

"Room 106 is f*cking haunted. Bad evil spirit in there. It literally chocked [sic] my boyfriend. Lights would flicker. TV would change on its own. When we got there the weird thing was the window. It was wide open along with the blinds. The haunting started an hour after we were there. We left after only being there for about two hours. It did not want us there. It kept getting worse and worse. If would have stayed longer it could have lead to possession or worse. It hated my boyfriend. I recommend you stay away from that entire property. God Bless the people who are there."

The Feral Woman At Motel 6

At a Motel 6 in Vancouver, WA, a family ran afoul of a pair of ghosts. First, the spirit of a man appeared. According to the story's author, they would "notice him at night, usually when everyone else was sleeping, and he would stand in the dark corner where our jackets hung and stare at everyone sleeping."

The second ghost was a feral young woman named Anna, who would crawl around the room, covered in dirt, and with twigs in her hair. Despite her unusual appearance, she didn't seem quite as threatening: "She seemed to like me, and she gave off an almost maternal feel sometimes. Though at other times, she seemed to be not so happy to see me. She would stay far away in her corner, and not approach me for days."

Furniture Moves At The Tombstone Motel

Tombstone, AZ, already has a spooky name - and it might have the ghosts to match. The Tombstone Motel is especially notorious for paranormal activity, particularly in room 119, where someone hanged themselves. Multiple visitors have said that they've seen full bodied apparitions, heard voices, and had their furniture move around.

Ghosts Check Into Tokyo's Fuurin Motel

According to locals, Tokyo's Fuurin Motel - a onetime hookup spot for clandestine lovers -is now full of ghosts. Photographer Bob Thissen says that there's a reason why people are so spooked by the run-down motel:

"There is a myth that Japanese ghosts live in abandoned buildings, I think it may scare people into not entering or vandalizing [the space]... I heard that most Japanese people stay away from abandoned buildings because of the ghosts or spirits."

Mon, 15 May 2017 07:08:32 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/creepy-motel-ghost-stories/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[Bra-Burningest Photos From The Women's Rights Movement]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-the-womens-rights-movement/rylee_en

Despite the undulating, ever-changing nature of what feminism means, is, and might be, many people still associate it with the bra-burning, equal-pay-for-equal-work, piece-of-the-pie, Gloria Steinem-ized imagery of the Women's Movement of the 1960s. To many, that's what feminism looks like. And why not? Of all the waves of feminism, this one – the so-called second wave – is the most widely recognized in terms of its iconography. 

Women gathered in the streets to protest bridal shows, sick and tired of the legalized meat market that relegated them to second-class citizenship inside the home for the rest of their lives. Though they likely didn't really burn them, 1960s feminists did ditch their bras, collectively throwing them into trash cans as a big ol' middle finger to all the restrictions holding them back from the kind of lives they saw men getting to lead. 

This list takes a trip back to that heady time of consciousness raising and collective ungirdling. So grab your sisters, gather round, and let these images help you plot the revolution.

Bra-Burningest Photos From The Women's Rights Movement,

Protesting The 1968 Miss America Pageant, Atlantic City, NJ

Women's Lib Demonstrator Arguing With Police, 1973

Campaigning For Anti-Discrimination, 1973

Fighting For Women's Lib In The Netherlands, 1970

Angela Davis Shortly Before Being Fired From UCLA, 1969

Women's Liberation Movement Demonstrating Against The Miss World Contest, London, 1970

Marching A Dummy With Women's Clothing Through Trafalgar Square, London, 1971

Protesting For Women's Lib In Switzerland, 1971

Gloria Steinem At The DNC, Miami, FL, 1972

Jane Fonda Protesting Vietnam And Nixon At The RNC, 1972

Wed, 24 May 2017 09:26:51 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-the-womens-rights-movement/rylee_en
<![CDATA[Stevie Nicks: The Singles]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/stevie-nicks-singles/talksot

The singles released from Stevie Nick's studio albums, 1981-2014. 

Stevie Nicks: The Singles,

Rooms On Fire

Released: April 1989   B-side: 'Alice'

Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You

Released: May 1986   B-side: 'Imperial Hotel'

Reconsider Me

Released: April 1998   

If You Ever Did Believe

Released: October 1998   B-side: 'Crystal'

If Anyone Falls

Released: September 1983   B-side: 'Wild Heart'

Stand Back

Released: May 1983   B-side: 'Garbo'

After the Glitter Fades

Released: April 1982   B-side: 'Think About It'

Edge of Seventeen

Released: February 1982   B-side: 'Edge of Seventeen' (Live)

Leather and Lace

Released: October 1981   B-side: 'Bella Donna'

Stop Draggin' My Heart Around

Released: July 1981   B-side: 'Kind of Woman'

Wed, 24 May 2017 12:04:09 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/stevie-nicks-singles/talksot
<![CDATA[14 Things That Happen In Every Freakin' Pirates Of The Caribbean Movie]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/tropes-in-pirates-of-the-caribbean/aaron-edwards

When Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl came out, nobody realized it would launch a powerhouse franchise that would become a household name. Like many long-running series, there are recurring themes in every Pirates of the Caribbean movie if you know where to look. After several films and more than 10 years of adventures, it's hard not to notice how the movies rely on the same tropes in regards to their characters, action, and stories. From Jack Sparrow's affected mannerisms to William Turner always putting love above all else, there are many things that happen in every Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Seriously, you can pretty much set your watch to them.

You've probably subconsciously noticed these repeated motifs across the films, but they've likely never really registered as you watched. These tropes will let you know what to look out for in the future adventures of Jack Sparrow.

14 Things That Happen In Every Freakin' Pirates Of The Caribbean Movie,

The Rum Is Always Gone

In a now famous scene from the first movie, Elizabeth and Jack are left to die on a small island. Elizabeth soon discovers the island is a cache for rum smugglers, with much of their wares still tucked away. While Jack just wants to get drunk, Elizabeth decides to burn everything to create a smoke signal. This leads to Jack's beloved quote, "But why is the rum gone?"

It's proven so popular, throughout the sequels almost every time Jack has tried to get a swig of his favorite drink, it's nowhere to be found. It was a funny line in 2003, but by the third time the rum was gone the sheen had worn away. It's the Caribbean. Surely at some point, they'd come across some rum.

The Black Pearl Is Stolen

Jack's quest to get the Pearl back in the first film is compelling and interesting. When he eventually reclaims it at the end, we get to see him be the captain of the ship for a whole movie. Well, until it's taken by the Kraken at the end of Dead Man's Chest.

The entire first act of the third film involves everyone rescuing Jack and the Pearl, only for Barbossa to go running off with the ship at the end. And the entirety of On Stranger Tides sees the Pearl stuck in a bottle, stolen by Blackbeard. After a while, it really just seems like getting a new ship would be easier than retaking the Pearl again and again.

Someone Is Locked In A Jail Cell

Pirates are, by definition, outlaws. So it stands to reason that someone, at some point, is going to get caught and locked up. Still, we really don't need to see it in every movie. In the first film, Jack Sparrow gets locked up three times. In the sequel, it's Will and the crew of the Pearl that get put in irons. The third film literally sees Jack stuck in a place called Davy Jones' locker, and the fourth begins with Mr. Gibbs on trial, only for Jack Sparrow to be taken prisoner by both the English Royal Navy and Blackbeard.

It's can be a solid plot device to have someone locked up, and it's bound to happen to pirates sometime, but repeating prison scenes in every film have resulted in some seriously diminishing returns. 

The Crew Of The Black Pearl Turns Against Jack Sparrow

Jack Sparrow may be brilliant, but pirates are a treacherous lot. The inciting incident for the first film's story sees Jack deposed from his captaincy by a mutiny. Of course, after he gets his ship back and is captain again in Dead Man's Chest, Elizabeth leaves him to die at the tentacles of the Kraken, and the crew is basically fine with it.

Then, at conclusion of At World's End, the crew ditch him to go off and find the Fountain of Youth all on their own, only to discover Jack took the most important part of the map for himself. With the amount of back and forth Jack has with his crew, it's amazing he didn't fire them all and hire some new shipmates ages ago.

A Woman Pretends To Be Someone Else

The Caribbean is a man's world, but Elizabeth Swann is a cunning woman who doesn't play by the rules. In the first film, she claims her last name is Turner to the crew of the Pearl in order to disguise the fact she's a governor's daughter. In Dead Man's Chest, she pretends to be male member of a ship so she can get passage to find Jack. In the third film, the trope begins to wear ragged as she impersonates the sea goddess Calypso. After a while, it'd be great just to see her shine as herself in one of these films.

Oh, and let's not forget that at the start of On Stranger Tides, Penelope Cruz's Angelica pretends to be Jack Sparrow. Because... it's fun to see her play dress up?

Jack Gets Marooned (Or Maroons Someone)

One of the most interesting elements from the first movie was Jack Sparrow's relationship with Barbossa. Barbossa marooned Jack on an island after his mutiny, Jack escaped through dumb luck, and now wants to use the single shot they left him to kill his ex-first mate.

In the second film, Jack once again finds himself stuck on an island, afraid of venturing out onto the sea where Davy Jones can catch him. In At World's End, Jack is stuck in Davy Jones' locker, and only escapes with the help of his friends. On Stranger Tides, on the other hands, actually sees Jack marooning someone else, the same way Barbossa left him to die. After all that Jack has been through, that last one seems remarkably cold.

There's A Strange Item Central To Finding Treasure

In every Pirates film, the way to get to whatever treasure is driving the story is through a supernatural item. The first three films feature Jack's compass, which points to whatever the holder desires most. Dead Man's Chest also features a key to a box holding the disembodied beating heart of Davy Jones.

On Stranger Tides focuses on the hunt for Fountain of Youth, which requires the tear of a mermaid in order to work, like you do. The problem with these increasingly ludicrous items is that they begin to stretch credulity. Seriously, how do people even know about them in the first place? By the time we reach the fourth film, it's just kind of glossed over and characters never explain how they know what they know.

Jack Sparrow Gets Slapped By A Woman

Jack has a way with the ladies, and it certainly catches up with him. When he and Will first visit Tortuga, he gets slapped several times (some of which he deserved, some... he probably also deserved). It's pretty hilarious, but when you get to the sequel the slapping continues.

They try to make it comical, but it ends up being far too self-referential on a one-note joke. They do bring it back to good effect during On Stranger Tides, when during a mermaid attack one swims up to Jack and slaps him in the face. It's so unexpected, it kind of works.

Barbossa Eats An Apple

When Captain Hector Barbossa was cursed by Aztec gold, he lost the ability to enjoy life or his senses. In a fantastic scene in the first film, he watches Elizabeth Swann eat and tries to gain some vicarious joy from her indulgence. He then proclaims the first thing he'll do when he's cured is eat, "a whole bushel of apples."

In fact, when he "dies" at the end of the first film, we see an apple fall from his hand (which is weird, since he was just in a sword fight, but whatever). And sure enough, the first time we see him back from the dead in Dead Man's Chest, he's snacking on an apple. He's also seen eating apples aboard ships in the subsequent two films. Now, pirates had a major problem with scurvy back in the day, mostly because it was incredibly difficult and expensive to keep fruit fresh on long ocean voyages. So, either Barbossa is incredibly well connected or he has access to a magical locker of replenishing apples. 

There's Always A Weird, Immortality Curse Afflicting A Crew Of Pirates

The first movie revolved around the Black Pearl's crew getting cursed by an Aztec treasure. The afflicted pirates become immortal, and look like skeletons in moonlight. Overall, pretty cool stuff. In Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, not only is Jack trying to escape a supernatural debt to protect his soul, but Davy Jones and his crew are cursed to live as immortal man/sea creature hybrids.

The fourth film features Blackbeard's crew, who are essentially (immortal) zombies in bad makeup. With four films of supernatural crews, it's easy to think the entire Atlantic is full of undead pirate crews afflicted with supernatural maladies, which also seems to be the case in Dead Men Tell No Tales. Is it too much to ask for a singular regular crew of pirates?

Tue, 23 May 2017 06:05:14 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/tropes-in-pirates-of-the-caribbean/aaron-edwards
<![CDATA[The Funniest Pawn Shop Signs Ever]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/funny-pawn-shop-signs/nathandavidson

Almost all pawn shops look the same in one way or another, but a clever pawn shop sign is all it takes to go from ash heap to enterprise. If image is everything, then a funny pawn shop sign gives an establishment everything it needs to attract the right customers. Like any half-decent yard sale sign, the proper pawn shop sign piques your interest and pokes at your funnybone. But if you deal with a more aggravating crowd of consumers, perhaps you want to model your notices off of more passive aggressive store signs.

As you'll see from this awesome collection of funny pawn shop signs, most shops tend to sport a good sense of humor about taking advantage of consumers during their lowest points in life. These pawn store signs serve as a friendly reminder you should stay in school, work hard, and never put yourself in a position where you have to pawn your old DVD collection in a feeble attempt to pay your rent. That's what your CDs and Star Wars toys are for.

The Funniest Pawn Shop Signs Ever,

Armed And Hilarious

Just Say No

Suddenly... Confusion

Who's Your Pawn Daddy?

Adult Humor

Two For The Money

Thick And Thin

Spider Bite

There Goes The Bride

Honest Advertising

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 05:28:05 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/funny-pawn-shop-signs/nathandavidson
<![CDATA[Facts About Klaus Kinski, The Weirdest GD Actor Of All TIme]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/insane-klaus-kinski-facts/katia-kleyman

Klaus Kinski (1926-1991) was one of the most demented German artists of all time. He was born in Poland but moved to Germany with his parents when he was young, and began his acting career shortly after serving in WWII. As an actor, he was considered a genius. Nobody had the manic passion Kinski exuded. Because of that mania, he was a complete horror to work with. There's crazy actors, then there's Klaus Kinski. As these insane Klaus Kinski stories will show, this raving lunatic behind a one man Jesus show was among the nuttiest thespians in the history of cinema. 

Only one director could bear to collaborate with Kinski more than once: Werner Herzog. Herzog and Kinski did a total of five films together: Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972), Nosferatu (1979), Woyzeck (1979), Fitzcarraldo (1982) and Cobra Verde (1987). Their frenemy relationship produced some of the most insane stories about Kinski’s life, many of which were highlighted in Herzog’s posthumous documentary tribute to Kinski, My Best Fiend (1999).

Kinski by no means was a good man, as insane celebrities rarely are. He was hated by many, including his own family. As these crazy Klaus Kinski facts attest, he was one of most batsh*t insane actors ever, yet no other thespian brought intensity to a character like he did. Below are some facts and stories about this wild man definitely worth checking out. Some spoilers are ahead if you’re not caught up on your Herzog films.

Facts About Klaus Kinski, The Weirdest GD Actor Of All TIme,

He Shot The Tip Off An Extra's Finger On The Set Of Aguirre

The making of Aguirre, Wrath of God was infamously insane. Director Werner Herzog stole camera equipment for the movie from the Munich Film School, and paid local trappers to capture 400 monkeys, which they tried to sell to someone in the United States; Herzog went to the airport pretending to be a veterinarian and got the monkeys back just before they were flown out of the country. 

But that's not as insane as Kinski shooting the top joint off an extra's finger. While in the middle of a tantrum, the actor was irritated by noises coming from a hut where extras and crew members were playing cards. Kinski fired three bullets at the hut, blowing off the top of an extra's finger. Whoops. 

His Daughters Accused Him Of Sexual Abuse And Rape

The most egregious accusations against Kinski comes from his own daughters. Nearly 12 years after his death, his eldest daughter, Pola Kinski, accused him of repeatedly sexually abusing her as a child in her book, Child’s Mouth. She claimed the abuse started when she was five, and that he raped her for the first time when she was nine.

“I’ve written a book about it because I can no longer bear the fact that a person whose halo gets bigger from year to year is being glorified in this way,” Pola said in an interview with Stern magazine.

Pola’s half-sister, actress Nastassja Kinski, supported her sister’s claims, saying her father also inappropriately touched her.

"He always touched me far too much, held me so tightly against him that I thought I could not escape. At the time I was four or five years old and we were living in Munich," she said in an interview. "Instinctively I recognized that this could not be the loving embrace of a father but that it was more than that.”

Kinski's son Nikolai refused to comment on the issue. Both sisters said they weren't sorry when their father died.

He Permanently Scarred An Extra By Hitting Him On The Head With A Sword

Kinski was pretty abusive to the cast and crew of the films he starred in. In My Best Fiend, Herzog meets with an extra from Aguirre who describes Kinski as “aggressive” and “not quite normal," and shows a 27-year old scar from when Kinski swung a sword at his head.  

Indigenous Actors On The Set Of Fitzcarraldo Offered To Kill Kinski As a Favor To Herzog

For both Aguirre (1972) and Fitzcarraldo (1982), Herzog employed Peruvian Indians as extras. The natives were deeply disturbed by Kinski. His tantrums and bizarre outbursts were like something they’ve never seen before.

“These ravings were frightening and a real problem for the Indians, who solve their conflicts in a totally different manner,” Herzog said in My Best Fiend. The Peruvians were so fed up with Kinski by the end of the production for Fitzcarraldo, they offered to kill him as a favor to Herzog.

“They said: ‘Shall we kill him for you?’ And I said: ‘No, for God’s sake! I still need him for shooting. Leave him to me!’” Herzog recalled.

He Performed A One-Man Theatrical Interpretation Of The New Testament

In 1971, Kinski did what any sane actor would: staged a live one-man theatrical interpretation of the New Testament. The show was entitled Jesus Christus Erlöser, or Jesus Christ Savoir, ran about 80 minutes, and opened with a solemn intonation: "Wanted: Jesus Christ. Charged with seduction, anarchistic tendencies, conspiracy against the authority of the state." 

Standing alone on a stage adorned with nothing but a microphone, before a sold-out auditorium of 5000, Kinski had a meltdown of biblical proportions. He fought with the audience, then eventually stormed off stage until hecklers left. He finally returned to finish his bizarre monologue about “a man who would rather be massacred than continue to live and fester.” 

Herzog Almost Set Fire To Kinski’s Cabin On The Set Of Fitzcarraldo

Kinski was a megalomaniac know to throw hours-long tantrums on set. At one point during filming Fitzcarraldo (1982), Herzog reached his boiling point with Kinski’s antics. He planned to set fire to Kinski’s cabin while he was asleep inside. He would have done it if it weren’t for Kinski’s vigilant dog, who attacked the director as he approached the house.

"We had a great love, a great bond, but both of us planned to murder each other,” Herzog said of the late actor at the premier of My Best Fiend at Cannes. “Klaus was one of the greatest actors of the century, but he was also a monster and a great pestilence. Every single day I had to think of new ways of domesticating the beast."

He Threw Potatoes And Cutlery At A Critic Who Called His Performance "Outstanding And Extraordinary"

As Werner Herzog relates in My Best Fiend, Kinski once threw two potatoes and whatever cutlery he could find at a theater critic during a formal dinner. According to Herzog, Kinski took offense to the critic praising a small role of the actor's in a play as "outstanding and extraordinary."

After chucking root vegetables and flatware at the man, Kinski shouted "I was not excellent! I was not extraordinary! I was monumental! I was epochal!"

He Started His Acting Career As A Prisoner Of War

When Kinski was 16-years-old, he was drafted into the army and served in WWII for all of two days. He was wounded and captured in the Netherlands, and sent to a British POW camp. At least, that's one version of the story. In his autobiography, All I Need Is Love, he claims he deserted and was sentenced to death by the Germans, but escaped and surrendered to the British.

Either way, Kinski was a prisoner of war for nearly a year-and-a-half, and launched his acting career during this time. He and fellow POWs starred in plays meant to help keep up morale among prisoners. 

Other Actors Hated Kinski So Much They Pummeled Him For Real In What Were Supposed To Be Staged Fight Scenes

Herzog wasn’t the only one who had problems with Kinski. Practically everybody who worked on Herzog-Kinski collaborations hated the blonde sociopath. Fellow actors so despised Kinski, there were several occasions on which the actor got seriously injured filming what were supposed to be staged fight scenes.

Herzog remembers:

“My crew would almost mutiny when they heard that Klaus was on board. They would say, 'How could you do this do us? We can't take this man a minute longer.’ I don't like the term wild man, but Dennis Hopper was in the kindergarten compared with Klaus. I remember scenes where Klaus was attacked, and how the other actors used to take such pleasure in punching and kicking him. He was often quite badly hurt.

He Thought The Raiders Of The Lost Ark Script Was A "Boring Pile Of Sh*t"

Kinski prided himself on movies he turned down almost as much movies he was in. He claimed to have turned down more than 1,000 films in his career, and didn’t feel at all bad about it. Among the directors he turned down are Arthur Penn, Federico Fellini, Ken Russel, and Steven Spielberg.

Kinski could have appeared in one of the most iconic Hollywood films of the ‘80s if he hadn’t refused Spielberg, who was apparently ready to give the actor a lead role in the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).  The actor wasn't a fan of the script.

“This script is a yawn-making, boring, pile of sh*t,” he said.

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:42:51 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/insane-klaus-kinski-facts/katia-kleyman
<![CDATA[The Most Hilarious Amazon Reviews Ever Written]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/funny-amazon-reviews/nathandavidson

Every time you buy something on Amazon, you simply must take the time to leave a funny product review. If you fail to do so, you miss out on some of the greatest comedy opportunities the Internet offers to the casual shopper. When you channel your honest reviews through your own witty prose, you assist other shoppers with their own purchases, along with brightening their day. Furthermore, funny Amazon reviews are the least you can provide to a company that literally provides you with everything from facial creams to 50 Shades Darker on Blu-ray (have it in 24 hours if you order now!). 

Below lies a collection of funny reviews on Amazon for everyday items you can order on Amazon right now, if you feel so inclined. The next best thing to experiencing the sheer joy of the most epic Yelp reviews ever, these funny Amazon reviews are guaranteed to brighten your day and make you go fire up your Prime account. You might be at work right now, but the Amazon is always there for you.

The Most Hilarious Amazon Reviews Ever Written,

The Pen Is Truly Mightier

Reaching For A Star

Head Games

If The Shoe Fits...

Wolves Not Included

The Fart Amplifier

The Cure For Hepatitis

Clicking On All Cylinders

Crap For Murder

How To Be A Billionaire

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 09:55:44 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/funny-amazon-reviews/nathandavidson
<![CDATA[24 Grim Pictures From The Aftermath Of The Pearl Harbor Attack]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/pearl-harbor-photos/chwang

Tragedy struck the young United States nation in the early morning of December 7, 1941. Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a naval base in Hawaii, was made as a preemptive strike to dissuade America from interfering with their empire expansion in Southeast Asia. The devastating attack resulted in over 2,000 deaths, destroyed 12 ships, and demolished 160 aircrafts in just under two hours. 

What would swiftly follow was a call to arms, with President Roosevelt declaring war on Japan. The US stepped onto the battlefield of WWII with a vengeance, holding onto the painful memory of Pearl Harbor while grimly marching forward. It led to some great American patriotism and also the worst civil rights violations faced by Japanese Americans, forced to relocate or face internment. Gathered below are photographs of the Pearl Harbor attack that thrust America into steely action, immortalized in the words, "a date which will live in infamy."

24 Grim Pictures From The Aftermath Of The Pearl Harbor Attack,

USS Shaw Explodes During Attack

Crew Forced To Abandon USS California

Ocean Burns From Oil

Improvised Machine Gun Pit At NAS Kaneohe In Response To Attack

A Burned B-17C Aircraft Rests At Hickam Field After Attack

A Dead Man In A Car Riddled With Shrapnel From A Bomb Dropped By A Japanese plane

USS West Virginia Burning In Pearl Harbor

The USS Oklahoma Floats Capsized Near The USS Maryland (Both Ships Ultimately Destroyed)

Mass Grave Of Pearl Harbor Dead

Damaged Warships In Pearl Harbor

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:13:14 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/pearl-harbor-photos/chwang
<![CDATA[Subtle Pirates Of The Caribbean Merchandise You Can Use To Rep Jack Sparrow]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/subtle-pirates-of-the-caribbean-merchandise/shanell-mouland

Captain Jack Sparrow is back in what promises to be the final installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. The latest Disney sequel, Dead Men Tell No Tales, might be the greatest of the saga with Depp returning as one of the best pirate characters, Jack Sparrow. It also features the brilliant Javier Bardem as the bone-chilling Captain Salazar. This movie looks so crazy cool that you better get your tickers early. 

If you're a fan or a friend of a fan, you might want to check out these discreet Pirates of the Caribbean gifts. Fear not, this isn't child-friendly merch. This list of subtle gear features cool, chic, and understated items. Vote up the fan merchandise you'd gladly don or use to show your support for the films. 

Subtle Pirates Of The Caribbean Merchandise You Can Use To Rep Jack Sparrow,

Octapus Tentacle Ring

Super Chic Tahitian Pearl And Leather Bracelet

Ghost Skull Ceramic Bowls

Pirate Tote Bag

Skull Decanter

Handmade Jack Sparrow Wallet

"The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves" T-Shirt

"Why Is The Rum Gone?" Glass

Skull Ring Just Like Johnny

Sterling Silver Skull Cufflinks

Mon, 22 May 2017 07:34:20 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/subtle-pirates-of-the-caribbean-merchandise/shanell-mouland
<![CDATA[14 Times Nintendo Completely Dropped The Ball And Lost Out On Millions]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/times-nintendo-messed-up/collin-flatt

In 1985, Nintendo debuted the legendary Nintendo Entertainment System in North America and changed console gaming forever. Super Mario Bros. was the game that came with the system and is still often considered to be the best platformer game of all time. In the years that followed, players were spoiled with some of the best video game franchises like The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, and countless others. For many fans, Nintendo could do no wrong and would be on top of the gaming world until the end of time.

But nothing lasts forever. There have been countless Nintendo fiascos since the Golden Age of the NES. Some of their most notable missteps have been bad business decisions and lack of foresight, and some were just plain old hubris. After hitting two huge homeruns with tons of great games on the NES and Super Nintendo consoles, there have been some truly bad Nintendo rollouts that stoked the ire of even the most hardcore Mario zealots. Hardware shortages? Check. Last-gen tech in new systems? Check. Screw over one of the most powerful electronics companies on the planet and ultimately give birth to your stiffest competition? Big check.

There have been more than a few times where Nintendo PR had to try to spin straw into gold, and the fans just weren't having it. While Nintendo is sure to go down in history as a remarkable, influential gaming giant, they aren't without their mistakes. Check out the list below and vote up the most disappointing Nintendo disasters - don't worry, there are plenty to choose from. 

14 Times Nintendo Completely Dropped The Ball And Lost Out On Millions,

Nintendo Abandons WiiU Shortly After Launch

While Sony and Microsoft went round and round trying to one-up each other with more powerful systems and earlier release dates, Nintendo decided to make the Wii, whose big hook was the motion controller. While industry experts scoffed at the noticeably weaker hardware, the Wii was a smashing success with casual gamers and hardcore Nintendo disciples alike.

The follow-up to the Wii was the WiiU, another console concept that tried to reinvent the way people interact with games. Again, it was short on power and good software. It also came with a clunky, kiddie iPad controller that only one person could use at a time, meaning your couch co-op cohort was stuck using "The Nunchuk." This was an odd decision for a company that always promoted the idea of families gaming together and the public noticed.

So, Nintendo quietly started developing a new console (yes, the Switch) soon after they realized the WiiU was a dud. The WiiU had almost no third party support and even missed out on some of Nintendo's biggest first-party franchises.

NES Classic Hardware Shortage

Nintendo has this habit of announcing a new product, not manufacturing enough to stock the product, and sometimes even discontinuing that product. This has happened with the Wii and the 3DS to some extent, and it's happening again with the nostalgia-tickling NES Classic. Once the NES Classic was announced across the Internet, Nintendo had four months to get prepared for the onslaught to produce a machine with absolutely no new groundbreaking technology.

Yet... They still missed the mark by having a laughable number manufactured. The NES Classic was hardly even seen in stores because that's how fast they flew off the shelves. And then, despite all the demand, Nintendo decides to discontinue the immensely popular product. Um, okay. 

64 DD Vaporware

Before the N64 even appeared on the shelves, Nintendo announced they were developing a removable magnetic disk storage expansion called the 64DD that featured a real-time clock, Internet connectivity with limited applications, and rewriteable mass storage. Was this because they refused to add CD-ROM tech to the N64? Maybe. Either way, the 64DD was to ease gamers' concerns that the cartridge format would limit the N64. After four years of roadblocks and delays, the 64DD finally made an exclusive appearance in only Japan. 

Nintendo failed to account for the fact that it would take four years to develop the add-on. By the time it was released, the N64 was about to leave the  stage. Of the 100,000 units produced, just 15,000 were sold. Just 10 games were developed for the 64DD, and it died a quiet death less than a year after launch. Sure, Nintendo learned valuable lessons from this, but it was still a flat-out commercial failure. 

Super Mario Run

The Super Mario Bros. franchise has always been about challenging and precise platforming elements. The original entry on the NES is often considered the greatest game of all time. As such, it makes almost no sense that Nintendo would design a game for your phone that takes away everything that makes Mario, well, Mario. The mobile game lacks many elements, such as control and power-ups. 

Because the beloved Italian plumber is constantly running, players don't need two hands to coordinate movement. But this also comes at the price of not feeling completely in control of Mario. Then there's the missing Fire Flower and Super Leaf, meaning the red guy never gets another outfit or powers. 

Nintendo 64 Uses Cartridges

While Nintendo swore that they decided to use cartridges instead of CD-ROM technology for the N64 to "combat piracy," many hardcore gamers know it had probably had more to do with pride and obstinance than anything else. The Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn both used CD-ROMs, which allowed more memory space for advancements in technology like actual music, voiceovers, and awesome cutscenes. Cross-platform games often looked as good or better on CD-ROM consoles and usually had more content than their cartridge counterparts.

Though, there were a few upsides to cartridges, like faster loading times and sturdiness. However, cartridges were much more expensive to produce than CDs, meaning N64 games were at least $10 more expensive than identical releases for the Sony and Sega platforms. 

Final Fantasy 7 Is A Sony PlayStation Exclusive

The Final Fantasy franchise is arguably the greatest RPG saga of all time. It first appeared in the US on the NES, but Final Fantasy III (Final Fantasy VI in Japan) for the SNES is often considered the entry that pushed the series into the mainstream. Originally, Final Fantasy VII was in development for the SNES, but after too many technical setbacks with the cartridge-based console, Square (before they merged with Enix) decided it was better to go with the more powerful Sony PlayStation.

Besides the 3D capabilities of the PSX hardware, developers were drawn to the extra storage the CD-ROM medium offered. FF7 is packed with elaborate FMV cutscenes that an N64 cartridge just couldn't handle. The game was a huge critical success, selling more than 11 million copies. Square even took shots at Nintendo in the press for being behind the times with their obsolete technology. Ouch. 

Lack Of Third Party Support

Nintendo went hard after the third-party market during the era of the NES, imposing insanely restrictive licensing terms that pushed upstart developers toward competing consoles like the Sega Genesis and the Sony PlayStation.

Nintendo was ultimately investigated by the FTC and accused of antitrust violations and unfair business practices. This mentality set the table for many generations of limited third-party support for all of Nintendo's future consoles, including the WiiU and the Switch. Though small inroads are seen with the arrival of the Switch, the future still looks bleak for those not under the Nintendo umbrella. 

Wii Shovelware

The Nintendo Wii brought casual gamers and families back to the living room in droves, taking full advantage of its groundbreaking motion sensor technology that got people up off the couch and waving their arms around wildly. Even though the console itself was significantly less powerful than the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, the Wii outpaced both Sony and Microsoft in sales just one year after launch.

The pack-in Wii Sports was the perfect way to showcase Nintendo's new tech and many consider it to be the best game ever released on the system. Too bad that was one of the only worthwhile games, as many were just shovelware ports from other consoles not originally intended to be motion-controlled. 

Friend Codes

While the rest of the gaming universe used simple account names or email addresses to connect friends who wanted to play together online, Nintendo decided to use a proprietary "Friend Code" system that was anything but simple to use. Not only did each gamer have a specific number sequence that was completely random, but each game required a different friend code! They largely eliminated the Friend Code fiasco by the time the WiiU rolled around, but the Switch still uses them, albeit in a much simpler process. 

Nintendo PlayStation

Nintendo finally saw some real competition when Sega beat them to the 16-bit punch with the Genesis. And while Nintendo ultimately bested Sega in the sales figure department, there's no denying that the Genesis brought out the best in Team Mario.

Sega was rumored to be working on a CD-ROM expansion - which became the Sega CD - and Nintendo wasn't going to be left behind. They teamed up with uber-electronics giant Sony to develop what was supposed to be called the Nintendo PlayStation. They wanted to add a CD-ROM expansion to the SNES. After haggling over contract terms and licensing agreements, Nintendo ghosted Sony and secretly turned to Philips, one of Sony's biggest competitors to complete the job.

Since Sony had already built and developed the console, they released it themselves. So, Nintendo essentially gave birth to their biggest rival and the current leader in the home console space. 

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 09:52:15 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/times-nintendo-messed-up/collin-flatt
<![CDATA[19 Photos of What The Oval Office Looked Like Under Every President]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/pictures-of-the-oval-office-for-each-us-president/kellen-perry

Nothing shows the historical progression of American politics quite like pictures of how the Oval Office changed over time. President Taft ordered the first Oval Office built in 1909, following his predecessor Teddy Roosevelt's order to construct the West Wing. The construction of this cool White House room satisfied his wife's request, which was to make the second floor of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue an exclusively domestic space. Comparing the first Oval Office of 1909, with its walls covered in "sea-grass green" burlap, to the 21st century incarnation's tasteful wallpaper and elegant draperies makes clear how the Oval Office changed over time. 

The gallery below features a photograph of the Oval Office under every president since Taft, which means it actually shows off two offices: the 1909-33 "Taft Oval Office" and the larger, more private "Modern Oval Office" of 1934 to the present, installed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Exploring the Oval Office throughout history provides an fascinating glimpse of the leaders who made it their office: some presidents, for example, chose to keep the desks or drapes of their predecessors, while others have swapped them out. This little bit of interior design is just one of the many cool things a US president can do.

19 Photos of What The Oval Office Looked Like Under Every President,

Woodrow Wilson, 1913–1921

Warren G. Harding, 1921–1923

William Howard Taft, 1909–1913

Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963–1969

John F. Kennedy, 1961–1963

Harry S. Truman, 1945–1953

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953–1961

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933–1945

Calvin Coolidge, 1923–1929

Herbert Hoover, 1929–1933

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 01:19:53 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/pictures-of-the-oval-office-for-each-us-president/kellen-perry
<![CDATA[The New Game Of Thrones Trailer: Winter Is Here (Also, Dragons)]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/new-game-of-thrones-trailer-breakdown/liam-ross

The new Game of Thrones trailer is upon us, Thronies (that's what we're calling ourselves, right?) and this one is much more informative than the teaser we got back in March when HBO ticked us into watching ice melt for 10,000 hours. For the first time, we're treated to actual footage from the upcoming season, and it looks deeply awesome. 

HBO's Game of Thrones has been building to a head for almost six years, and if the trailer is any indication, Westeros is going to be best on all sides by invaders. Let's break down the biggest moments in the trailer, and get excited for GoT Season 7. 

Also, SPOILERS AHEAD. If you want to go into the new season as innocent as Sansa (before her life became a never-ending torrent of misery), this is your warning.  

The New Game Of Thrones Trailer: Winter Is Here (Also, Dragons),

Screw Winter, Daenerys Is Coming

After more than half a decade of waiting, fans will finally get to see Daenerys campaign for the Iron Throne. The trailer shows several scenes of the Targaryen queen plotting at Dragon Stone, her ancestral stronghold (and former residence of Stannis Baratheon). Here, too, is a battle between her Unsullied forces and Lannister soldiers.  

Dany has held her dominion over the Dothraki as well: we can see the horselords riding into battle against Westerosi forces. Cersei is going to have her hands full with the young queen. 


Granted, we only see one in the trailer, but there he is. Here it comes. Drogon appears to be flying into battle at the head of an army - his siblings close by, no doubt. Perhaps more importantly, it seems that HBO has not skimped on their CGI budget. Let's pray to the Old Gods and the New we get to see him melt some White Walkers when Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on July 16, 2017 on HBO. 

Jon Snow Looks Ready To Rally The North Against The White Walkers

Echoing the rousing finale of Season 1, the Lords of the North have once again gathered together in Winterfell's great hall to declare allegiance for a new king. Jon Snow, bastard son of Eddard Stark (well, as far as Jon knows), is set to rule the North and prepare it for the fight against the White Walkers. While we don't see any of the icy warriors in the trailer, their specter permeates every scene. 

The trailer ends with the line, "The great war... is here." The conflict between humanity and the White Walkers is about to take center stage. Given that we also see Jon Snow attempt to strangle Littlefinger in the trailer, let's hope the North is strong enough to keep its focus and fight them off.  

Cersei Misses The Forest For The Trees

Cersei begins the trailer by bemoaning her circumstances. Surrounded by enemies, bereft of family, things aren't looking great for our Queen Protector. Yes, she finally sits on the Iron Throne, but she is desperately clinging to power now that she's finally clawed her way to the top.

What's her plan? To round up Daenerys, the White Walkers, and the rest of the Seven Kingdoms in a big sept and blow them all to hells, too? Good luck, Cersei.

It's Game Of Thrones, So You Know There Are Going To Be Sexy Times

This trailer doesn't have as many hookups as we're used to, but we see a couple of new allies getting cozy. There's a glimpse of Yara Greyjoy and Ellaria Sand getting hot and heavy. The Greyjoys, of course, have promised their fleet to Daenerys in exchange for their independence when she takes the throne. Meanwhile, Varys ended last season securing the loyalty of Ellaria Sand and Olenna Tyrell for the Targaryen cause - provided that cause is firmly anti-Lannister.

Greyscale Is Getting The Best Of Jorah

At the end of Season 6, Jorah was searching for a cure for his greyscale. This still from the trailer suggests things are... not going great. We see a crusty, scabbed hand (a left hand, like the source of Jorah's infection) jutting out from an apparent prison cell in some sunny locale. Only time and HBO will tell if the disgraced knight will make it back to Daenerys as she attempts to conquer Westeros.

Wed, 24 May 2017 05:13:32 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/new-game-of-thrones-trailer-breakdown/liam-ross
<![CDATA[Maine Has An International Eel Smuggling Ring That Has Made Poachers Millions]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/maine-international-eel-smuggling-ring/katejacobson

When one thinks "international smuggling ring," they probably don't think eels. But here we are. Apparently, Maine has a huge eel smuggling problem. No, really.

It all started in 2011, when Maine officials started noticing illegal poaching of baby American eels, also known as glass eels. These little guys are delicacies in parts of East Asia and can go for upward of $2,000 a pound, but they are native to Maine. Thus began a glass eel trafficking problem. Poachers net upwards of $500,000 for their illegal trades. All together, officials estimate they've made more than $30 million. Who knew eels in the state of Maine would make for such an exciting (yet sad) scenario?

As of May 2017, several men have been arrested in connection to the trafficking. Still, the state of Maine is concerned. And rightfully so. These nefarious eel stealers need to be stopped.

Maine Has An International Eel Smuggling Ring That Has Made Poachers Millions,

An Uptick In Demand Made These Eels A Hot Ticket

The eels are most desirable in their juvenile state. Farms in Asia take the baby glass eels and then sell them to restaurants when they've reached maturation. These little eels are nearly transparent, and local fishermen have sold them for years, usually for a modest amount. Then, in 2012, a shift in the market happened. Asian buyers were consuming the American eel as a delicacy. Suddenly, people were paying more than $2,000 a pound, and local fishermen were making upwards of $10,000 a night. 

There were some other factors, too. In 2010, the European Union banned exports of the European eel because of its dwindling population. Then, in 2011, an earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japanese eel farms. Since scientists weren't able to figure out how to breed eels in captivity, they looked to the US and the American eel.

This Poaching Could Have A Major Ecological Impact On The Eels And Their Habitat

The American eel was already seeing a decline in its numbers before the extreme poaching began. This decline has only been exacerbated by the poaching. The International Union for Conservation of Nature placed the eel on its "red list," meaning, if a change isn't made to help eel populations, they could go extinct in the wild.

The European and Japanese eel are both critically endangered, as well, thanks to Asian market demands for the delicacy. Both the state of Maine and the federal government are looking at steps to curb poaching and to help the eel population. 

Eel Poaching: How Does It Work?

There are only two states in the US where you can fish eels – Maine and South Carolina –  and Maine is the major player. There is a catch limit, and only people with a license are allowed to fish, and there are a limited number of those. Seeing the big bucks licensed fishermen were reeling in, unlicensed poachers got in on the action. They also tried catching the eels in areas that were in off-limits zones. 

People have taken extreme measures to illegally fish the eels. One guy donned a wet suit and swam upriver in the middle of the night to catch them. Officials had to do an undercover operation – called Operation Broken Glass – to catch these guys, working for years to figure out who was involved. In the end, more than 12 people were arrested in 2017.

Wed, 24 May 2017 04:49:20 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/maine-international-eel-smuggling-ring/katejacobson
<![CDATA[12 Disturbing And Creepy Bad Drug Reactions Caught On Video]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/videos-of-bad-drug-reactions/jacob-shelton

Everyone who has done drugs before has had at least one bad trip. Either you got too high and had a panic attack, or maybe you just freaked out and had to be left in a dark room for a few hours to collect your thoughts. But the typical bad trip is nothing compared to the creepy drug reactions that have been collected here. These awful drug-reaction videos show the dark side of dabbing, taking too much molly, and smoking meth before you go grocery shopping. While all of these videos of bad trips are different, the one narrative they weave together is that you should absolutely never allow yourself to be filmed when you’re high.

The creepiest videos of people on drugs come from those who take synthetic drugs like K2 and PCP. While those are two wildly different ways to get high, they’re both heavily concentrated substances that the human brain was not created to handle, and they essentially turn you into a mindless crazy person. If you’ve never done drugs and were wondering what it might be like, then just watch these videos to get an idea of the worst-case scenario.

Remember, don’t do drugs - and if you do take drugs don’t let your friends film you because it’s going to be embarrassing when you find yourself all over YouTube moaning in the middle of the street while your friends laugh at you. And, if these videos aren't creepy enough for you, go check out this footage of people being hypnotized, and then take a long break from the Internet.

12 Disturbing And Creepy Bad Drug Reactions Caught On Video,

Man Has To Be Held Down After Smoking Spice

The creepiest thing about this video is that someone just happened to stumble upon a group of people desperately trying to keep a guy (who decided it was a good idea to smoke spice) from totally freaking out and potentially hurting someone.

A Woman, High On Something, Starts A Fight On A Train

Is this a drug reaction video or a Pringles reaction video? If you're ever put in a position where someone who is obviously high is attacking you on a train (or any mode of transportation for that matter), do not assault them in response because you're just going to end up in as much, if not more, trouble than they are.

Woman High On PCP Acts Possessed In The Middle Of The Street

Why are people still taking PCP? Everyone knows that it turns you into a crazy person, and that ending up writhing in the street is the best possible outcome when using the drug - so what's the obsession? 

Krokodil Turns Woman Into A Human Pinball

Krokodil is a homemade version of morphine that attacks your nervous system, sedates you, and can eventually make your skin rot. And while this woman hasn't reached the skin-rotting phase of the drug yet, she is in the "someone please get this woman help and stop filming her" phase of Krokodil use.

After Smoking Synthetic Weed, Man Fights Off Invisible Parasites

There's no way to know what exactly this synthetic weed user thought he was fighting off, but whatever it was it couldn't have been good, and apparently he was covered.

Man Smokes K2 And Re-Enacts The Exorcist

Look at the way he's crawling. Seriously, just look at it. People shouldn't move like that.

Flakka User Just Wants To See Jamaica

What is even happening to this guy's legs? If he lived through this, then his glutes were definitely burning the next day.

Guy Describes His Salvia Trip While Playing Super Mario 3

After taking a bong rip of salvia, a guy named Jay falls off a couch and begins screaming and rolling on the ground while his friends film him and joke about seeing "blue Yoshis." Is this technically attempted manslaughter? Also, it should be noted that there are no Yoshis in Super Mario 3 - that character doesn't show up until Super Mario World.

Meth Head Doesn't Know Which Groceries To Buy

What is it about tweaker body movements that are so creepy? Does meth immediately give you the dexterity of an evil cartoon character? Also, if you have a child with you, it's probably more important to make sure that your kid is safe (both physically and mentally) from the meth-ed out creep jumping around in front of your cart than it is for you to share the video of your experience on YouTube.

Woman Loses All Of Her Motor Skills After Smoking Salvia

This young woman essentially turns into a zombie after taking a bong rip of salvia and it's unsettling to say the least. And then her friend decides its a good idea to follow in her footsteps.

Fri, 05 May 2017 08:48:15 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/videos-of-bad-drug-reactions/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[Things You Didn't Know About Vantablack: The Darkest Color In The Galaxy]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/what-is-vantablack-space-facts/cynthia-griffith

When the folks at the National Physical Laboratory set out to manufacture the blackest black in the universe - something rivaled only by an actual black hole - nobody fully understood the implications. Today, the marvel that is Vantablack is finally coming to light. Technically, though, it’s actually absorbing light at a rate that was previously thought to be impossible.

So, what is Vantablack? For starters, it’s the world’s blackest material, doing the work of crazy space substances right here on Earth. Trademarked by Surrey NanoSystems Limited, this laboratory-grown substance isn’t exactly a color. It is a light-absorber so powerful that it actually creates darkness and distortion across everything it touches. The real-life applications for such a material are endless and pretty fantastical - some say it can even make airplanes disappear.

What we do know about this science fiction-esque substance is that it is comprised of vertically aligned nanotube arrays that bounce light particles off of one another until the light is swallowed up and completely disappears. And when Vantablack is applied to a three dimensional object, the object flattens to appear two dimensional, losing all of its features. We also know that this sort of substance could enhance our view of the solar system, allowing us to see planets and stars that we never even knew existed. Here’s a look at the many shades of Vantablack, and how this alien substance will probably (definitely) impact our planet’s future.

Things You Didn't Know About Vantablack: The Darkest Color In The Galaxy,

Vantablack Is Grown On Surfaces, Not Applied To Them

It’s somewhat mind-boggling to try and fathom the creation of a color, but what you have to remember is that Vantablack is actually the result of the absence of color. Furthermore, it wasn’t exactly created - it was grown. So, how does one go about growing a light absorbing, super-hydrophobic substance?

Well, in addition to having a scientific laboratory on hand, one would also need to be able to grow billions of carbon nanotubes. These tubes are tiny structures 50,000 times smaller than one human hair follicle, but they pack a powerful punch. They are regarded to be 1,000 times more conductive than copper and 200 times mightier than steel. When bonded together, they create a little forest of mineral sources that suck in and trap light. Many have described the experience of Vantablack as being akin to gaping into a black hole, minus the risk of spaghetti-fication, of course.

Vantablack 2.0 Absorbs Light Completely

For the purpose of trying to measure the blackness of an immeasurable substance, scientists estimate that the newest Vantablack’s value of light absorption is close to 99.999 %. In other words, this substance that was designed in the image of cosmic black holes effectively imitates them by absorbing all light. So, if you were to shine a laser over Vantablack 2.0, the light would get completely sucked in and then disappear. The initial version of Vantablack notably absorbed only 99.96% of light.

It’s Being Produced In Spray-Paint Form

In case you're wondering whether or not your favorite celebrities will soon be bragging about their Vantablack Aston Martins, you’ll be happy to know that a spray-on version of the material just hit the luxury market. Spray-on Vantablack has specific differences from its laboratory-grown counterpart, being that it blocks out a bit less light. Still, the spray version - which does not come in a spray can but rather is applied via a spray-painting processes - is a super-hydrophobic absorber coating being sold to some luxury manufacturers, but is still unavailable for private use.

So, in short, the answer is yes - Vantablack spray painted luxury products could be on the horizon now that it has successfully been manufactured in spray form. However, the product is super fragile and needs to be applied in such a way that it is protected from human touch. The spray paint variant of the famed substance is called S-VIS.

It Makes All Surfaces Appear 2-D To The Human Eye

There are no smoke screens or funny camera angles, and no tricks hidden up any sleeves when it comes to the craftiness of Vantablack. It really does make things appear to have disappeared. But it doesn’t exactly make them invisible. Picture it more like when you're watching a television show and someone’s face was blacked out in the frame. Anything that Vantablack is applied to is pretty much absorbed by the substance, effectively making it look 2-dimensional to the human eye, as all of the surface details are distorted beyond recognition.

Vantablack Is The Darkest Manufactured Color In Our Galaxy

The latest version of Vantablack is immeasurably dark. And it is able to achieve such an effect with the help of billions of intricately woven carbon nanotubes that are literally grown on an area approximately the size of one square centimeter. As such a seamlessly constructed material made of utter darkness, Vantablack isn't even considered a color. Rather, this shade of black is an abstract absence of color, comparable only to materials seen in outer space.

Like Black Holes, Vantablack Warps Reality

Thanks to Vantablack’s light-absorbing properties, the substance alters human perception of reality in a number of ways. First, staring at the exterior of a Vantablack coated surface makes it appear as though you are looking into a 2-dimensional abyss, like something you might witness in a cartoon, except it's real life. Or if you were to, say, step inside of a room that was entirely covered in Vantablack, it would result in the perception of a completely warped reality. The floor would be gone, objects in the room would seem to be the wrong size, and, like a house of mirrors, all of it would just be an optical illusion; however, perception is reality.

Because Of Vantablack, Regular Black Is The New Blue

If Vantablack is the new black then regular old black might just be blue. Isn’t it fascinating how color (and the absence of color for that matter) works? When you see Vantablack placed over Z306 - an ultra-black paint previously utilized for blocking light on scientific telescopes - the black paint appears blue. The ultra-black paint also responds differently when introduced to light from a laser.

It Could Have Military Applications

While abstract thinkers have dreamed up scenarios involving invisible airplanes camouflaging themselves in the night skies under a masterful coating of Vantablack, scientists refute these claims as simply too fantastical. The possibilities related to military applications are currently still under review. More realistic, though, would be the use of Vantablack as thermal camouflage for soldiers. Then again, if there really were invisible planes flying overhead, painted a deep shade of Vantablack do you think that information would be released to the public? All that was mentioned was the possibility of applications. The rest is left to the world's imagination.

It Could Aid In The Construction Of Even More Accurate Cameras

For the same reason that a super black substance could aid us in seeing the stars, it could also prove incredibly useful for photographers. Light plays such a vital role in photography and the possibility of blocking out most of it could open entirely new doors for photographers, vloggers, and novices alike. At the very least, space photography implications are endless, but all sorts of artists are vying to get their hands on the latest Vantablack as well.

It Could Help Us To Build More Powerful Telescopes

Paint on telescopes isn’t there for vanity purposes - it plays a much more powerful role. Telescopes designed for scientific space research have interiors painted as dark as possible in order to block out light and afford a better glimpse into the skies. In this sense, Vantablack could make it possible for telescopes like the Hubble to gaze even father into space at never before seen planets, faint or tiny stars, and other details of the universe that today remain hidden mysteries.

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:28:07 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/what-is-vantablack-space-facts/cynthia-griffith
<![CDATA[How "Magical Girls" Became Such A Big Thing In Anime]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/why-does-magic-girl-anime-exist/hannah-collins

What do you get when you mix sparkly eyes, frilly skirts, endless curls, punchy catchphrases, unbeatable optimism, and magical powers together? Why, a whole lot of sweet, cute, and gutsy girls! These are the key ingredients that define Magical Girl anime today. But where did this sugary world of bright heroines come from?

Most Western fans credit '90s classics like Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura as the earliest examples of their exposure to this genre, but Magical Girl TV shows have a history in Japanese comics and animation that stretches all the way back the early '60s. Once upon a time, the neon-colored, plucky girls parading around today as "magical warriors" were once gender-bending knights, kick-*ss female superheroes, and "cute witches" from other dimensions. 

Also known as "Mahou Shoujo" or "Majokko" in Japanese, this unapologetically girly genre has come a long way, and its unwavering popularity has meant it's still developing in new and unexpected directions as time goes on. Some universities even have college courses on Magical Girl anime, as the genre has evolved and heavily influenced animation on various levels. Read on to discover how Mahou Shoujo anime started and how it has developed through the decades. 

How "Magical Girls" Became Such A Big Thing In Anime,

"Magical Girls" Are Not To Be Confused With "Magical Girlfriends"

These two archetypes are often confused, and while there can be overlaps, they're ostensibly two entirely separate things. Whilst both are heroines who can either be humans who possess magical powers or supernatural beings like witches or goddesses, there are key differences.

A Magical Girl fits more into the mold of superhero. She is a protagonist who uses her powers to fight crime or inspire good, and though she usually has a romantic sub-plot, she acts independently. On the other hand, a Magical Girlfriend exists predominantly as male wish fulfillment and has less of the same agency. Ah! My Goddess! is one of the most well-known examples of the girlfriend genre. 

Magical Angel Creamy Mami Was The First Magic Idol Singer Show

Studio Pierrot's first foray into the world of Magical Girls was Magical Angel Creamy Mami in 1983, which also birthed a whole new sub-genre - the "Magical Girl Idol." As the name suggests, this archetype is a Magical Girl whose secret identity is that of an entertainer (usually a singer). This comes about either by virtue of an already-famous girl being gifted magical powers, or a girl who uses her abilities to become a famous performer. For Yu Morisawa, the heroine of Creamy Mami, it's the latter, as she uses her alien-given powers to transform into her older, singing alter-ego known as "Creamy."  


Toei Animation Had The Monopoly On Magical Girl Shows Until The '80s

With Himitsu no Akko-chanSally the Witch, and every other Mahou Shoujo show carrying its logo from the get-go, Toei Animation appeared to exclusively own the Magical Girl genre as a franchise. However, this is all changed in 1982 with the release of Magical Princess Minky Momo by Production Reed (then known as Ashi Production).

While Westerners usually aren't familiar with the title, the anime was hugely popular in Japan at the time. With Ashi Production's success, the floodgates for non-Toei Magical Girls ripped opened. Studio Pierrot released a whole roster of shows throughout the '80s, including Magical Angel Creamy MamiPersia, the Magic Fairy, Magical Star Magical Emi, and Magical Idol Pastel Yumi.

Majokko Meg-Chan Developed A Lot Of The Genre's Staples, Including Its Name

Sally and Akko-chan kickstarted the genre, but Majokko Meg-chan (AKA Megu, the Little Witch) developed it much further when it aired in 1974. In fact, Meg-chan introduced and popularized the genre's very name.

Megu-chan had an incredible amount of genre "firsts" that would become future staples. It was the first Magical Girl show to be aimed at boys as well as girls; the first to feature a heroine who wasn't super-girly; the first to feature a "Dark Magical Girl" rival; the first to have seriously evil villain; and the first to treat its viewers to fan service (i.e. panty shots) in a show of its kind.  

Cutey Honey Developed The Magical Girl Warrior, Despite Being A Shounen Show

From the mind of the strange yet genius creator, Go Nagai, came Cutey Honey, airing in 1973. Most fans will be more familiar with the revival anime series, New Cutey Honey and Cutey Honey Flash that aired during the '90s.

Though its technically a Shounen show, Cutey Honey's shapeshifting android heroine qualifies as a Magical Girl Warrior prototype. Proof of Cutey Honey's influence on shaping the modern Magical Girl Warrior can be seen in the definitive example of the archetype, Sailor Moon, with the "Monster Of The Week" format and the "In The Name Of The Moon" speeches.   

The First Magical Girl Team Was Formed During A Crossover Special In The '80s

The culmination of Studio Pierrot's Magical Girl line-up in the '80s was a one-off OVA special in 1987 called Majokko Club Yoningumi: A Kuukan kara no Alien XIt crossed over characters from Magical Angel Creamy Mami, Persia, the Magic Fairy, Magical Star Magical Emi, and Magical Idol Pastel Yumi to create the very first Avengers-style Magical Girl team. 

Previously, Magical Girls had been solitary heroines with occasional human or magical companions, but this group format paved the way for Magical Girl Warrior Team shows like Sailor MoonTokyo Mew Mew, and Pretty Cure.

Bewitched Was The Inspiration Behind Sally The Witch

Believe or not, part of the inspiration for this quintessentially Japanese pop cultural phenomenon came from the US - specifically, the ABC sitcom Bewitched, which aired in 1964. The show was a frothy, comedic take on the supernatural, following the not-so-average housewife, Samantha Stephens, a witch married to a non-magical man.

The series inspired the creation of Sally the Witch, the very first Magical Girl anime to fly onto Japanese TV screens in 1966. Tribute has even been paid to the impact of Bewitched by way of the Magical Girl comedy series, Oku-sama wa Maho Shojo: Bewitched Agnes, which aired in 2005. 

The First Magical Girl On TV Was A Witch Named "Sally" From Another Dimension

Created by the legendary Mitsuteru Yokoyama (creator of Gigantor, AKA Tetsujin 28-go, the grandfather of the Mecha genre) Sally the Witch was the first Magical Girl anime when it aired in Japan in 1966, three years earlier than Himitsu no Akko-chan

Sally is a princess, who is also a witch, of the magical kingdom of Astoria (a fictional place, not to be confused with the real one). She accidentally teleports to Earth, makes human friends, and decides to use her powers for good. The anime introduced the "Cute Witch" archetype and the concept of a "princess" from another dimension who ends up on Earth to the Magical Girl genre. 

Himitsu No Akko-chan Was Technically The First Magical Girl

Although Sally The Witch is often credited as the first Magical Girl, the title technically belongs to Himitsi no Akko-chan ("The Secret Of Akkochan"), the manga of which predates Sally as it was published in 1962. It was produced as an anime that aired in 1969

While Sally embodies the Cute Witch archetype specifically, Akko-chan pioneered two fundamental characteristics of the Mahou Shoujo genre. The first is that heroine Kagami Atsuko is an ordinary human who is gifted, rather than born, with her powers as a reward for doing a good deed. The second is the all-important transformation ability that effectively creates a "secret identity" split between girl and magic. Kagami does this by way of a magical compact that endows her with shapeshifting powers. 

Princess Knight Was Technically The First Magical Girl

The starting point for the Magical Girl genre is the manga Princess Knight, created by Osamu "God of Manga" Tezuka (most famously known for works like Astro Boy). Beginning life as a manga series in 1953, Princess Knight was adapted into anime in 1967 and is also a notable early example of Shoujo. While historians agree that Princess Knight is not really a Magical Girl, it's generally accepted as the earliest prototype for one of the genre's key archetypes - the "Magical Girl Warrior," made more famous decades later by the hugely popular Sailor Moon franchise.

Princess Knight was also pretty revolutionary in terms of gender-bending, which is another common trope of both Shoujo and Magical Girl stories. Due to archaic gender rules, its heroine, Princess Sapphire, is forced to live her life as a Prince in order to ensure she inherits the throne from her father. Her boyish physicality laid the foundation for the fusion of the Magical Girl and Sentai archetypes to come.

Mon, 01 May 2017 09:58:16 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/why-does-magic-girl-anime-exist/hannah-collins
<![CDATA[The Creepiest Ghost Stories From New York City]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/new-york-city-ghost-stories/lyra-radford

Scary stories in New York City are not limited to historically violent crimes and outlandish rental rates. It appears that its nickname as "the city that never sleeps" also happens to apply to NYC's dead. New York-based ghosts can be found everywhere from the tops of the city's most beautiful high-rise apartment buildings all the way to the depths of the soil that makes up its graveyards - or in some cases, its parks.

Considering the city's size, age, and extremely dense population, it should come as no surprise that New York City is considered to be one of the most haunted cities in the world. Steeped in complex history and urban legends accompanied by streets lined with some of the finest architecture in the US, haunted New York attractions include spooky mansions, fancy bistros, hotels, taverns, parks, and even museums. Collected here are just some of the creepiest legends and ghost stories that New York City has to offer.

The Creepiest Ghost Stories From New York City,

The Kreischer Mansion Has A Violent Past Haunting Its Present

This 130-year-old mansion has a rather dark past - in fact, many members of the Kreischer family died here and their ghosts still remain. Balthazar Kreischer had the mansion built for his family in 1886, but died just a year after its completion. There was a lot of greed and resentment between the two sons, Edward and Charles Kreischer, following the death of their father. Their fighting became progressively brutal until Edward Kreischer died "mysteriously," allegedly shooting himself in the head after an argument with Charles. Later, Charles and his wife died in a house fire and it is now believed that both men haunt the Kreischer family mansion.

The spirit of a German cook has also been seen, as have the ghosts of two small children who were the victims of a mob hit that took place inside the house. Robert McKelvey, a member of the Bonanno family, was also savagely murdered on the property by being drowned (somehow unsuccessfully), dragged downstairs to the basement, and viciously stabbed - then his murderers finished him off by chopping up and burning his body.

Sid And Nancy Haunt The Hotel Chelsea

The Hotel Chelsea, as infamous hotspot among rock stars, artists, and celebrities, is believed to be a popular hang out for the dead as well. Among the more popular ghostly residents is the infamous couple, Sid and Nancy.

On October 12, 1978, Nancy Spungen was found stabbed to death on the bathroom floor of her hotel room in the Chelsea. Her boyfriend, Sid Vicious, the bassist for the band Sex Pistols, was arrested for the murder; however, while awaiting his trial, he overdosed on heroin and died. Many claim that the couple still haunt the building.

A Mysterious Blonde And A Boy With His Dog Roam The Woodlawn Cemetery

Woodlawn, also known as the Garden Cemetery, is the final resting place for nearly 300,000 people - but it seems that quite a few of them aren’t resting at all. One specter that has been seen by multiple people is that of an unknown man with a flashlight who appears to be crazed and yelling, but no one has ever heard what he’s saying. They only see him.

Another spooky legend is that of 5-year-old Johnny Morehouse, who fell into a canal and froze to death while his dog fought wildly to save him. After Johnny was buried, the dog laid down at his grave and wouldn’t leave. It soon died of starvation and sadness, but now the two are reunited and can be seen roaming around the cemetery at night. In 1861 a commemorative stone was even made to honor this devotion between the boy and his dog. Since then, it’s become common practice for people to leave toys and candy offerings on the stone.

Additionally, a mysterious blonde girl dressed in jeans and white tennis shoes has been seen sitting on a stone in the cemetery. Sometimes she radiates an eerie blue light, while other times she looks so solid that the passersby she talks to don’t realize she isn’t a real person.

Also worth noting, many of the RMS Titanic’s passengers were laid to rest at Woodlawn and there is a commemorative tour available to the public.

The Dakota Is The Most Haunted Apartment Building In New York City

The Dakota, where John Lennon once lived and was eventually shot outside of, is reportedly haunted. Lennon himself claimed to have seen the ghostly figure of a woman wandering down the halls crying - later referring to her as “The Crying Lady.” He also claimed to have seen a UFO outside his window while living here.

Years after Lennon died, he decided to make another visit to the Dakota, as Yoko Ono claimed to have seen his ghost at the piano. He spoke to her, “Don’t be afraid. I am still with you.” Musician Joey Harrow and writer Amanda Moore both claimed to have seen John Lennon’s ghost at the Dakota as well. He was hanging out near the entrance surrounded by an eerie light.

A mysterious little girl has also been spotted playing with a ball, and a 10-year-old boy in a Buster Brown suit is known to appear on occasion. In their apartment on the third floor of the Dakota, Frederick and Suzanne Weinstein claim that their rugs and chairs slide on their own and phantom footsteps can be heard. Frederick also spoke of one incident where he came home to see a large crystal chandelier glowing in the window of his apartment. Thinking that his wife just had it installed, he walked on into the house only to find that there was no chandelier.

For Dinner And A (Terrifying) Show, Try One If By Land, Two If By Sea

One If By Land, Two If By Sea is a restaurant located in the West Village known for two things: The first being its delicious food, and the second being its 20 restless spirit inhabitants and all the insane paranormal shenanigans they cause.    

Before it was converted into a restaurant it was a carriage house. In fact, the building itself dates back to 1767 - and so do its ghosts. Among the apparitions that have been identified are Aaron Burr and his daughter, Theodosia - they are both seen pretty often; however, Theodosia is certainly the more interactive of the duo. She even apparently shoved a particular maître d' down the stairs multiple times, until she finally quit her job. Theodosia also seems to enjoy pulling earrings off of female guests.

Another spirit, who keeps most of her haunting to the back room, is believed to be a Ziegfeld follies girl. There’s also a man often seen by the fireplace and another always by the front door - it seems that the dead have this place surrounded. Plates go flying, picture frames tilt, machinery activates itself, and lights flicker. Waiters have even almost served people they thought they saw sitting at a table.

SoHo Shop, COS, Has A Haunted 18th Century Well On Display

Inside the SoHo shop, COS, sits an 18th century well that is connected to a gruesome unsolved murder. Gulielma Elmore Sands left her home December 22, 1799, to meet up with her lover, Levi Weeks. The two had planned to run off and elope that night, but less than two weeks later Sands body was found inside this infamous well - she had been suffocated to death. News of “The Manhattan Well Murder” was plastered everywhere and soon Weeks was tried in his fiancé's murder. He was acquitted and her real murderer (assuming it wasn’t Weeks) was never discovered. The Manhattan Well Murder remains one of the most infamous unsolved murder cases in New York history. This morbid piece of history is, of course, allegedly haunted. In addition to giving people the willies, bottles have been known to inexplicably shoot off the shelves.

A Ghost At The Merchant's House Museum Doesn’t Like Kids Playing On The Lawn

This historical landmark has been a museum for nearly 80 years, but it still looks exactly like it did when the Tredwell family lived there. The Tredwells spent nearly 100 years in that house, and apparently 93-year-old Gertrude Tredwell never left. Gertrude spent her entire life shut inside this very house and her ghost doesn't seem too keen on leaving either.

Gertrude can still be heard walking around in her former bedroom and, sometimes, she’ll venture out into the front yard if she doesn't like what’s going on out there. One of the most famous stories about Gertrude’s ghost is from 1933, just weeks after her death. Some neighborhood kids decided to play in her front yard and Gertrude rushed right out the front door to chase them away. A lot of people saw this happen - they all recognized her and knew that she’d been dead for weeks!

Another incident occurred in 1995, this time involving a Judicial Department official. She claimed to have been upstairs speaking to a "tattered and musty" gentleman for quite sometime about some of the objects on display, when suddenly the man vanished. As it turns out, she was conversing with the long-dead son of Samuel Tredwell.

Strange Anomalies Have Been Captured In Photos At Green-Wood Cemetery

Of course this overtly Gothic graveyard - consisting of 478 acres of graves and remarkable mausoleums - is haunted. How could it not be? This necropolis of peaceful rolling hills and sculptures wasn't actually a cemetery until 1838. And in 1776, it had been the site of the Battle of Long Island. The land has seen its share of bloodshed, so it’s no surprise that witnesses have seen hazy figures and felt strange gusts while visiting the grounds.

People have also claimed to capture ghostly figures in their photographs and some have even come face-to-face with the spirit of Mabel Douglass. Douglass's body was found at the bottom of Lake Placid, petrified, in perfect condition, 30-years after she disappeared. She is now buried in Green-Wood and people still claim to see her roaming around often.

The catacombs, which are closed to the public, can only be explored around Halloween when they turn the final resting place of 560,000 people into a haunted-attraction. As if that weren’t bad enough, some bozo decided to start lurking around the cemetery dressed in full creepy-clown attire carrying balloons. Anyone looking for an all around strange time, should stop in at Green-Wood.

The Ghost Of Edgar Allan Poe Likes To Hang With His Old Bannister In Greenwich

As most people know, all of Edgar Allan Poe’s former homes, possessions, grave(s), and pretty much everything he was ever in the proximity of, are now haunted by him. He’s clearly one of the busiest ghosts in the afterlife. His former building in Greenwich Village (which has been mostly demolished), is now basically a facsimile of the original building’s facade with one single original banister left. Which of course, the horror writer shows up to haunt every once in awhile. Apparently, Poe's ghost has been seen climbing up it, and now it’s been dubbed the "Most Haunted Bannister in New York." Yes, that’s a thing. After all, it’s New York - they have a “thing” for everything.

Washington Square Park Was A Burial Ground In The 1800s

Once upon a time, Washington Square Park was a burial ground with over 20,000 bodies buried within its soil - many of whom were victims of yellow fever. It’s believed that many of those buried here still linger in the park. Witnesses have reported apparitions dressed in 18th century outfits simply strolling along, and then vanishing.

Adding more doom and gloom to the atmosphere is an old tree dubbed the "Hangman's Elm," which allegedly served as an execution spot in the 1800s. According to legend, a woman named Rose Butler was hanged here after burning down the house she worked at. Many people have even claimed to see a shadowy figure swinging from the old elm at night.

Wed, 10 May 2017 03:27:35 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/new-york-city-ghost-stories/lyra-radford
<![CDATA[Old Photos Of People Riding The Tube]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/old-public-transportation-photos/sarah-hatheway

Since 1863, the London Underground - more commonly known as the Tube - has shuttled millions of passengers all over the sprawling city. It began with one simply railway, and expanded over the decades to become one of the busiest metros in the world. But as these old photos of the London Tube prove, technology may have changed, but commutes remain the same.

Vintage photographs of the London Underground provide a fascinating window into the past. Through them, you'll see what the very first trains in the system looked like. You'll glimpse how the subterranean network doubled as a shelter during World War II, where citizens huddled to chat, listen to music, and wait out air raids from enemy forces. And you'll get a peek at some of the Tube's famous commuters - like the Queen herself.

These old snapshots of London's trains celebrate the rich history and enduring legacy of the seemingly humble realm of public transportation.

Old Photos Of People Riding The Tube,

Edgeware Road Station, 1863

Concert In The Aldwych Station, 1940

Arguing Couple, Mid-20th Century

Smoking On The Piccadilly Line, 1976

Taking A Ticket, Early 20th Century

The Queen Takes The Tube, 1969

Reading Lady Chatterley's Lover, 1960

Hiding From Air Raids In Bounds Green, 1940

Control Room, Early 20th Century

Morning Reading, 1980s

Wed, 24 May 2017 01:44:43 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/old-public-transportation-photos/sarah-hatheway
<![CDATA[Funny Memes About Ways You've Hurt Your Pet's Feelings]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/hurting-your-pets-feelings-memes/mick-jacobs

Pets act as the unofficial mascots of the Internet, and emotional pet memes capture the struggles they endure each day at the hands of their owners. Each time you finish your plate without sharing, Spot becomes the poster (good) boy for sad dog memes. Conversely, each time you leave to take Spot on a walk, your feline friend, Chester, exudes the sorrow of sad cat memes everywhere. Regardless of how hard you try to please your furry little friends, pictures of pets who are disappointed in you reveal it to be a lost cause. Whether you like it or not, some of your actions make your pet dislike you, turning Chester into Grumpy Cat right before your eyes.

To help you get through the toil of the workday, check out these hilarious memes about hurting your pets' feelings, guaranteed to make you consider busting out the treats when you get home. Your pets might be sad for a minute, but it's nothing a belly rub won't solve. Unless you bust out the vacuum, in which case you and said device both suck.

Funny Memes About Ways You've Hurt Your Pet's Feelings,

Where You Been?

Think Of The Feline Feelings!

Will My Owner Ever Return From The Walk?

With Every Step I Take (Outside The House)

They Never Bought The Stork Metaphor Anyway

No Scraps For You

It's Not All Play All The Time

Your House Cat's About To Become An Outdoor Cat

Being Catty

How Cute!

Wed, 03 May 2017 01:23:43 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/hurting-your-pets-feelings-memes/mick-jacobs
<![CDATA[21 Incredible Photos of Marilyn Monroe You've Never Seen Before]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-marilyn-monroe-photos/sarah-hatheway

Marilyn Monroe continues to allure audiences, decades after her untimely death. And as these rare photographs of Marilyn Monroe prove, her one-of-a-kind charm shines through even in still images.

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson, the woman who would become Marilyn had a difficult childhood in Los Angeles. In her late teens, she began modeling as a pin-up girl, and Hollywood came knocking. Monroe's sultry beauty and signature breathy voice made her the ideal starlet for the era. But despite her on-screen success, Monroe's private life was anything but glittering: she struggled with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. She died at the age of 36 following a drug overdose.

Marilyn Monroe pictures give a glimpse into the life of this complicated, fascinating woman. Here, you'll see her posing with leading men (including Marlon Brando, Clark Gable, and Laurence Olivier). You'll discover behind-the-scenes snapshots of Marilyn Monroe on set, filming favorites like Some Like It Hot and The Misfits. And you'll see candid shots of her with some of her famous partners, including Joe DiMaggio. Her appeal is clear in every frame.

21 Incredible Photos of Marilyn Monroe You've Never Seen Before,

Sharing A Laugh With Ronald Reagan


Polishing That Famous Pout

Entertaining The Troops

With Joe DiMaggio

Sharing A Secret With Laurence Olivier

A Quick Run-Through

A Thoughtful Moment

Filming Some Like It Hot

A Young Marilyn

Tue, 23 May 2017 09:49:32 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-marilyn-monroe-photos/sarah-hatheway
<![CDATA[Haunted Hotels In The US You Can Actually Stay In (But Probably Shouldn't)]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/haunted-hotels-in-america/mariel-loveland

When browsing Priceline or TripAdvisor looking for places to stay, people typically try to avoid anything that might get them killed or could unwittingly resign their bodies over to demonic possession. An exorcism isn't really most people's idea of a vacation, but the allure of haunted hotels in the United States is undeniable. If you've ever found yourself perusing the Internet late at night and reading ghost stories about real-life haunted places, you're not alone. Many of the American hotels that are known to harbor ghosts even throw their own ghost tours - it's quite the booming business!

People undoubtedly enjoy scaring themselves with ghost stories - why else would horror movies be so popular? But would you ever dare to get up close and personal with an actual ghost? Some haunted hotels in the USA have very real scary stories behind their apparitions - including tragic suicides, unsolved murders, and colonial war heroes. From the Stay on Main, which inspired a season of American Horror Story, to the Stanley Hotel, something literally out of a Stephen King novel, these hotels are some of the most haunted in America.

Here are 17 haunted American hotels you can check into - right now.

Haunted Hotels In The US You Can Actually Stay In (But Probably Shouldn't),

Hotel del Coronado - Coronado, CA

As the story goes, a 24-year-old woman named Kate Morgan checked into the Hotel del Coronado on Thanksgiving Day in 1982, where she was supposed to meet her lover, except he never showed up. After waiting for him for five days, her hopelessness overcame her and she killed herself with a shotgun. Morgan is now said to haunt the property, though guests say she's actually rather friendly.

Guests at the Hotel del Coronado - a gorgeous luxury hotel in sunny California - may experience flickering lights, mysterious drafts, weird smells, voices, footsteps, and sudden changes in temperature - all the hallmarks of a good ol' haunting. Objects are also known to move at random and TVs in the establishment may turn on and off by themselves (because Morgan probably loves her nightly programs).

Price of the scare: $329/night

The Myrtles Plantation - Baton Rouge, LA

Once a plantation and now a charming bed and breakfast, the Myrtles Plantation is considered one of America's most haunted homes. This historic landmark dates back to the 1700s and is as full of southern charm as it is old southern ghosts.

Guests have reported seeing a young girl dressed in antebellum clothing peering out from behind windows - and there's even photographic evidence. If you look in the photo above, you can see the not-so-faint outline of the "Ghost Girl." The Myrtles Plantation even had paranormal experts analyze the photo, and many claim that they can't find any evidence that it was doctored. Spooky. If you want a chance to get a glimpse of the Ghost Girl yourself, the plantation offers ghost tours in addition to renting out rooms.

Price of the scare: About $250/night

Admiral Fell Inn - Baltimore, MD

Ghosts at the Admiral Fell Inn in Baltimore, MD, just want to party - and they're a rather raucous group. When the hotel was briefly closed in 2003 during Hurricane Isabel, neighbors reported hearing noises from a full-on monster mash.

Several of the buildings that make up the Admiral Inn's property date back to the 1700s - and that's a lot of time to accumulate ghosts. However, no spirits in particular have ever been named. Keeping in theme with the paranormal lore surrounding the inn, hotel hosts offer ghost tours several times a week - and you can even bring your pup if they don't spook easily, as this hotel is pet friendly.

Price of the scare: $170/night

The Marshall House - Savannah, GA

An old-hospital-turned-hotel in one of the most haunted cities in America? We've got a full on ghost infestation on our hands. This property was once used as a Union Army hospital during both the Civil War and two yellow fever epidemics. That means it's obviously teeming with paranormal activity.

Guests have seen ghosts, heard children's voices, and watched faucets turn themselves on and off. This spot is so famous for its ghosts that Southern Living named it one of the South's 11 Most Haunted Places. It's also frequently included in various Travel Channel specials about haunted getaways.

Price of the scare: $126-$229/night

Emily Morgan Hotel - San Antonio, TX

San Antonio's 177-room, neo-Gothic beauty - the Emily Morgan Hotel - sits right across from the historic Alamo. If that's not a recipe for a haunting, then what is? Better yet, the property had previously been used as a morgue and psychiatric ward before you could ever book a room.

The hotel is rated as the third most haunted hotel in the world, and they fully embrace their reputation for paranormal activity. The on-site restaurant and bar hosts a Psychic Happy Hour - complete with palm readings - every Thursday and there's even free WiFi (sorry, but poltergeists cost extra).

Price of the scare: About $140/night

The Bourbon Orleans Hotel - New Orleans, LA

Even though the Bourbon Orleans Hotel has a heated saltwater pool and elegant rooms with balconies, it also has the kind of history that horror movies are made from. The ghosts that haunt this property are some of the creepiest - including orphan children, confederate soldiers, and catholic nuns.

The hotel was originally used as a ballroom for glamorous celebrity events, but was eventually acquired by Sisters of the Holy Family in the 1800s - from then on it was used as a school, orphanage, medical ward, and convent. During that time, a yellow fever epidemic killed a large number of the children at the orphanage, and many of them now haunt the hotel's hallways.

Price of the scare: $150/night

Prospect Hill Bed And Breakfast Inn - Mountain City, TN

If you're looking for a stay with some friendly ghosts, look no further than Prospect Hill Bed and Breakfast Inn, a former Civil War veteran's 1889 country mansion. Guests here are treated to a ghostly array of unexplained scents, including muffins, cookies, bourbon, and rose perfume - but things have been known to get a bit scary.

Some guests have reported seeing Civil War soldiers while others have heard a crying baby that isn't there. Doors open and close, and apparitions appear in windows. In the creepiest instance, a photo taken in front of the fireplace revealed flames when no flames were actually lit.

Price of the scare: $179/night

The Stanley Hotel - Estes Park, CO

The Stanley Hotel, a historic Colorado property that originally opened in 1909, is so haunted that it actually inspired Stephen King to write his terrifying bestseller, The Shining. He allegedly stayed there for just one night before the hotel closed for the winter - and his family happened to be the only guests. King apparently didn't see any ghosts, but he did have a creepy nightmare that inspired the novel. Other guests have reported hearing piano keys (when no one was playing piano) and mysterious laughter. Hotel staff, who deliver nightly ghost tours, say the ghosts are mostly deceased employees and guests - meaning you could be next!

Price of the scare: Roughly $250/night

The Stay On Main - Los Angeles, CA

Stay on Main (formerly known as the Cecil Hotel) is so creepy that it inspired the series American Horror Story: Hotel. This 700-room hotel and hostel has been the location of numerous murders, disappearances, and suicides. To top it off, serial killer Richard Ramirez once called this hotel home.

As if that's not enough, it gets even creepier. In 2013, a 21-year-old woman named Elisa Lam suddenly disappeared from the hotel. The last time she was seen before her death was in elevator security footage, where she exhibited strange, erratic behavior. Weeks later, her body was found in the hotel's rooftop water tank after guests started complaining about low water pressure. Those guests had unknowingly been drinking water contaminated by her decomposing body.

Reviews for the hotel are mixed - some recount scary stories, and some urge you to "stay away." Others reviewers say it's "not bad" and some even give it four stars. Interested in taking your chances?

Price of the scare: The Stay on Main is currently closed for remodeling, but should be re-opening soon, so mark your calendars for a nightmare-worthy LA vacation.

Lord Baltimore Hotel - Baltimore, MD

The ghosts at the Lord Baltimore Hotel are actually pretty aggressive - they've been known to reach out and touch people in elevators, and rooms are allegedly filled with an overwhelming, invisible presence. Guests have seen shadows and apparitions, including visions of a young girl in a long dress and black shoes who wanders around the 19th floor bouncing a red ball. This girl is rumored to have taken her own life and to be the reason why the elevators will sometimes move to the 19th floor when no buttons have been pressed. Why is it always creepy little girls? Why?

Price of the scare: $150/night

Thu, 04 May 2017 07:26:51 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/haunted-hotels-in-america/mariel-loveland
<![CDATA[Amazing Drone Footage That Gives You A Completely New Vantage Point Of The World]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/amazing-drone-footage-of-familiar-things/eric-vega

Aerial photography and filmmaking has exploded in recent years as drones have become more and more common in everyday life. Now, even amateur photographers can take cool drone footage of sporting events, interesting natural phenomenon, nighttime cityscapes, and anything else under the sun. The perspectives captured by aerial cameras are so unique that drone videos of normal things end up looking way more awesome than you would expect.

People around the world are capturing amazing drone footage of everyday events, and that footage can seriously change your views on seemingly mundane things. Whether it's witnessing for yourself the true size of a protest crowd, seeing a tractor harvest a mountain of corn, or experiencing the roaring power of the ocean, aerial film of familiar stuff can take the ordinary and transform it into something extraordinary. This collection of breathtaking drone footage shows just how awe-inspiring everyday life can be.

Amazing Drone Footage That Gives You A Completely New Vantage Point Of The World,

A Cruise Ship

What It Is: Carnival cruise ships docked at a port on Grand Turk Island.

Why It's Amazing: Look at the size of those things!

A Corn Harvest

What It Is: A harvest of corn in the United States.

Why It's Amazing: The sheer volume of corn stalks is impressive, and the fact that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of these farms explains why everything has corn syrup in it.

A Volcano

What It Is: An active volcano on the island of Vanuatu. 

Why It's Amazing: The footage from these drones was used to create a full 3D rendering of the inside of the volcano, a feat that had not been accomplished before.

A Fireworks Show

What It Is: A fireworks show like you'd see on the 4th of July.

Why It's Amazing: You can get up close and personal with the explosions without risking injury. This film also highlights the three-dimensional aspect of fireworks.

A Music Festival

What It Is: The 2016 Burning Man music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.

Why It's Amazing: It's not easy to live in this harsh environment, but festival goers do the impossible by erecting a functioning city in the desert year after year just to jam out.

Autumn Foliage

What It Is: The changing leaves during autumn in New England.

Why It's Amazing: It's wonderful to see a forest filled with so much color, even though this event happens every year.

A Construction Site

What It Is: A construction site on the crew's day off.

Why It's Amazing: Without the noise of all the drills and jackhammers, it's possible to appreciate the sheer ingenuity of the machinery.


What It Is: Dozens of surfers all surfing a pipeline together.

Why It's Amazing: The extreme nature of surfing becomes really clear when you see the size of those waves.

A Marathon

What It Is: A bird's eye view of the 2017 London marathon.

Why It's Amazing: From above, you can get the scope of just how big an event like this is. The runners are taking up miles of road in a massive swarm.

A Traffic Circle

What It Is: A traffic circle in Long Beach, CA.

Why It's Amazing: From up in the sky, this road makes drivers look like cells in some giant organism.

Mon, 22 May 2017 09:31:45 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/amazing-drone-footage-of-familiar-things/eric-vega
<![CDATA[30 Haunting Photographs From The Second Sino-Japanese War]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/second-sino-japanese-war-photos/chwang

Some historians argue that the Second Sino-Japanese War served as the catalyst for World War II. Beginning in 1937, the Nationalist Republic of China finally had enough of the territorial disputes with Japan. The Japanese expanded their empire and their borders, knowing they had military superiority over other countries in the region. China found itself losing too much and decided to make a stand, and Japan retaliated with a full-scale attack. Early in the war, Japan actually won two staggering victories, resulting in the capture of Shanghai and Nanking. However, the Japanese soon found themselves stretched thin over the large lands of China. By 1939, a stalemate arose.

Then, on December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States declared war on them the very next day. The continued pressure of atomic bombings and the interference of US forces eventually led Japan to surrender in 1945, despite controlling a vast amount of Chinese lands. Compiled below are photos of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Though China ultimately won, it paid a hefty price in ideals, resources, and lives. Historians contribute the fall of the Chinese Nationalist party and the rise of communism to the horrific Second Sino-Japanese War. Viewing the Second-Sino Japanese War in pictures sheds new understanding on the largest conflict in Asia in the 20th century.

30 Haunting Photographs From The Second Sino-Japanese War,

Japanese Soldiers Take Position In An Ancient Chinese Traditional Building, 1938

Refugees Fleeing Chungking As It Is Bombed By Japanese Troops, Leaving 5,000 Dead, 1939

The Shanghai South Station Bombing Left Nearly All Dead, 1937

Young Man With Dead Child, 1937-45

Black Saturday Bombing Of A Chinese Amusement Park, 1937

Mother And Children Amid Debris Following Japanese Airstrike In Chungking, 1937-39

Japanese Soldiers Taunt A Pair Of Young Chinese Prisoners Before They Are Executed, 1938

Chinese Woman With Her Dying Husband, 1940

Canton Women's Defence Corps Training, 1938

Japanese Soldiers Feeding Young Chinese Child, 1938

Tue, 23 May 2017 09:02:33 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/second-sino-japanese-war-photos/chwang
<![CDATA[People Describe The Most Terrifying Thing They've Ever Seen Or Heard]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/scary-things-seen-heard/amandasedlakhevener

While all sorts of terrifying events leave their scars on people, both emotionally and mentally, it takes only creepy sounds or scary sights to haunt a person forever. In an instant, a sight or a sound can change someone. Though many times scary images and sounds suggest something supernatural, most of the Reddit users below detail everyday lives interrupted by gruesome tragedies. These are the creepy stories that remind everyone of how easily fate and circumstance can disturb the tranquility of day-to-day existence. You may not be able to fathom many of the unsettling tales these Redditors speak of, but you'll never forget them after this.

People Describe The Most Terrifying Thing They've Ever Seen Or Heard,

A Plane Crashed Into The Apartment Building Next Door

From tizod:

"A single engine plane crashed into an apartment building a few doors down from where I lived at the time. I was one of the first people on the scene. I just stood there frantically trying to call 911 but couldn't get through. A man emerged from the building and started coming straight for me.

He looked like a character from a cartoon who just had a bomb go off in their face. His hair was smoking and his face was blackened. He came to me screaming with both hands stretched out before him. The skin on his hands was melted away and hanging from what was left.

He screamed, and I screamed. I had no idea what to do. Thankfully a women showed up who had some kind of training and she proceeded to treat him for shock. I probably could have used some treatment myself.

In the end only the occupants of the plane and an elderly Holocaust survivor who lived in the building perished."

Walked In On A Friend's Suicide

From Otown-girl:

"In the 8th Grade one of my friends missed school and I was worried because he wasn't answering any texts or phone calls, so I walked to his house to check up on him. Even walking there I knew something was wrong, I had a horrible twisting in my stomach - I thought I was going to be sick. We were very good friends that had gotten accustomed to just walking into each other's houses - the place was like a second home to me - so that's what I did.

When I walked in (around 3:30 PM) the house was a type of silence I will never forget. It wasn't the 'sleeping household' silence. I walked very slowly towards his room but before I got to it I saw the blood on the tile of the bathroom. I will always haunt me how much blood there was. He was slumped beside the toilet, covered in vomit and blood, his hair was sticking to his face, he was cold and clammy. He had tried to overdose on some type of medication, but I guess he started throwing up so he slit his wrist vertically halfway down his forearm.

I tried to beg him to breathe but he was already grey. I tried to hold the gash together to stop the bleeding but it wasn't really bleeding anymore. I sat on the bathroom floor and wiped his hair from his face and tried to clean the blood off of his hand with my sleeve and I held his hand before it really clicked that I was sitting with a dead body.

When it did I frantically called 911 and I was too distraught to give them very much information other than that I was 13 and that he was dead. At this point I had gone into the hallway but when the operator told me to go outside so that they could find the house I put the phone down and went back to my friend. I remember sitting there holding his hand, silently waiting for the paramedics. But I was told later they were able to find the house because one of the neighbors called in saying they could hear screaming coming inside.

I will never forget seeing my childhood best friend slumped in a heap of vomit and blood and I will never ever forget that smell."

Her Face Looked Like A Smashed Blueberry

From PoeBangangeron:

"I had to go to the morgue for a DUI. They brought in a 23-year-old girl who had just been ejected from a car. Her face looked like a smashed blueberry. Her boyfriend was in the hospital, about to be arrested. He had no idea she was dead. And they were getting ready to call her Mom. It was messed up.

Also, the coroners showed photos of people, mostly teenagers and younger kids mangled up in car accidents before they retrieved the body. It was awful.

But I totally deserved it. As does anyone who gets a DUI. It really is an eye opener."

Burned Alive In A Shipping Container

From NotNiftyy:

"Told to me by my uncle. He did some work welding on the inside of the semi-truck trailers that carry gas and whatnot, the ones that look like cylinders. Well, they were inside the tank welding and took a lunch break. One person didn't shut off the gas to the welder properly so it was leaking during the break. One guy got in the tank to keep working after lunch and as soon as he went to light his torch, the whole container ignited. The man was screaming as he was being burned alive, while the other men tried to get him out. When they finally got him out of the container, he was screaming and writhing in pain with all the skin on his body burnt off. He shriveled up into a ball and died soon after."

Witnessed An Accident That Killed Her Friend

From TheButterBot:

"When I was in second grade I had a friend in the grade below me. She was the friend of a boy in my class who I didn't like, but she was nice and we both liked to read, so we would talk about books on the bus.

One day we were on the bus, sitting next to each other, talking about our latest pick-ups from the school library. We reached her stop, she said bye to me and got off the bus with her brother and older (middle school-aged) sister. I watched her siblings cross the road, but my friend had stopped before crossing to tie her shoes.

Our bus driver began honking his horn and screaming "STOP, STOP" out the window. I looked out the window in time to see her begin to cross before she was hit by the motorcycle. Her body flew up and hit the roof of our bus before hitting the road. The motorcycle stopped down the road, only half-aware that he had hit something.

I'll never forget her mother's scream. I watched my friend's unconscious body bleed out on the pavement, limbs broken and facing the wrong direction and everything. The bus erupted in panic. Due to us being part of an accident and the bus driver's determination to help her before the ambulance could arrive, we didn't move the bus. We sat there for a little over an hour before a second bus was sent to pick us up and finish our route. I couldn't take my eyes off her the entire time.

My parents tried to talk to me about it afterward and the school offered therapy, but I didn't really do either. I kind of just stuffed it down. She ended up dying in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The school held a service and her brother and sister left school for several months.

As it would turn out, that accident gave me a severe case of PTSD. I've never been able to drive a car. The mere thought of cars makes me anxious. I was hospitalized after a suicide attempt a couple months ago. I'm doing significantly better after my official diagnosis and new meds. I'm not sure if I'll ever drive.

It's also, may I mention, especially difficult facing PTSD as a civilian, not a cop or soldier. For some reason, many people don't believe I have PTSD because I wasn't either of the aforementioned professions. Don't judge, yo, mental illness can happen to anyone.

Also, it turns out the driver was legally blind and had his license suspended because of that fact. He ended up going to jail, but was released after only a couple years due to an illness."

A Mob Hit In A Residential Neighborhood

From SheComesInColors:

"I saw a father and his two little sons slowing down the car to go over a speed bump when a pickup truck came from the street on their right side and stopped in front. Two men got out, one with a machine gun and one with a pistol. Pistol guy walks up to the father's side window and machine gun guy aims through the windshield, they both open fire. Shot him maybe 20 times total in broad daylight in a quiet upper-middle class neighborhood. They got in the truck and drove away. I was standing maybe 15 or 20 feet away.

Where I live you can't expect much from the police as far as investigating that murder and making an arrest, especially then (about 15 years ago) before all the cameras in the streets.

There was a gym nearby (like 200 yards from the shooting site). Apparently the man was one of two partners who owned the gym, and the real target was the other partner, who was sleeping with a woman that was linked to a drug baron. At least that's what the local gossip lady said, probably reliable info though."


Saw A Hang Glider Fall Out Of The Sky

From Koulyone:

"I was about 15 when my mother took me to watch some hang gliders flying in southern Cal. We were watching this one guy about 150 feet up when his glider just collapsed. (It was theorized that he was attempting a dangerous stunt when the rig collapsed.) I watched as he frantically tried to grab some part of the rig as he was falling. He landed about 50 yards from me. When I got to him, I knew he was dead. I will never forget that."

The Car Bomb Exploded Right Outside The House

From TasteTheRainbowFlag:

"Both saw, and heard, but also smelled:

When I was 12 there was a bomb right outside my house. It was a car bomb and a few people died. That morning, an entire street was inside our house/on the lawn (glass shattered, closets thrown everywhere etc..). And when we made our way to the roof, we could see a dissipating mushroom cloud, along with being haunted by the smell of burning flesh.

Some things will never be erased from my mind, and this is melted into it."

His Arms And Legs Were No Longer Attached To His Body

From FlyingBlobFish:

"Back in 2008 or so, my mother and I were driving my great grandmother to visit my great grandfather who was in the nursing home a few towns over due to Alzheimer's. Some other family was headed over on a motorcycle to meet us there.

About halfway there, we came up on a crash that authorities hadn't gotten to yet (we met first responders after we passed the crash).

I was intrigued being the eight-year-old kid I was, and looked at the damaged cars in awe. I happened to just get the glance of what I think was about half a motorcycle. About that moment my mother told me to cover my eyes, so I did as I was told. Not even two seconds passed before my great grandmother let out the most blood curdling scream I have ever heard, causing me to uncover my eyes and look. I saw several men in leather riding gear taking a knee around one man, who no longer had any arms or legs attached to his body. One arm was actually stuck in the front end of the fourth car I'd seen in the crash next to him. I immediately covered my eyes again in shock of what I'd just seen.

To this day, my mother does not know I saw it. The only person I've ever told I did see it was my grandmother who was not there that day.

I've remembered it at least once a week since that day and every time it feels just as scary as the first."

Watched Someone Get Shot In The Head

From Darth_Savage_Osrs:

"When I was 16, I was kidnapped in Mexico. For the most part, I was blindfolded and only got to hear the screams of people getting tortured and told how they were going to die very slowly. I befriended this little kid who sat beside me, he was 12 at the time. For the sake of keeping it short, they took off our blinds when his parents didn't come up with the ransom, and made me beg them to not kill the little boy. They made me stare at him as they shot him in the head. Still haunts me in my dreams after six years."

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 03:43:45 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/scary-things-seen-heard/amandasedlakhevener
<![CDATA[The 15 Most Insanely Gory Moments In Image Comics History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/gory-gruesome-violent-image-comics/jacob-shelton

Right out of the gate, Image Comics differentiated themselves from the big two in the comic book community by ramping up the sex, violence, and gore to absurd levels. For every hilarious moment in Deadpool is an equally bloody moment in Image Comics. As the company continues its mission of releasing interesting work by independent artists, the gore has steadily increased in both shock value and aesthetics. The panels you’re about to see aren’t for the faint of heart, so make sure your mom isn’t in the room.

Gruesome comic scenes are more than simple drawings of fingers glued to construction paper or a guy being stabbed to death in the shower. Like the most gory moments in Marvel comics, brutal scenes in Image Comics slowly register in your mind before you realize that you're looking at a horrifying piece of art. The illustrative prowess that’s on display in this collection of bloody moments proves just how vital the independent comic scene is to the world today. Enjoy these gruesome Image Comics panels and vote up the bloodiest ones that are forever engrained in your memory. 

The 15 Most Insanely Gory Moments In Image Comics History,

Invincible Headbutts A Guy To Mush

If Robert Kirkman is writing a comic, then you can rest assured that someone is getting their head smashed in. The man has a singular obsession with watching heads get bashed. In a nutshell, Invincible is about a guy with super powers who is sworn to protect earth. When Invincible fights an evil alien named Conquest, the creature seemingly kills Invincible's girlfriend, so Invincible bashes in Conquest's head until he's a disgusting mushy pulp. 


These Head Messes In Fatale

If you like cthulu-esque gods, spooky cults, and a dark comic with a noir sensibility, then you need to read Fatale. The comic opens up with someone discovering a grisly set of mutilations in an old house that grows more disgusting the higher they go in the building. At some point, you've got to know when to stop walking up the stairs. 

TFW You're Having Sex On A Pile Of Dead Bodies

Meanwhile in Dimension X (and the '90s), Savage Dragon was doing its best to be one of the edgiest things that was ever created. Hence, Angel Murphy and Mr. Glum banging it out after destroying a planet. You have to admit, the details on some of those bodies are spectacular. 

Billy Kincaid's Art In Spawn

In the Spawn universe, Billy Kincaid is a child murderer who gets his just desserts after he's released from a mental institution in Issue 5 of the series. His death is pretty rough, but it's got nothing on his whole obsession for cutting off the fingers of children and gluing them onto a piece of paper. Gross. 

Heads Asplode In Harvest

Look at the detail on that head asplosion! It's very nice. Harvest revolves around the black market for organs where human traffickers and rogue medical teams steal body parts from people to sell to the highest bidder. It's one of the most inventive, and kind of yucky, short-run comic series. The five-issue series is full of organ transplants and plenty of blood, but this head wound is lovely gore at its finest. 

Negan Beats Glen To Death

Issue 100 of The Walking Dead featured one of the most brutal and surprising deaths of a series that's made up of brutal and surprising deaths. Rick had his hand cut off, Carl had his eye shot out, and so many chompy boys were blown apart, but Glen's death was still a lot to handle. The frame by frame beatdown that Negan gives Glen feels like an exercise in forcing the audience to confront the violence that they come back for month after month. 


That Time Jackson Winters Watched A Guy Get Stabbed In The Shower

How often do you see a naked guy stabbed in the shower? Hopefully never, unless it's in a comic book. Ghosted is about the greatest thief in the world, but it begins in prison where he's trying his best to float under the radar. This is just one panel in a truly interesting comic that isn't about prison showers, but it's still tough to look at. 

Berserker Does Something Berserk

Berserker was pretty much just Milo Ventimiglia's excuse to make an edgier version of Wolverine, and that's fine. He could have been doing worst stuff with his time, like being mean to kids at a children's hospital or something. 

The whole series is pretty gory, but the comic starts off with one of the Berserkers getting his fingers smashed with a hammer, and then ripping another guy's arm off and beating everyone to death with it. He also punches through a guy's neck. If you don't care about plot or the quality of writing, then it's a pretty good read to pass the time. 

Brian Cohn And His Pile Of Bones

Hey guys, it's a pile of bones! Echoes is a really interesting comic about a schizophrenic man attempting to maintain his sanity after he discovers that his father was a serial killer. Oh, and by the way, he discovers that his father was a serial killer when he happens upon a box of dolls made of skin and hair, and then collapses onto a pile of bones. Mazel tov! 


The First Headshot In Wanted

Don't let the not-so-great film adaptation of this comic turn you off - Wanted is a fun comic that follows a group of super-villains that f*ck sh*t up. The opening pages feature the death of a character at the hands of an unknown assassin, and the single headshot featured in the panel is so detailed that it's almost wet. It's worth mentions that the death immediately follows the amazing line, "I'm the scariest super-f*ck whoever walked the earth." 

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 09:48:37 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/gory-gruesome-violent-image-comics/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[Chain Gangs Were The South's Answer To Freeing The Slaves]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/brutal-chain-gang-facts/justin-andress

For years following the end of the Civil War, men throughout the United States - and the South in particular - were forced to pay their debt to society chained to a string of fellow prisoners and breaking their backs in the hot sun. The brutal realities about chain gangs mark some of the most shameful chapters in the history of the American correctional movement. The day-to-day life of chain gangs in the Southern states was exceptionally unforgiving.

In 1912, the National Committee on Prison Labor decried chain gangs as "the last vestige of the slave system," claiming that hundreds and possibly thousands of prisoners had lost their lives as a result of abuse and malnutrition. Southern chain gang facts chronicle one of the darkest moments in the often sordid timeline of the United States.

What were chain gangs like for prisoners? How did chain gangs work? They were more than a means of passing the time for prisoners and their jailors - simply put, they were terrifying.

Chain Gangs Were The South's Answer To Freeing The Slaves,

They Were Touted As Humanitarian Achievements

In the toxic environment of the post-Civil War South, the mostly-white authorities thought that chain gangs could kill two birds with one stone. They would relieve overcrowding in the prisons, and would help restore the South’s infrastructure. Of course, the thought of putting a white prisoner in chains and having them work in the blistering sun was "an intolerable inversion of a divinely ordained social hierarchy."

As a result, the authorities put thousands of black men in chains and congratulated themselves for it. One convict labor advocate, Joseph Hyde Pratt, even said, "Life in the convict road camp... is more conducive to maintaining and building up the general health and manhood of the convict than when he is confined behind prison walls."

Southern Reconstruction Spawned The First Chain Gangs

The Southern states may have started the Civil War, but they also took the biggest beating. Most of the war was fought in the South in Virginia and Tennessee.

In the years following the Civil War, the South was in ruins. Most of the jails were completely destroyed. Those that weren’t were stuffed to the gills. The post-war chaos was a breeding ground for criminals, and the draconian laws of the Southern states had a way of ensnaring newly freed black men. It was here that the first chain gangs were implemented.

Some States Would Compound Prisoners’ Sentences With Extra Fees

Julius Hoy was convicted as a thief in Mississippi. He was fined for his crime and sentenced to work at the Covington County chain gang to fulfill his time.

"He is being charged 60 cents per day for board," a local attorney noted, "and at present the fine and accumulated board amounts to approximately $89.20, and it will never be possible for him to serve out his time."

The Attire Was Intended To Be Humiliating

In several states, chain gangs were given instantly recognizable black-and-white-striped uniforms. Combined with the uncomfortable chains that bounds them together, this apparel was a constant source of embarrassment.

Quaker humanitarian groups were horrified by the prisoners' response to the clothes. Some said they would rather die than continue working in the chain gang.

Sleeping Conditions Were Inhumane

Often, prisoners on the chain gang weren’t afforded the luxury of a decent night’s sleep. They weren’t even allowed to sleep unchained, on the ground. In several camps, prisoners who were working on site for an extended period of time were corralled into caged wagons for the night.

These wagons measured eight feet by 18 feet, and sometimes housed as many as 18 prisoners. The men were given a small stove to heat themselves, a container of water to share, and a "night bucket" to answer the call of nature.

Working Conditions Were Brutal

Around the turn of the century, the average temperature in the Southern states in the summer was about 80 degrees. Most chain gang prisoners were forced to work in the heat without cover and with few breaks.

What's worse, guards were equipped with shotguns and whips. The latter could be used freely if a prisoner wasn’t keeping pace.

Prisoners Broke Rocks And Dug Ditches

The work that prisoners on chain gangs were expected to complete was the worst kind of back-breaking labor. They were mostly sent in to "pound rocks and shovel dirt."

Their job was to clear terrain. Through slow dredge work, shackled to other men, the prisoners worked for weeks at a time before being packed into wagons and transported to a different part of the state.

African Americans Made Up The Vast Majority Of Chain Gangs

African Americans were overwhelmingly sent to work in chain gangs, while white prisoners were sent to serve their terms in jail. One report from 1918 attempted to explain the reasoning behind this decision:

"The absence of white men from the gang has further raised the score there being now no question of separation of the races either at work or in camp. The foreman stated to us that the authorities have decided to work no more whites on the chain gang but to send them to the Penitentiary or allow them to serve their sentences in jail. This is a wise decision."

The Chains Imperiled Every Prisoner On The Crew

Because they were constantly chained together, the men on the chain gang relied on each other to stay safe. One small misstep, for instance, could cause every man to fall. Prisoners were also chained too close together to get out of the way if one man was the target of a beating. As a result, several men might end up injured.

The Men Were Never Unshackled

The first state to implement the chain gang was Georgia; the authorities began putting prisoners to work in the 1890s. In order to prevent escape, five men were chained together at the ankles. That way, even a combined escape effort would be too awkward to be successful. As a result, the cost of guarding prisoners was much cheaper in a chain gang.

Unfortunately, that precaution meant that the chains stayed on the prisoners all day and all night. Whether they were eating, working, or sleeping, the men were chained together. That constant contact led to ulcers, abrasions, and infections on their ankles and feet.

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 04:37:00 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/brutal-chain-gang-facts/justin-andress
<![CDATA[This Archaeological Site Is Rewriting Our Entire Understanding of Human History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-gobekli-tepe-turkish-archaeological-site/stephanroget

Göbekli Tepe just doesn’t make sense. The neolithic archaeological ruins were first uncovered in the '60s, but their significance wasn’t truly realized until 1994. The site is located in southeastern Turkey - although it predates the establishment of the country by a significant amount of time. In fact, Göbekli Tepe is so old and complex that it is rewriting our understanding of not just Turkish history, but the entire history of humanity. Based on everything we know about how modern civilization got its start, Göbekli Tepe should not exist. However, exist it does, and has for nearly 12,000 years.

Archaeological study of Göbekli Tepe has been going on for quite some time - even though the modern political climate in Turkey has made matters slightly more difficult. Some sections are even in the process of being restored. The site has become a tourist attraction and a source of local pride, and there are plenty of good reasons for that. Göbekli Tepe is, after all, the oldest site of significance created by human beings, and that makes it one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made.

This Archaeological Site Is Rewriting Our Entire Understanding of Human History,

The Pillars May Be Stylized Human Beings

The pillars, along with their topstones, that make up the temples of Göbekli Tepe might be hiding a design secret - and it’s one that some archaeologists think they have cracked. Some of the stone blocks on top of the pillars have what appear to be human faces carved into them, leading some to theorize that the pillars are actually stylized depictions of human beings. And, if this is correct, then the covering of the human form with depictions of animals might be a clue into the belief system of the people who constructed Göbekli Tepe.

Many Of The Stones Are Ornately Decorated With High-Quality Animal Drawings And Carvings

The stones that make up the Göbekli Tepe temples are impressive both in their size and in the way that they were put together. However, many of the stones have significant artistic value as well. Most of the central pillars are decorated with elaborate drawings of animals, and some even have intricate animal statues carved right onto the pillar’s surface. Even this quality of art appears to be ahead of its time, and it is certainly a step up from more common cave paintings.

The Largest Top Stones Weigh Up To Ten Tons

At the center of the construction of the various temples in Göbekli Tepe are a series of massive pillars topped with heavy stone blocks. The pillars themselves weigh tens of tons, with estimates ranging between 20 and 60 tons - which would have made even bringing them to the central location a Herculean task. That’s to say nothing of placing large stone blocks on top of them. The blocks themselves weigh up to ten tons, leaving archaeologists scratching their heads as to exactly how the ancient engineers building Göbekli Tepe got the job done.

It's Made Up Of A Series Of Temples, The Oldest Known Religious Structures

Most archaeologists believe that Göbekli Tepe was intended to be some sort of religious structure, although some also believe it may have been a burial site. This makes Göbekli Tepe the world’s oldest temple, a title it holds by quite a large margin. That the very first religious construction in the world that we know of is such a massive and elaborate creation seems strange, and only adds to the mystique of the site. The further study of Göbekli Tepe may teach us quite a bit about the origins of all human belief systems.

Predates Stonehenge, Sumer, Writing By Over 6,000 Years

One of the best ways to comprehend just how ancient Göbekli Tepe is, is to compare it to other things that are considered incredibly ancient. Göbekli Tepe predates Stonehenge, one of the most famous prehistoric construction feats in human history, by over 6,000 years. The site predates the era of Sumer, considered one of the earliest true civilizations, and the invention of writing, by a similar, 6,000-ish year margin. To really put things in perspective, there was about as much time between the construction of Göbekli Tepe and the construction of Stonehenge as there was between the construction of Stonehenge and today.

The Effort Required To Build It Was Ridiculous

The sheer effort required to construct Göbekli Tepe made it a gigantic construction project even by modern standards. Hundreds of people would have been needed to erect the massive temples, and it would have taken them quite awhile, requiring the kind of social stability that just wasn’t expected of human life at that time. It also would have required some serious organization, which shouldn’t have been possible without a sophisticated social structure already in place. Humankind may, unfortunately, never know who the brilliant minds behind Göbekli Tepe actually were.

Architecture Far Ahead Of Its Time

The fact that Göbekli Tepe is so old isn’t the only significant thing about it. The skilled architectural style seen in the construction of its many “temples” is seriously impressive, and would be in any era. The combination of the site’s age and construction quality, however, is what makes it such an earth-shaking revelation for the archaeological world. The craftsmanship seen at Göbekli Tepe is thousands of years ahead of its time, and dates back to long before such construction should have been possible. The manpower, engineering, and project managing required for such an endeavor all seem unfeasible, given where human civilization was understood to be at the time. The very existence of Göbekli Tepe has forced archaeologists to re-think the dawn of civilization.

Not Discovered Until 1994, Site Had Been Ignored

The potentially world-changing discovery of Göbekli Tepe actually first occurred back in the ‘60s, but nobody recognized its significance at the time. In fact, it was wrongly assessed as being a “medieval graveyard,” and was subsequently ignored for half a century due to its apparent lack of potential. It was only when the site was “rediscovered” in 1994 that Göbekli Tepe’s true significance and most impressive traits - like its age, size, and construction quality - would be fully appreciated. Klaus Schmidt, a German archaeologist, was the individual who decided to give it another look. Analysis of the site has been going on ever since, but archaeologists remain baffled by it to a large degree.

Seems To Have Been Backfilled By Those Who Built It

Göbekli Tepe is a site that practically begs for archaeological study. The structures that make up the site are amazingly well-preserved, allowing archaeologists to study them in something similar to their original state. Part of the reason for the remarkable preservation of Göbekli Tepe is due to the climate in Turkey, but another major factor is the fact that many of the temple sites appear to have been backfilled before being abandoned. This allowed the structures to remain protected from the elements as the centuries wore on, preserving their history for modern humans to discover.

Almost 12,000 Years Old, But Abandoned For 9,000 Years

Göbekli Tepe is notable for multiple reasons, but they all tie back in to its excessive ancientness. The construction at Göbekli Tepe dates back almost 12,000 years, placing it in a time period that is generally considered to be pre-civilization. It was built right around the same time that the last ice age ended. Göbekli Tepe then went on to be an active civilization for nearly three millennia before being abandoned under mysterious circumstances around 9,000 years ago.

Mon, 15 May 2017 07:22:58 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-gobekli-tepe-turkish-archaeological-site/stephanroget
<![CDATA[13 Ways The Narnia Universe Is Incredibly Disturbing]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/disturbing-things-in-narnia/melissa-brinks

C. S. Lewis's world of Narnia is one of the most enchanting fictional places in existence, but it's also super, duper messed up. Talking animals aren't the only weird things about Narnia. From racism to sexism to painting entire species with a broad brush, there's a whole lot of this fictional land that strikes the modern reader as more than a little suspect. Though the novels themselves are ostensibly for audiences of all ages, there are some pretty disturbing things about Narnia.

Sure, we could answer the question of whether the Chronicles of Narnia are racist by hand-waving it as a product of its time. But as a highly influential piece of literature that's often given to fantasy-loving children, it's important to consider the dark implications of Narnia. Fun and engrossing though it may be, the Narnia series holds some pretty disturbing truths buried in there as well.

13 Ways The Narnia Universe Is Incredibly Disturbing,

Women Are Healers, Men Are Fighters

"Battles are ugly when women fight," Father Christmas tells Lucy in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Not "battles are ugly when children fight," which is true, nor, "battles are ugly," which is also true, but specifically that battles are ugly when women fight, which is bullsh*t. That's why Lucy is given a healing cordial and Susan is given a magic, help-summoning horn, but Peter is given a sword.

Though Susan and Lucy are given tools to defend themselves, both are specifically told the means NOT to use them. Women are meant to support the men in battle with their healing and magic horns, not fight for themselves, no matter how much is at stake. In a world with witches, talking animals, and magical beasts, women are still relegated as helpers, not warriors.

Teaching Little Kids To Kill Is Super Dope

Battles may be ugly when women fight, but when 13-year-old boys fight, battles are proving grounds. In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Peter must prove himself in front of Aslan by slaying the wolf that's threatening his sister. Nevermind that Peter is only a year older than Susan, nor that Aslan (the giant f*cking lion) is right there; instead, he has to test his new sword against a battle-hardened wolf.

Aslan may have known Peter would win, and that there were even harder battles in Peter's future, but there's still something deeply disturbing about a Jesus-inspired lion teaching a young boy how to kill so he can properly rule a country that isn't his own.

An Entire Fantasy World Is Waiting For Four White British Kids To Save It

Prophecies in fantasy are all well and good, but it's a little troubling that the world of Narnia is explicitly waiting for four white British kids to arrive and be the saviors of a world packed with sentient animals and, outside of Narnia, quite a few humans. Why were none of them eligible to sit at Cair Paravel and save Narnia from the White Witch?

It's not so much that this is a plot hole or something wrong with the story – it works quite well as an escapist fantasy – but rather that it paints a pretty bizarre picture of Narnia when the world's inhabitants aren't allowed to be its saviors. Frankly, it smacks of "The White Man's Burden."

Progressive Parents Make For Selfish, Weak Kids

Eustace Scrubb is introduced as a boy so awful that he deserves his stupid, dumb name. The reason for his terrible nature? His parents, because they are liberal vegetarians who don't smoke or drink. While it's true that Lewis doesn't explicitly make the connection, all this information is given in conjunction with the proclamation that Eustace is just the worst.

To be fair, Eustace could just be a little jerk on his own. But because traits like vegetarianism were considered somewhat highfalutin by a man as nostalgic for the past as Lewis, it's hard not to read Eustace's upbringing as the reason for his selfish, whiny, awful mannerisms. Well, at least until he turns into a dragon.

The Almost Inherently Bad Guys Are Racially Coded As "Not White"

While Narnia, thankfully, doesn't entirely code white as good and black as bad – The White Witch is a nice thumb in the eye of that trope – that doesn't mean the series is free of troubling associations with race. Specifically, the Calormenes.

Described as having dark skin, occupying a desert, and wearing turbans, the Calormenes are a pretty clear analog to Middle Eastern people, who, in Lewis's time (and, frankly, in modern Western culture), were often vilified. In Narnia, the Calormenes are violent, barbaric slave traders and the biggest supporters of Tash (a demonic deity of a state-sponsored religion) in The Last Battle. The Horse and His Boy does feature two Calormene characters who are clearly good, moral heroes, but they're painted as the exception, not the rule. Just because you feature "some of the good ones," that doesn't make your book less racist.  

Someone Can Destroy The World With A Single Word

Jadis is hardly a sympathetic figure, but when Polly and Diggory enter her world in The Magician's Nephew, they find it to be a dead, dreary place illuminated only by a sun on the verge of dying. And it's all Jadis' fault.

After learning the Deplorable Word (a spell to destroy all life), she uses it after losing a fight with her sister. There's no explanation given for why such a spell would exist in the first place, nor is there any way to stop it, so the world of Charn simply exists under constant threat of total annihilation based on the whims of its cruel leaders.

Changing An Entire Race's Appearance And Function Is Fine If You're Aslan's Buddy

The entirety of the Dawn Treader's stay at Coriakin's island is bizarre. After speaking to a group of invisible beings, Lucy is tasked with making them visible again, only to find out that the Dufflepuds turned themselves invisible, not, as they claimed, the magician Coriakin. But then it gets disturbing.

It turns out the Dufflepuds were originally dwarves, and they were turned into one-footed creatures by the magician because they disobeyed him. Coriakin is a kindly figure shown to be friends with Aslan, making this whole situation utterly bizarre. Though the magician is the Dufflepuds' overseer, it seems unnecessarily cruel to completely change their appearance because they didn't listen, but apparently it doesn't matter because he's friends with Aslan.

Impossibly Powerful Gods Are Just Casually Running Around

As with many mythological pantheons, the Narnian gods are part of everyday life. You might run into Aslan or Tash, both of whom are fearsome regardless of your religious alliance. And they aren't the only ones. Roman gods show up too, such as Bacchus. Narnia, then, is a place where you can casually bump into a god (or god-like figure) just going about your business, and the results might not be as good as you'd hope.

After all, Aslan isn't a tame lion, and Bacchus is well known for having followers driven to madness and violence. With sentient beasts, witches, and numerous other threats to deal with, having gods walking around is just another nightmare to contend with in Narnia.

Girly-Girls Don't Get To Go To Heaven

The fate of Susan has been hotly debated for ages. According to Peter, she's "no longer a friend of Narnia," and Jill explains that, "she's interested in nothing now-a-days except nylons and lipstick and invitations." Sure, it's not nice, and sure, it's not explicitly said that Susan will never get to Narnia, only that she isn't there at the time.

But that doesn't erase the fact that her story is never finished, and that her siblings seemingly don’t care she may never join them in Heaven. Worse, Susan – because she denies her belief in a magical land you travel to in a wardrobe in a time when saying such a thing (especially as a woman) could get you thrown in a horribly abusive asylum – now has three dead siblings, a dead cousin, and apparently two dead parents as well. Remember, the other Pevensies see them all in Heaven, except for Susan. She's all alone for the crime of trying to grow up at a reasonable rate. 

Some Folks Are Just Innately Evil

The Chronicles of Narnia do sometimes play with the idea of good and evil. Edmund and Eustace, who both start out as self-serving characters, eventually come around to being good. But there are also a whole host of people who just seem to be inherently evil.

When the White Witch gathers her followers for battle, she calls upon entire species, such as werewolves, ogres, and ghouls. Throw that in with the overall treatment of the Calormenes and you have a pretty bleak and clear thesis that some races and species are inherently evil, a nasty statement for a book so clearly rooted in religious allegory.

Tue, 09 May 2017 08:38:04 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/disturbing-things-in-narnia/melissa-brinks
<![CDATA[18 Extremely Stupid Pickup Lines From The 19th Century]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/slickest-19th-century-pickup-lines/ella-talkin

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

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

18 Extremely Stupid Pickup Lines From The 19th Century,

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

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

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

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

Your Coral Lips Were Made To Kiss, I Stoutly Will Maintain; And Day You Say My Lovely Miss, That Aught Was Made In Vain?

"I was made for loving you baby, you were made for loving me!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not Married And Out For A Good Time.

"Looking For: Casual"

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

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

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

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

Consult Me On Spooning Business. Special Attention Paid To Other Fellows' Girls.

"Big spoon to make you swoon." 

Tue, 09 May 2017 06:50:27 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/slickest-19th-century-pickup-lines/ella-talkin
<![CDATA[14 Facts About The Rampart Scandal, A Corrupt Anti-Gang Unit That Terrorized LA]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-the-lapd-rampart-scandal/hugh-landman

Gangs like the Bloods and Crips are well-known criminal enterprises and are often vilified as evils of society. But another gang, a gang in blue, walked the streets of Los Angeles in the 1990s: the C.R.A.S.H. Unit of the Rampart Division of the Los Angeles Police Department.

In one of the biggest LAPD screw-ups of all time, the impact of the LAPD Rampart Scandal was widespread, rippled through thousands of cases, cost the City of Los Angeles millions of dollars, and ruined countless lives. Los Angeles Police corruption included planting evidence and beating people in custody, but went beyond pedestrian fraud to include potentially murdering rapper The Notorious B.I.G. and working with gang members so they could get away with their crimes. Misconduct is common in undercover cop stories, but the scandal involving the Los Angeles Police Department's Rampart Division actually led to reforms and changes in the police department and sent several officers to jail.

14 Facts About The Rampart Scandal, A Corrupt Anti-Gang Unit That Terrorized LA,

The Case Broke When A Cop Was Caught Stealing Cocaine

A main source of revenue for the corrupt cops of Rampart was selling confiscated drugs to dealers. Rafael Perez was a former Marine who joined the LAPD in 1989. He was a good cop, until he started committing the kinds of crimes he was sworn to prevent.

In 1995 he joined an anti-gang unit called CRASH, where he started stealing money and drugs at the direction, he says, of his partner Nino Durden. The scandal broke in 1998, when Perez was caught stealing eight pounds of cocaine. Rather than serve a hefty sentence, Perez informed on his fellow cops. Even so, it seems he bent the investigation to serve his agenda, accused other cops of misconduct as revenge. 

The Officers May Have Been Involved In The Murder Of The Notorious B.I.G.

On March 9, 1997, rapper Notorious B.I.G. was leaving a party while visiting Los Angeles, when he was shot to death in a car. The murder has gone unsolved for over 20 years, but one theory holds that the LAPD and Rampart officers were involved in the plot to kill Biggie.

The rapper's mother was so convinced the police were involved, she filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the department on the grounds that police officer David Mack (who later went to jail for robbing a bank) and Death Row Records owner Suge Knight planned the murder. The suit, which was dropped in 2010, alleged that Mack asked a friend from college to kill the 24 year-old rapper. 

The LAPD Ruined The Lives Of Completely Innocent People, Not Just Gang Members

Though some of the people ensnared in the web of corruption, evidence planting, and drug dealing were known gang members, CRASH officers also brought cases against totally innocent people that ruined their lives. Israel Cid Carrillo lost his green card and was deported when officers planted a gun on him. He also served 18 months in prison for a crime he did not commit.

A warehouse worker making minimum wage, Nestor Zetino also had a gun planted on him and racked up tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees fighting for his freedom and right to stay in his adopted country. Others lost their life savings, homes, and were forced into drug programs they didn't need. Once an honor student with a bright future, Miguel Fuentes was wrongfully deported to Mexico and has a stain on his name after being duped by police into pleading guilty to a cocaine charge for drugs he wasn't carrying.

These and hundreds of other lives were ruined needlessly by overzealous cops who claimed their heavy-handed tactics were needed to "clean up the city" when they really destroyed the lives of those they were sworn to protect.

Officers Murdered An Unarmed Man And Planted A Gun On Him

One of the most disturbing revelations the scandal uncovered involved the death of Juan Salanda, who was killed by police in 1996. According to Rafael Perez, CRASH unit officers stormed an apartment building looking for gang members involved in a drive by shooting. When officers entered the building, there was a shootout and police wounded two men and killed one, a 21-year-old named Juan Saldana, who they shot in the back.

Police claimed that Saldana had a gun, but officer-turned-witness Perez said they planted a gun on him while he lay bleeding to death rather than calling an ambulance, in order to justify the killing. One officer involved in the shooting was fired from the force for an unrelated reason, while the others were suspended. 

Cops Beat And Illegally Detained Innocent People

Sometimes breaking the law also means breaking arms, and several Rampart Scandal cops did just that. Rampart officers practiced intimidation, illegal detention, assault, and intimidation of gang members, even when they were not accused of a crime and there was no justification for detaining them.

In once case Gabriel Aguirre, an alleged gang member, accused officers Rafael Perez and Ethan Cohan of breaking his arm. Another man, Ismael Jimenez, accused officer Brian Hewitt of beating him so severely while he was restrained that he vomited blood. Jimenez said that the officer assaulted him because he wouldn't give him an untraceable gun. 

The Scandal Led To Over 100 Convictions Being Overturned

It can be said that thanks to the Rampart Scandal, justice was served. Rafael Perez admitted to improperly investigating crimes, planting evidence, and framing suspects to get them convicted, and over 100 of his convictions were overturned.

Investigators further scrutinized an additional 15,000 cases due to the corrupt actions of police officers. In addition to the overturned cases, civil lawsuits brought against the City of Los Angeles cost over $125 million.

CRASH Cops Had Gang-Like Initiation Rituals And Power Structure

The cops who formed the CRASH unit were able to get away with their crimes because they created an insulated membership that avoided oversight from the LAPD leadership structure. To join CRASH, an officer needed an existing member of the unit to sponsor him. This ensured corrupt officers could choose like-minded individuals for the unit.

Once a part of CRASH, cops had to prove their loyalty by planting evidence on suspects, and were monitored to ensure they didn't turn snitch against their fellow officers. The Rampart division gained notoriety within the department as an entirely corrupt section. Thus, honest cops requested to be transferred out of the division, while corrupt officers flooded its ranks.

The officers reduced crime in their division, but their brutal tactics and criminal activity undermined any success they had. One gang member said that, "CRASH was basically an organization that was created like a gang." While it may seem that a gang member comparing the police to criminals is a cliche, officers in the unit would get tattoos commemorating kills in the line of duty, and used covert symbols to identify themselves in the same way gangs do. 

Cops Got Paid Big Money Working Security For Death Row Records

Some officers in the LAPD apparently had no problem with working for a record label that produced a song called "F*ck tha Police." In fact, Death Row Records employed several off-duty officers as security guards. At the time, the label was under investigation by federal agencies for crimes ranging from drug trafficking to money laundering.

The police officers working for the label included Rafael Perez, a central figure in breaking the case. The cops working for Death Row were also not exactly discrete. One officer didn't hide his extra income at all. He regularly wore pricey clothing, and drove a Mercedes Benz.

One Officer Robbed A Bank

During the Rampart Scandal, it was revealed some officers thought playing cops and robbers meant they could be both at the same time. Officer David Mack crossed that line in 1997, when he stole $722,000 from a Bank of America.

He was implicated when he traveled to Las Vegas with his undercover partner Rafael Perez, and the two gambled away exorbitant amounts of money for men on a public service salary. Mack was also accused of working for Death Row Records by providing tips and advice about police tactics, and even watching out for police activity while gang members associated with the record label carried out drug deals. Later, Mack completely disassociated himself from the police force and joined the Bloods.

The Racially Charged, Road Rage Frame-Up

In 1997, undercover LAPD cop Frank Lyga, a white man, shot and killed a black, off-duty officer named Kevin Gaines. Initially, investigators were told by other officers seeking to exonerate Gaines that Lyga was a part of a white-supremacist group, and killed Gaines in an act of racial hatred. However, they uncovered a much more surprising, and complex, web of intrigue.

In reality, Gaines was the aggressor in the incident and Lyga was cleared of any wrongdoing. The investigation uncovered that Gaines had been working for Death Row Records, was driving a car registered to a company related to the label, and was dating Suge Knight's ex-wife at the time he was murdered. Interestingly, the Rampart Scandal broke when officer Rafael Perez was caught trying to steal cocaine from an evidence locker, to get revenge on Lyga for the killing.

Tue, 02 May 2017 09:35:36 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-the-lapd-rampart-scandal/hugh-landman
<![CDATA[Disturbing And Fascinating Facts About The 'Preppy Killer,' Robert Chambers]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-preppy-killer-robert-chambers/cat-mcauliffe

While there are scary stories of murders in universities, Jennifer Levin's horror story occurs between high school and college. In the summer of 1986, Jennifer Levin was happily college-bound when she was killed by Robert Chambers. Both of the teenagers lived in Manhattan and attended elite preparatory schools, causing the media to dub Chambers the "Preppy Killer."

Chambers strangled Levin to death in Central Park, later claiming he accidentally killed the teenager during an early morning session of kinky sex gone awry. Throughout his trial, Chambers's defense attorney attempted to paint Levin as a wanton young woman who was somehow to blame for her own death. As a result of this strategy, Chambers spent less time behind bars for killing Levin than he would for selling drugs after he was released from prison for manslaughter. Read on to discover the chilling and disquieting facts about the man who brutally asphyxiated a young, 18-year-old woman. 

Disturbing And Fascinating Facts About The 'Preppy Killer,' Robert Chambers,

Levin Was Portayed As Promiscous

According to detectives, after providing a videotaped confession to law enforcement, Chambers was surprised when he was placed under arrest. As he was being booked, Chambers reportedly said to his father: "That f*cking b*tch, why didn't she leave me alone?" Sadly, while Chambers may have been the first person to blame Levin for her death, he was hardly the last.

The press referred to Levin's journal as her "sex diary" because according to Chambers's defense attorney, it included details of "kinky and aggressive sexual activity by Jennifer Levin with many lovers." There was even article about how Levin, who had been strangled by a man who weighed twice as much as her, should be blamed for her own murder in a piece titled, "How Jennifer Courted Death."

He Owes Levin's Family Millions Of Dollars

In 1988, Levin's parents filed a wrongful death suit against Chambers, seeking $25 million dollars in damages. Chambers pleaded no contest to the charges, so he was ordered to pay any lump sum payments to the Levins, as well as 10 percent of his wages, until the amount was paid in full.

In a note Chambers wrote to the court, he said:  "I elect not to contest the action for damages brought against me by the Levins. My only wish is for the nightmare to end, for both families and friends. I do not wish the Levins to endure any more pain."

He Stole From People To Support His Drug Habit

While Chambers' mother sent her son to private schools to help him make connections with wealthy and influential people, Chambers took advantage of these relationships by routinely stealing from his affluent friends. In fact, just months before he strangled Levin in Central Park, he stole his friend's credit card. He racked up thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges, but Chambers' mother convinced the victim not to press charges.

Stealing wasn't a one-time thing with Chambers. After killing Levin, he was convicted of committing a number of burglaries, stealing approximately $70,000 from penthouses on the Upper East Side. It is alleged that Chambers committed burglary, petty theft, and credit card fraud to pay for his cocaine habit.

He Had A Play Date With JFK Jr.

While Chambers wasn't wealthy, his mother wanted him to network with the elite, so she arranged for him to have a play date with John F. Kennedy Jr. Apparently, Chambers' mother had cared for JFK Jr. as a nurse when he was sick with bronchitis. During that time, she suggested the young patient and her son go to a restaurant and theater. According to the woman who was Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis's assistant at the time, Chambers's mother repeatedly got upset with her then-five-year-old son for "saying the wrong thing."

He Went To An Elite Prep School

Soon after Chambers was arrested for murdering Levin, the press dubbed him the "Preppy Murderer" and the "Preppy Killer" because he'd attended private preparatory schools, including York Prep, Choate, and Browning. However, while he'd gone to private schools and lived on Manhattan's Upper East Side, Chambers's parents weren't particularly wealthy. In fact, his mother worked as a nurse and his father was a videotape distributor, and Chambers attended expensive prep schools with the help of scholarships.

In contrast, Levin lived in Manhattan with her father, who was a successful real estate agent, and her stepmother. She had attended The Baldwin School, an elite private school for girls. Levin was also planning to go to college, while Chambers had been kicked out of Boston University after just one semester.

He Was Videotaped Pulling The Head Off A Doll

After his arrest in 1986, Chambers roamed about for two years, free on bond. His trial began on January 4, 1988, and lasted approximately three months. The jury deliberated for nine days, but they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. In the end, Chambers accept a plea bargain which required him to plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. 

Shortly after Chambers went to jail, a videotape which had been taken shortly after he was charged with murder in 1986 was leaked to the press. The recording featured Chambers with several young women in lingerie. At one point in the tape, Chambers strangled a doll and said to the camera, "Oops, I think I killed it."

After Levin's sister, Danielle Levin Roberts, viewed the videotape, in which it appeared as though Chambers was mocking Jennifers's death, she told the media: "He's not even a person. He's an animal."

He Was Covered In Scratches When He Was Interviewed By Police

After the police told Chambers to leave the park, he went to the Manhattan apartment he shared with his parents and fell asleep. After learning Levin's identity and discovering she had been at Dorrian's Red Hand shortly before she died, police questioned the patrons who had been at the bar with the teenager. Investigators quickly learned the victim had left Dorrian's Red Hand with Chambers, so they went to his home to question him about his possible involvement in Levin's death.

When they arrived at the apartment, the officers noticed Chambers had scratches on his neck and face, so they brought him in for questioning. When investigators asked Chambers how he got the deep scratches on his body, he told the officers his cat - who detectives later learned had been declawed - had caused the injuries. Eventually, Chambers confessed to killing Levin, but he denied strangling her, instead telling officers it was a case of rough sex gone wrong.

He Watched The Authorities Find Levin's Body

After killing Levin, Chambers didn't flee the scene. Instead, he sat on a wall not far from Levin's corpse until around a passing cyclist noticed the 18-year-old's lifeless body around 6 am and called 911 for help. When law enforcement and emergency services arrived at the park, Chambers was still in the area, but he didn't tell any of the officers that he knew Levin; consequently, police told Chambers, along with members of the public who were at the scene, to leave.

When detectives examined Levin's body, they found she was partially clothed and covered with bruises and cuts. They also noticed marks on her neck and the medical examiner later determined she had been strangled to death, not killed by a single blow to the throat as Chambers had claimed. 

He Didn't Express Remorse At His Parole Hearing

Chambers' first request for parole was denied, in part because Levin's mother told the board: "In my eyes, anything less than the maximum would devalue my daughter's life." The members of the parole board denied his release in 1992, because they believed Chambers would most likely break the law if he was paroled. 

While Chambers seemed to be somewhat contrite in the note he wrote to the court in 1988 about the wrongful death suit filed against him by the Levins, he didn't express any remorse at his 1994 parole hearing. According to the transcript of the hearing, Chambers told the board: ''I guess I could also give you the party line and say I have learned my lesson, I will never do this again. But that's not how I feel at this moment, because I have a lot of conflicting emotions.'' 

He Said He Accidentally Killed Levin During Rough Sex

On August 26, 1986, 19-year-old Robert Chambers and Jennifer Levin, who had casually dated one another over the summer, left the Dorrian's Red Hand bar on Manhattan's Upper East Side together at approximately 4 am. According to Chambers, he and Levin went to Central Park to have rough sex and she used her underwear to bind his hands behind his back. However, Chambers claimed he became upset when she repeatedly squeezed his testicles.

In response to the pain, Chambers (6'5" and weighing 220 pounds) angrily reacted by knocking Levin off, hitting her in the throat with his arm. Levin was 5'4" and half his weight, and immediately fell backward onto the ground. Chambers said he knew "something was wrong," but he left the scene without attempting to revive Levin and didn't call 911 to get the young woman medical attention.

Tue, 09 May 2017 07:21:29 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-preppy-killer-robert-chambers/cat-mcauliffe
<![CDATA[The Tumultuous Life Of Marita Lorenz, The Real Life Spy Who Loved Fidel Castro]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-marita-lorenz-mistress-of-fidel-castro/rachel-souerbry

There are few people in the world who have lived lives as exciting as that of Marita Lorenz. Born into Nazi Germany amidst the chaos of World War II, she was raised in a family that was very familiar with the world of espionage. 

Dubbed the "Mata Hari of the Caribbean," Lorenz was at the core of a Fidel Castro assassination attempt, was Castro's on-and-off lover for decades, met Lee Harvey Oswald just before the assassination of President Kennedy, and had a 25-year career as a spy and informant. 

Because that just wasn't enough, she also had a child with the deposed dictator of Venezuela and another with a small-time New York gangster. Her life has been jam packed with adventure, espionage, and unbelievable twists and turns. 

This list covers the highlights, low points, and moments that some people still find tough to believe. Marita Lorenz is a force of nature – whether you fully believe every story she tells or not. 

The Tumultuous Life Of Marita Lorenz, The Real Life Spy Who Loved Fidel Castro,

With El Comandante, It Was Lust At First Sight

In February of 1959, 19-year-old Marita was working aboard one of her father's luxury cruise ships on a trip to Havana, Cuba. When the ship arrived in the harbor, it was greeted by Fidel Castro himself, the newly minted leader of Cuba.

While Marita was initially intimidated by the boat of armed, bearded men approaching the ship, the feeling quickly faded. 33-year-old Castro was immediately taken with Lorenz, and the feeling was mutual. He was Marita's first lover, and their months-long affair would set in motion decades of love, lust, and intrigue. Lorenz recalls that first meeting:

“I was standing on the bridge, and in the distance I could see this launch coming toward us. It was filled with around 27 men, all with the same beard. One was taller than the others. He was standing on the bow, and he had a rifle... The tall one yelled out, ‘I want to come aboard.’ I asked who he was, and he started laughing and flashing a lot of teeth. ‘Yo soy Cuba,’ he said. ‘Comandante Fidel Castro.’”

Lorenz Went From Lover To Informant And Assassin

Eventually, CIA officials were able to flip Lorenz. Her first mission? Kill her former lover. She was given pills to poison him, briefed on the details of what she needed to do, and sent back to Cuba. 

When she arrived, she found she didn't have the heart to go through with her mission; she had also placed the poison capsules in a jar of cold cream, ruining them. Succumbing to her heart instead of her head, she spent a night of passion with Castro instead of ending his life.

Some of her colleagues believe that if she had carried out her mission as planned, the Bay of Pigs Invasion would not have happened. 

Marita's Mother Once Published A Story Titled “Fidel Castro Raped My Teenage Daughter”

In May of 1963, Marita's mother Alice and her colleague Alex Rorke published a story they had written about Marita and Fidel's first encounter. Although Marita never once claimed that Fidel had raped her, the story was written in the most sensational way possible and titled "Fidel Castro Raped My Teenage Daughter." 

The story was one of many during that era designed to create anti-Castro sentiment among the American public, and Marita's mother was trying to create that within her daughter, as well. In the letter, Lorenz and Rorke accuse Castro of a multitude of "inhuman crimes," including forcible rape, kidnapping, and forcing drugs on Marita. She and Rorke were relentless about turning Marita away from Fidel, and they were a key part of convincing her to work against him for the CIA. 

She Returned To Cuba And Met Her Aborted Son

By 1981, Marita had become more and more concerned about the safety of her children, and she began to worry that she needed protection from all of the dangerous men she had befriended and then informed on. 

Her need for protection led her back to the Cuban Embassy in New York; there, she communicated by hand-written notes with the staff since she knew the building was under surveillance. Once confident that the Embassy would hear her out, she requested a trip to Havana.

While in Havana, Marita claims to have received the surprise of a lifetime – meeting the son whom she thought she had lost decades before. Although many people deny that she ever actually had a child with Fidel, her sister Valerie recalls picking Marita up from the airport in a "state of shock," going on and on about how her son was alive.  

She Did A Stint In A German Concentration Camp

Marita was born in Germany to a German father (a U-boat captain) and an American mother, who harbored anti-Nazi sentiments and was recruited by French and British soldiers to spy for Britain during WWII. 

It was because of these espionage activities that the family was taken to the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in 1944. With their father also being held as a P.O.W., the children, including 5-year-old Marita, were taken to the children's ward of the camp. Miraculously, the whole family survived, and they moved to the United States soon after the war ended. 

She Had Another Child With A Petty Gangster

After she left the CIA, Marita posted up in NYC, working as an informant for the FBI and Police Department. In 1969, she gave birth to a son named Mark; she originally claimed that his father was a former New York City police chief. 

Later on, Marita changed the story about her son's father, since most of her family and friends seemed to already know the truth. Mark's real father was small-time gangster Eddie Levy, who had served prison time in Florida. 

Lorenz had figured that telling Mark his father was a police officer was better than someone who had been to jail, although she has identified several men over the years as his father. 

She Met Lee Harvey Oswald And Joined Him On A Road Trip To Kill JFK

While training with the anti-Castro CIA group Operation 40 (which she described as an "assassination squad") in the Florida Everglades, Lorenz met a man at the camp named Lee Harvey Oswald. He was a man who would soon go down in history for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 

In 1960, there were a lot of negative feelings toward both Fidel Castro and President Kennedy, especially among members of the CIA who blamed Kennedy for the Bay of Pigs failure. Lorenz claims that a secretive road trip was planned to Dallas, and the group left in a three-car convoy that drove for two days straight. Lorenz claims to have left the group and flown home before she found out what the mission really was. Allegedly, she heard that the President had been shot in Dallas while on an airplane. 

Her testimony claiming that her fellow Operation 40 members planned and committed the assassination has been highly contested for decades. 

While Pregnant With Castro's Child, Lorenz Was Drugged, And The Baby Mysteriously Disappeared

In October of 1959, Marita was seven months pregnant with Fidel Castro's child. In her 1993 interview with Vanity Fair, she claims she was slipped a drug and woke up hours later in a hospital bed.

She also claims that she was told the baby was fine and had been taken away; however, in 1959, she told a different story. In this one, she returned to New York and was treated at a hospital for a botched abortion that she had in Havana. 

She still claims that her son with Fidel, Andre, is alive, and that, on one visit to Cuba, she was able to meet him.

“Then Andre came in. I just looked, and, my God, it’s alive. It’s real. My God, it’s mine. It’s got my mouth, my eyes. Oh, God, it’s got Fidel’s nose. The first thing I noticed was his white, white skin and Fidel’s curly hair. And I started to cry. He speaks English, too. He’s a doctor—a pediatrician. I said, ‘It’s nice, Fidel. You did a beautiful job.’ ”

She Got Abandoned In Venezuela And Had To Live With A Native Tribe For Nine Months

In May of 1963, six months after President Kennedy's assassination, Lorenz decided to visit Venezuela in an attempt to contact the father of her daughter, former dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez. Pérez Jiménez was in prison at the time, and Marita was thrown into the jail cell beside his. 

Once she was released from jail, she was offered a sightseeing tour by two local intelligence agents. Instead of the promised tour, Lorenz and Monica were flown into the middle of the Amazon Rainforest and abandoned. 

She claims she and her daughter lived with an Amazonian tribe for nine months, and of all of her wild stories, biographers say there is actually enough detail to prove that it's true.

She Shacked Up With The Venezuelan Dictator She Was Targeting While Working For The CIA

According to Lorenz's daughter, Monica, one of her missions involved the newly deposed dictator of Venezuela, Marcos Pérez Jiménez. After the two met in Miami in March of 1961, Pérez Jiménez pursued her relentlessly until she became his mistress. 

She became pregnant with their daughter, Monica, after one month of being with Pérez Jiménez. For a few years, he took care of them whatever way he could (even though he was already married with children), and they lived a peaceful life.

But, after a legal dispute when Monica was quite young, Lorenz was left penniless and never saw another dime of Pérez Jiménez's multi-million dollar fortune. 

Fri, 05 May 2017 08:43:28 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-marita-lorenz-mistress-of-fidel-castro/rachel-souerbry
<![CDATA[11 Ways To Summon The Dead: A Step By Step Guide]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/how-to-summon-the-dead/lyra-radford

In all honesty, busting out spells in hopes of resurrecting the dead sounds like an all around terrible idea. You may think that bringing a loved one back to life is an amazing idea, but you have no way of knowing what you’re really bringing back. Pet Sematary, anyone? Since the dawn of time people have wanted to learn how to bring back the dead. It’s a natural reaction to want those whom you’re mourning to come back, even if it's just for one last conversation. Because of this, there are myths and legends galore about all of those who have actually found ways to do just that.

Witches and necromancers have claimed to possess spells for reanimating the dead - but even in these stories the reunion is temporary. The spirit world is contacted for communication purposes only and then laid back to rest. There’s an arsenal of tactics that allegedly allow for a friendly little chit-chat with the dead. So, if you insist on giving it a try, collected here is a brief outline of the most popular ways to do it. Pretty much all these summoning processes require the cloak of darkness, a candle-lit atmosphere, and a relaxed and opened mindset for the conjurer. Good luck.

11 Ways To Summon The Dead: A Step By Step Guide,

Try Gazing Into A Mirror Or Crystal Ball When Seeking Answers From The Dead

Scrying, or the ancient art of mirror gazing, has been used not just to communicate with the dead, but to catch glimpses into the future. Witches and seers use mirrors, crystal balls, or even water - really any reflective surface will work. The room must be completely dark, with the exception of a few lit candles and maybe some burning incense. 

If using a mirror, place one of the candles between yourself and the mirror and try to position yourself so your image is not taking up the mirror. Quiet your thoughts, gaze into the mirror or ball, and focus your thoughts on the person you wish to speak with. The image in your mind should appear and you can ask your questions - the answers may come to you in the form of images or as waves of emotions.

Using Ouija Boards To Converse With The Dead Is The Most Common Method

Whether it’s a modern board from a toy store or some creepy old relic from a secondhand store, or even handmade from cardboard, the rules and general outcome are the same.  

A proper Ouija board must consist of the entire alphabet, the numbers from 0 to 9, the words “Yes” and “No,” and  - most importantly - “Goodbye” at the bottom. The planchette is the device that  facilitates the communication. The idea is that you relax, place your fingers lightly on the planchette, and simply ask the dead your questions. If anyone is there, they will guide you over the appropriate letters and numbers in response.

Offer The Dead A Spirit Trumpet Or Spirit Slates

During the late 19th century, Spiritualists began using different tools to assist in summoning the spirit world such as spirit trumpets, which were basically horns meant to amplify spirit voices.

Spirit slates were intended to be another method of direct communication between the living and the dead. These were simply two chalkboards bound together and the idea was once folded shut, the spirit could imprint their messages inside for the living to find once opened.

Quiet Yourself And Let The Spirits Enter Your Mind, Then Take Notes

While automatic writing techniques may seem like the same thing as going into a trance, it’s actually more like a meditative state. What’s the difference, you ask? You’re relaxed during meditation, but your mind isn’t so deeply altered that you forget things. While in a meditative state, the mind is quiet enough for a spirit to enter it and convey messages and you can give them the ability to transfer these images and messages onto paper through automatic writing.

To do this, you gather a ton of paper and sit with a pen in hand and wait for the magic to begin. Much like when using a spirit board, the pen will glide across the paper, guiding you to write what the dead is trying to convey. 

If You’re A Natural Born Necromancer, You’re Ahead Of The Game

If you’ve mastered the dark and creepy art of necromancy, then you’re one of the lucky ones who can simply wander into a cemetery, summon the spirit you wish to speak to, and reanimate the corpse of your choosing (the fresher, the better).

It’s best if the ritual is performed within a year of the death, and the talisman and incantations used will depend entirely on the motives behind the divination. The necromancer might partially mutilate the corpse and sit still for days wearing clothes that belonged to the deceased in order to get the spirit to reanimate the body.

Apply Self Hypnosis Techniques To Fall Into A Trance

Another method of spirit summoning involves opening yourself up fully and slipping into a trance-like state. Keep in mind, though, that there is a huge difference between general hypnosis and putting yourself in a trance where you then allow a spirit to take over. You won’t be conscious and being able to recall anything while in this altered state of mind is highly unlikely, so you’ll need someone you trust to be there, writing down everything you say and keeping an eye on you.

Saying Prayers To The Dead Could Help Summon Them

Some faiths practice praying for and to the dead, as it not only it provides the living with comfort, but some believe it prompts actual communication with the deceased in dreams.

Then there are those who take summoning the dead through prayer to a completely different level - as is the case with the group filmed in the 2013 documentary “Dead Raisers.” 
The documentary covers an Evangelical Christian group, who call themselves The Dead Raising Team, as they travel the world raising the dead and healing the sick. The group’s founder, Tyler Johnson, claims to be personally responsible for bringing 13 corpses back to life.

They claim that they’re able to literally raise the dead and, in fact, the documentary stars a man named Mark DeDio, who claims he died from a drug overdose, went to hell, and was pulled back to life by Jesus.

You Can Always Bring In A Medium To Do The Channeling For You

Mediumship involves receiving messages from spirits while, in most cases, still being fully awake. Bringing in a medium can certainly speed things up, though, as they already have a natural ability to contact the dead and are able to enter and exit trances seamlessly.

Conducting A Séance With A Gathering Of People Allows More Energy

Sometimes lone witchy-woo-woo isn’t enough to get a spirit good and summoned. If you find yourself struggling to get the attention of a certain spirited-someone, a séance might be just what you need as (in theory) spirits can draw from the energy of the group and communicate easier. Three people around a table in a candlelit room should do the trick, but the more the merrier, or scarier, depending on how you look at it.

It’s best to conduct the séance in a dim, candlelit room, and once you’ve called out to the dead, stick to “yes” or “no” questions if possible. Communication can be as simple as two knocks for yes and one knock for no. Keep in mind, though, that contacting a malicious spirit posing as a loved one is always a risk no matter what method of divination you’re attempting.

Good Ol' Fashioned Spell Casting Can Help Wake The Graveyard

On the anniversary of a loved one’s death, you can combine several natural ingredients to form an incense, and then burn it while chanting a summoning spell. Collected in old European grimoires were recipes for such things. One common recipe recommends combining pepper, aloe, musk, Vervain, and saffron to be burned in a cemetery. If you’re planning on summoning the spirit to their former home, you can adapt the recipe by adding sweet grass or tobacco.

Having a personal item that belonged to the deceased also helps draw out the correct spirit, and the incense must be burned at 11 am from within the safety of a salt circle. Then you recite an incantation such as:

"Guardians of the Spirit realm, hear and guide my plea.

When the witching hour rings true, bring my friend (loved one, etc.) ___ to me.

Other souls who hear my call are not welcome in this place.

Only the one known as _____ may enter sacred space."

Say the spell three times, twenty minutes apart, then wait. Signs of a presence can include the smell of their favorite perfume or cigars, or candles may go out or begin flickering erratically.

Wed, 10 May 2017 03:37:11 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/how-to-summon-the-dead/lyra-radford
<![CDATA[11 Insanely Awesome Facts About Earthworms]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/earthworm-facts/eric-vega

Earthworms are everywhere, even if you can’t see them. They're so common, in fact, that it's all too easy to forget the amazing things earthworms do. They may be gross, but earthworms are harmless to people and can even be helpful. Earthworms' uses go far beyond merely serving as bait on a hook.

Why are earthworms important? Worms are a crucial part of the food chain, and can help or harm environments where they're introduced. They're decomposers who can be used in fertilizer, soil-processors who can help farmers, and amazing creatures that can regenerate their bodies. These interesting earthworm facts might make you think differently about these squiggly subterranean neighbors.

11 Insanely Awesome Facts About Earthworms,

They're Hermaphroditic

Earthworms are hermaphroditic, meaning that they play the roles of both males and females when it comes to reproduction. But they aren't self-fertilizing - they still need to mate.

Afterwards, each earthworm builds a tiny cocoon out of a substance secreted from the bulge in its body, close to its head. Two to four weeks later, the little earthworms crawl out of their cocoon.

They Improve The Quality Of Soil

Earthworms can be a farmer's best friend. Their behavior can naturally improve the quality of crops. The underground tunnels they dig allow water to seep into the ground more easily. Thus, plants are able to slurp up more water and grow even bigger. These tunnels also help aerate the soil, bringing more live-giving oxygen to roots.

Earthworms eat dirt, pulling out vital nutrients from bits of leaves and roots in the soil. They help break down these nutrients before depositing them back through their waste. This helps keep the soil fresh and healthy.

They Feed At Night

Earthworms are often called night crawlers in the United States for their nocturnal feeding habits. Due to their sensitivity to light, common earthworms tend to surface at night. Besides eating, worms also use this time to mate or travel.

They Can Regenerate Their Bodies

If an earthworm is cut in half, it often has the ability to regenerate its missing body segments. It's easier for younger worms to regenerate than older ones, but if the damage isn't too severe, the injury won't be permanent.

There is a myth that if you cut an earthworm perfectly in half, both ends will regenerate and become two worms. But that's not the case - despite their tubular appearance, earthworms do in fact have a head. The thick band known as the clitellum is found closer to the head, and most of a worm's organs are above it. Only the half with the head will be able to regenerate.

They Breathe Through Their Skin

Earthworms don't have lungs; instead, they breathe through their skin. Their bodies are permeable, meaning fluids and air can be absorbed directly into the worms from the environment. Earthworms need to stay moist for this process to work, which is why they avoid sunlight and arid climates.

They're An Invasive Species

Although the common earthworm can be found all over the United States, these pink worms are originally from the European continent. This particular species likely hitched a ride to the Americas by traveling in the dirt of crops brought over from Europe. Once they hit the mainland, the worms spread throughout the continent.

While they can be beneficial for crops, earthworms can have a devastating environmental impact. Certain areas in northern America haven’t had earthworms since the last ice age, and their wildlife has developed without them ever since. The introduction of European worms is having an adverse effect on the soil, as they eat up the slow-decaying duff layer that many flowers and small animals depend on to survive.

There Are Over 7,000 Species

Although the common earthworm is the most recognizable type, there are thousands of species of earthworms all over the world - as many as 7,000, in fact. They are broken up into 23 distinct families and 700 genera. This extreme diversity is reflected in their appearance as well. While some worms are only a few centimeters long, others that can grow to be over six feet in length.

Their Bodies Are Covered In Tiny Hairs

Earthworms feel are slimy to the touch, but they are actually covered in tiny, hair-like bristles called setae. Each one of the body segments, called annuli, use their setae to help the worm move through the dirt. Without these bristles, earthworms would find it much more difficult to burrow underground.

Rain May Trigger Their Flight Response

It's a common misconception that earthworms crawl out of the ground when it rains so they don't drown in their flooded tunnels. In reality, worms breath through their skin; they can't drown in water the same way people do.

So, why do worms surface during wet weather? The behavior might be due to the vibrations caused by raindrops when they hit the ground. To an earthworm, these vibrations sound like those caused by moles digging in the ground. Moles eat earthworms, so when the worms hear one coming, they will rush to the surface to avoid danger.

Light Can Paralyze Them

Although earthworms can't see light, they can still sense its presence. They spend most of their lives underground and rarely breach the surface. When they do, the sensors near their head will start to notice the presence of sunlight. After about an hour, this light will paralyze the worms. Ultraviolet rays can also be deadly as it dries the worms out, suffocating them.

Thu, 11 May 2017 07:56:09 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/earthworm-facts/eric-vega
<![CDATA[Martin Scorsese Crime Films That Are Filled With Blatant Homoeroticism]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/scorsese-gangster-movie-homoeroticism/lisa-a-flowers

Homoerotic gangster movies provide one of the great, epic, forbidden romantic motifs in cinema. This marriage of homosexuality and machismo, which goes hand-in-hand as nicely as homosexuality and Catholicism, usually remains unacknowledged by genre fans, perhaps because said subtleties are customarily cloaked in a maelstrom (pun intended) of supercharged patriarchal excess. Who knows, maybe these characters are just bi-curious gangsters. Who hasn't had the occasional tingle of wondering what life is like on the other side? 

It's safe to say that nobody does crime and gangster pictures like Martin Scorsese. Films like Raging Bull and Taxi Driver are synonymous with tortured heterosexual masculinity, but there's something else there, too: a homoerotic subtext that's veritably ablaze with energy. Sometimes this element is overt, as in The Departed, but if you really care to look, such moments abound. 

So, whether your poison is Catholic guilt manifesting through male sexuality or the kind of poetically subtle (and strangulated) chemistry that never gets off the ground, read on for your naughty little primer on homoeroticism in Scorsese movies. 

Martin Scorsese Crime Films That Are Filled With Blatant Homoeroticism,


While it's true that some see the intensity of Nicky Santoro's (Joe Pesci) relationship with Sam Rothstein (Robert DiNiro) as homoerotic, it's equally true many do not. Certainly, there's an element of hero-worship, at least until Nicky gets too big for his britches and ends up (still breathing) in a hole in the desert. In the scene above, Santoro meets Rothstein in the desert like a partner in a clandestine romance, and they bicker like a couple whose relationship is coming apart at the seems. 

Casino is still filled with subtexts and profundities of all stripes, and along with Taxi DriverGoodfellas, and Mean Streets, it ranks among Martin Scorsese's all-time bests.

After Hours

After Hours isn't a gangster or crime movie, but it does have the mob in it, so it still perhaps deserves a place on this list. According to this piece in Splitsider, it's also refreshingly un-homophobic, especially in a mostly improvised homoerotic scene, which takes place in a tavern:

"When Paul [Griffin Dunne] returns to the bar, the only other customers are two leather-clad men sitting a few feet from him who look like extras from Cruising. After drinking shots of whiskey, they start kissing. Neither Paul nor the bartender, who we also know as straight, has any reaction to this happening right in front of them. A kiss between two men is rarely treated so nonchalantly in a movie ... and we’re not talking a peck: this was hot and heavy, tongues-down-throats making out. One guy even pinches the other’s bared nipple."

Which just goes to show that forward doesn't mean straight.

Gangs of New York

Gangs of New York piles Catholic imagery and metaphors on top of homoeroticism so heavily and densely it's hard to tell when one ends and the other begins, which is perhaps the point. Bill the Butcher (Daniel Day-Lewis) plays a fatherly role to young Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio). Guiding him through adulthood in the absence of his actual father, he plays a part like that of a priest, or god. Yet Bill has killed Amsterdam's father ... which, sticking with the Biblical metaphors (seems appropriate, since Amsterdam's father was a priest), makes Bill the Romans, if Jesus stands in for the patriarch on Earth. 

On top of being a father figure and betrayer, Bill is something of a "daddy" to Amsterdam. In one famous scene, Amsterdam wakes up next to Jenny (Cameron Diaz), with whom he has just finished a round of hanky-panky, to find Bill watching over him. Bill once had a long-standing affair with Jenny, so, if you're keeping score, they are father-son, daddy-twink, and Eskimo brothers. Draped in an American flag and sitting beside a sweaty, bewildered Amsterdam, Bill delivers a monologue about what it means to be a man.

Later, Amsterdam plans to kill Bill. Aware of the impending betrayal, Bill throws a knife (e.g. a penis that "penetrates") into Amsterdam and accuses him of not acting like a real man; he also slaps Amsterdam across the face.

Bill then lays Amsterdam on a table and mounts him, and Bill head butts him repeatedly in an act that looks a bit like a body bucking in ecstasy as it rides its partner to climax. At the end of the film, during a final confrontation between Amsterdam and Bill, the two end up lying side-by-side on the street like lovers recovering from a vigorous round of fornication. 


Is there homoeroticism in Goodfellas? It depends on who you ask. Certainly, there is brotherhood and masculinity and raging erotic energy, but, according to some, there's also a nice, sexually-subverted family dynamic going on, especially behind bars. Chris Holmlund, author of American Cinema of the 1990s: Themes and Variationsdescribes the film's unforgettable (and cozy) prison-cooking scene as an exercise in 

"Privileged domestic bliss, [with the gangsters cooking] elaborate pasta dinners and shaving garlic bulbs with razor blades. Prison as a site of male rape has been replaced with another kind of homosocial scene, the all-male family, with gang member Billy Batts (Frank Vincent) in an apron, stirring the meat sauce. Far from being feminized by this activity, gang members can claim the kitchen work as ethnic masculinity."

This all seems a little too Freudian, academic, and grasping-at-strawsy, frankly, but whatever: that prison cell is more fabulous than most apartments.

Mean Streets

With its joyous, ebullient energy and fantastic evocation of a great, lost era in New York City history, Mean Streets is a vibrantly gorgeous valentine to the Big Apple. It's also an intense and deeply cerebral exploration of human relationships, and its most important relationship, and love affair, is very evidently the one between Johnny Boy (Robert DiNiro) and Charlie (Harvey Keitel). Senses of Cinema calls it:

"[A] '70s buddy film crossed with a film noir and a musical. The couple of the film are clearly Charlie... and Johnny Boy... rather than Charlie and his girlfriend Teresa (Amy Robinson). This can be seen in one particular sequence in which Charlie and Johnny Boy stay out all night and sleep in the same bed together. Charlie gets out of bed and goes to the window, where he sees Teresa dressing. The next scene cuts to Charlie and Teresa making love in a hotel room. The displaced homoeroticism is clear."

As is the timeless theme of Catholicism and deliverance.“You don’t make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home," says Charlie, who has essentially sought to redeem himself through martyring himself for Johnny Boy. A romantic interchange for the ages.

Raging Bull

Raging Bull is chock full of brilliantly executed homoerotic subtexts. In many ways, said sexuality powers the entire film more or less continually; some scenes veritably simmer with it, and with violent libidinal energy. One such scene is the famous Copacabana sequence, which the Guardian describes (beautifully) thus:

"Raging Bull furnishes for itself this extraordinary mix of denial and frustration. And so the picture reaches out into real terror - and the most frightening scene in the film. Vicki, Jake and Joey have gone to the Copacabana for a night out before hard training begins. At another table sit the mob… they beckon Jake to come to their table after he has seen them kissing Vicki in stealthy slowed motion. Bullish, nearly pawing the ground, he goes over and he tries to be their friend. His next fight is with Tony Janiro, a good-looking fighter, and Jake starts joking about not knowing whether to 'fight him or fuck him.' The slippage from real macho talk to a terrible homosexual paranoia is one of the best things Scorsese has ever done."

Raging Bull received eight Academy Award nominations and two wins ... no small victory, in an era when Oscars weren't just empty status symbols.

Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver, one of the greatest masterpieces ever put to celluloid, pretty much encompasses everything about the human condition, and homoeroticism is no exception. The dialogue at the beginning of the film, when Travis (Robert DiNiro) is hired to drive a cab by a boss who also turns out to be an ex-Marine, has a haunted, world-weary erotic undertone to it, as does ... on a much lewder and angrier level ...Travis's conversation with Sport the pimp (Harvey Keitel) not long before Travis shoots him.

As Lesley Stern puts it in The Scorsese Connection:

"When Travis takes his money out Sport throws his hands up and stops him:...'You wanna fu*k me? You're not gonna fu*k  me, you're gonna fu*k her [Iris]. Give her the money'... Travis translates 'come' into 'blood.' When he says 'suck on this' (sticking his gun in Sport's stomach and firing) he implies: suck me and I will come (blood)."

Whether these undertones are real or imaginary (perhaps the characters are just talking and everything is precisely as soulless and hellish as it seems; maybe there's nothing lurking under the surface except death, maybe everything is a final, if beautiful, reel seen by a dying Travis) Taxi Driver is still an epically poetic look at both existentialism and masculinity.

The Departed

When The Departed came out, it was immediately branded (or hailed) as Scorsese's most flagrantly homoerotic film in years. Most of said theorizing revolved around the relationship between Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon). An article on rogerebert.com breaks it all down, using the following dialogue between Nicholson and his his wife, Gwen (Kristen Dalton) as evidence:

COSTELLO: Sweetheart, you’re giving me a hard- on.

He starts to dial the phone.

GWEN: Are you sure it's me or all that talk about whiffin’ and crawlin’ up asses?

COSTELLO: Hey, watch your f*cking mouth.

GWEN: You watch it.

She rises and as she crosses:

GWEN (CONT’D): Let me straighten you out

The piece hypothesizes that "Costello and Sullivan... are closeted homosexuals," pointing out that The Departed is partly based on the life of Irish crime lord James "Whitey" Bulger, and that it's "documented that 'Whitey' was [allegedly] bisexual, and even had a relationship with FBI agent H. Paul Rico."

If you still have doubts, check out the above montage, which meticulously points out pretty much all the instances of Matt Damon's character's gayness.

The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street is a very different type of crime film than the others on this list, as it concerns itself with legitimate businessmen who rip off millions of people around the world from their lavish offices. Is the gay orgy scene in The Wolf of Wall Street homoerotic? Not really, since it has neither the artsiness nor the nuances that usually define eroticism; it's flashy, cheesy, and lewd. 

Still, some people (as they will) took flash and cheese a step further, and accused Scorsese of actually being homophobic. According to Salon:

"In one scene, Belfort’s butler, a gay man, throws an orgy in Belfort’s home, and is then hit in the face and dangled over the edge of a skyscraper when one of his guests steals money. In another, two associates of Belfort (played by Jonah Hill and Jon Bernthal) taunt one another as 'fags'  as they fight in a parking lot."

"A film directed by, written by and starring different sets of heterosexual men treads uncomfortably when it ventures into territory about people other than heterosexual men," the writer suggests. But this doesn't jive with the beautiful, and artful, homoeroticism in either Raging Bull or Mean Streets. In other words, if Martin Scorsese is homophobic, his filmography, and aesthetic sensibilities, don't appear to reflect it.

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 10:26:02 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/scorsese-gangster-movie-homoeroticism/lisa-a-flowers
<![CDATA[Reasons Why Johnny Depp Is Actually A Huge Jerk]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/reasons-johnny-depp-is-a-jerk/rebecca-shortall

Johnny Depp used to be cool, man! His name was synonymous with chiseled cheekbones, rock-star behavior, and interesting and "brave" movie choices, at least by Hollywood's standards. He was (and still is, kind of) the leading man in a huge blockbuster franchise. But the Pirates of the Caribbean movies have become as bloated and lifeless as a corpse dragged from the very sea those swashbucklers sail on. He has become embroiled in scandal after scandal, and Johnny Depp's recent movies are like a photocopy of a photocopy of his once bulletproof quirk-fest formula.

And among other things, it's become increasingly apparent that he… kind of sucks. There are plenty of reasons why Johnny Depp sucks. He's kind of mean, is a jerk, says things that are definitely not PC, and, in general, seems all around unpleasant. While this behavior might not affect Johnny Depp movies of the past, they probably should affect them in the future. Let's take a look at why Johnny Depp is a jerk. 

Reasons Why Johnny Depp Is Actually A Huge Jerk,

He Spends Nearly $2 Million A Month - Which Has Caused A Lot Of Problems For Him And His Staff

Depp's spending habits reportedly reach $2 million a month, $30,000 of which he spends on wine. He has paid more than $75 million to buy and maintain 14 homes which include a chain of islands in the Bahamas. Not just one island - a chain. He laid down a huge wad to purchase a 150-foot yacht, and he's spent more than anyone could imagine on fine art. 

Spending hard earned money isn't necessarily a rude thing to do. But when you couple that with refusing to pay a divorce settlement, not paying his managers, living way outside his means, and paying hush money to avoid legal troubles - it is kind of asshole behavior. 

He Trashed A Hotel Room

This mark against his character harkens back to his wild, rock-and-roll behavior that defined him in the '90s. Depp was arrested for trashing his hotel room in 1994 and attempted to place the blame on an armadillo he said was hiding in the closet (but was never found). He was staying at The Mark in New York City, and was dating Kate Moss at the time. He had to pay $10,000 for the damages.

The hotel room trashing is quintessential jerk behavior at the hands of someone who has complete disregard for the service industry. Maybe Depp is a tortured soul who needs an outlet for all the rage he's built up being assaulted by cameras. Or he's just an asshole with an imaginary armadillo.

He Took His Dogs To Australia Without Proper Paperwork Or Authorization - Forcing The Dogs To Almost Be Killed

The fault for this shitty behavior falls on both Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard. Depp was filming the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in Australia where Heard was supposed to visit, accompanied by their pet terriers Boo and Pistol. Heard had begun the paper work and required rabies shots to get the dogs legally cleared to enter the country, but she fired a staff member who was supposed to be in charge of said paperwork. Despite having clearance, they brought their dogs, which obviously angered Australian authorities. The pair were ordered to remove their dogs from Australia or risk having them put down. 

The decision making process that lead to the dog-smuggling via private jet is unclear, but the pair were caught. Depp made reference to the debacle at the 2015 Venice Film Festival with a bizarre "joke," saying that he "killed and ate his dogs". That's not creepy at all. Heard and Depp went on to film a bizarre YouTube apology about the incident.

He Compared Being Famous To Being Raped

Johnny Depp made a spectacularly ignorant statement to Vanity Fair in 2011, claiming that experiencing fame was akin to sexual assault: '"You just feel like you're being raped somehow," he said. "Raped… It feels like a kind of weird… just weird, man."'  Fame is a double-edged sword, for sure. But there's never a need to minimize the actual act of rape by comparing your lack of privacy to it.  

He Claimed He Had Distant Native American Heritage To Play Tonto In The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger's release with mired in controversy surrounding Johnny Depp playing Tonto, a Native American character. Was Depp doing "red-face?" He didn't seem to think so. White actors have a long storied history of playing races other than their own, but only in the past few decades has this practice been vehemently criticized. Depp attempted to justify his choice to play a Native American on screen by claiming he had some distant Cherokee ancestry. He vaguely said his "great grandmother had mostly Cherokee blood." Mostly. Depp and the studio kept his supposed Cherokee heritage vague, never verifying it. Is this cultural appropriation? Probably! We'll have to get a Depp ancestry.com test going to know for sure.  

He Allegedly Abused His Ex-Wife Amber Heard

Depp and his now ex-wife Amber Heard had a tumultuous and ugly divorce racked by scandal and allegations of abuse. Heard photographed bruises and a bloodied lip as evidence, and there were countless testimonies from friends of the couples that said the marriage was unhealthy, and the best course of action was divorce. Heard even went so far as to set up a camera and film Depp returning home in a drunken stupor, smashing up kitchen cabinets, seemingly gearing up for a fight. It's all nasty as hell. You could even say this goes way beyond Depp being a "huge jerk." Abusing a partner with violence is monstrous. 

His On Set Behavior Is Terrible

Even with the aid of an earpiece, Depp's on set behavior is reported to be terrible. It's been revealed that Depp shows up to set late, keeping hundreds of crew members and his fellow actors waiting for hours, and causing the production to hemorrhage money. During the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, he would turn up to set drunk and, as it was being filmed during his and Heard's divorce, he would often get into physical altercations with Heard on the set. 

He Doesn't Bother Learning His Lines Anymore

Back in the day, before the alcohol bloat caught up with him, you could call Depp's acting choices brave or off-the-wall. Depp being Tim Burton's muse produced such enduring classics as Edward Scissorhands. But as time went on, their collaborations were less stunning and more, well, terrible.

But regardless of quality, maybe back then Depp was putting in the work. Or at least doing the bare minimum. Like learning his lines. Nowadays it's a different story. According to his ex-managers, Depp is so averse to effort that he has his lines fed to him through an earpiece so he doesn’t have to memorize scripts. 

He Displayed Some Biphobic Tendencies In The Run Up To His Divorce From Amber Heard

During the divorce proceedings, sources came forward saying Depp might have a problem with bisexual people. Specifically, that his then-wife Heard was a bisexual. People said Depp complained Heard had an insatiable bisexual appetite that drove Depp mad with jealousy. Whether this is a story planted by Depp's team during the settlement talks or if this is a story spun from gossip rags is unclear, but either way the stories paint Depp as a man that doesn't trust bisexuals and believes the worst stereotypes about them. Apparently he didn't like Cara Delevingne or (Heard's ex) Tasya van Ree being around her, for fear that she would forget she was married and jump into bed with them.

He's Trying To Sue His Business Manager For $25 Million Because Of Bad Financial Decisions His Manager Tried To Talk Him Out Of

All the spending has left Depp in a bad financial way. But he won't accept the blame for that. He said the reason he's broke is because of his managers and lawyers - who he is currently in the process of suing for $25 million

But his former managers have thrown a spanner in Depp's plan. They're countersuing him. They've hit back with a cross-complaint of fraud which has resulted in the spilling of Depp's financial tea. They claimed they warned him numerous times about his perilous spending habits, all to no avail. 

Mon, 22 May 2017 08:07:32 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/reasons-johnny-depp-is-a-jerk/rebecca-shortall
<![CDATA[17 Surprising Facts About Peanuts And Its Creator Charles Schulz]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/peanuts-charles-schulz-trivia/erin-mccann

No list of Charles Schulz facts is complete without paying tribute to the comic he put his heart and soul into for 50 years - Peanuts. Facts about the Peanuts comic strip are nearly intertwined with his real life, such as the fact that both Schultz and Charlie Brown's fathers were barbers, there really was a Little Red Haired Girl, and that Schultz's dog, Spike, was one of the inspirations for Snoopy.

Charles Schultz started out working as a comic artist and illustrator for several years before Peanuts gained recognition in the mid-1950's. What followed was merchandising, animated television specials, and even a 3D movie. At its height, Peanuts was being read in 75 countries and 21 languages, making it one of the world's most beloved and well-read comics. 

Is Peanuts based on real life? Since Schultz put a little bit of himself into each character, in some ways it is. Peanuts was sometimes dark, but each strip always ended with a laugh. As Schultz once said, "Well, there is nothing funny about the person who gets to kick the football." Happiness may be a warm puppy, but this list of Charlie Brown-facts and Charles M. Schultz-trivia is the next best thing.

17 Surprising Facts About Peanuts And Its Creator Charles Schulz,

Charles Schultz Made The "Security Blanket" Popular

The term "security blanket," referring to a fuzzy object a child holds for comfort, was not coined by Schultz, but he is credited with bringing the term to popularity through the character of Linus. When the Oxford Dictionary was about to add "security blanket" as an entry, they wrote to Charles Schultz to ask if he was the first to use the term. Being a nice guy, Schultz declined any credit, responding, "I think that it was the readers who eventually coined the phrase."

Charles Schultz Only Took One Real Vacation During His Career

The ultimate hard worker, Schultz's rigid work schedule always kept him three months ahead of publication, but it was also said that he never took a vacation. Only reluctantly would he take more than ten days off in a row - Schultz didn't even take off work when he had heart surgery. The only time Peanuts strips were ever re-published is when United Features ordered Schultz off for five weeks around his 75 birthday.

The Little Red Haired Girl Was Real

The Little Red Haired Girl whom Charlie Brown pines over throughout the entire series is actually based on a real woman. Prior to Peanuts receiving syndication, Schultz was dating the red-haired Donna Mae Johnson whom he met while working as an art instructor. He proposed, but she turned him down and married someone else. Schultz also ended up marrying someone else, but never forgot about her. In the comic, the Little Red Haired Girl is only mentioned and never actually seen, probably symbolizing how Schultz's own Little Red Haired Girl always lurked in his heart.

Peanuts Was The First Major Comic Strip To Feature A Minority Character

After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, Schultz received a letter from a woman asking him to add an African American character to the comic. Later that year, the character Franklin Armstrong debuted in the strip and became the first minority character to appear in a mainstream comic with a mass audience. Some Peanuts editors raised concerns about showing the character together with the other kids at school, but thankfully Schultz didn't listen to them.

There Is A Peanuts Reference In Every Wes Anderson Film

Wes Anderson is known to pay homage to his greatest influences in his films and Bill Melendez, the animator behind many Peanuts specials, is one of them. Both Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums feature music from A Charlie Brown Christmas. There is also a dog named Snoopy in Moonrise Kingdom and the character of Suzy bears a striking resemblance to the Little Red Haired Girl.

Schultz Despised The Title Of His Comic Strip

The original title of Schultz's comic was Li'l Folks, and it was a one-panel cartoon featuring large-headed versions of Charlie Brown and a few of his friends. Although the strip wasn't successful, Schultz managed to sell it as a series to United Features Syndicate. But because there was already another strip called Little Folks, the editors changed the name to Peanuts. Schultz never liked the new name, once stating, "I wanted a strip with dignity and significance. Peanuts made it sound too insignificant."

Fergie Was A Peanuts Voice Actor

The Charlie Brown animated specials have featured a lot of different voice actors - many of whom went on to become famous for other roles. Musician Fergie, aka Stacy Ferguson, voiced Sally in Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown when she was a child, Jodie Sweetin of Full House once had a role, as did Taylor Lautner of Twilight, and Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men.

Schultz Created Nearly 18,000 Strips For Peanuts All By Himself

Peanuts was created entirely by Schultz - meaning that he wrote, drew, and inked the entire strip by himself. In 50 years, he created 17,897 Peanuts comic strips and kept a strict 9 to 4 weekday work schedule. As of 2000, the life of Charlie Brown and his friends was being published in 2,600 newspapers, 21 languages, and 75 countries. Syracuse University professor Robert Thompson called Peanuts "arguably the longest story ever told by one human being."

He Passed Away Only Hours Before His Last Strip Was Published

Charles Schultz retired in December of 1999 after a previous stroke combined with persistent hand tremors began affecting his work. His final daily strip was published in January of 2000, and his final Sunday strip published in February. Unfortunately, Schultz passed away from colon cancer complications just hours before the newspaper went to the presses. Schultz's friend and fellow comic artist Lynn Johnston commented that it was "as if he had written it that way.''

There Are No Adults In Peanuts For A Reason

"I usually say that the [adults] do not appear because the daily strip is only an inch and a half high, and they wouldn't have room to stand up," Schultz once joked. "Actually, they have been left out because they would intrude in a world where they could only be uncomfortable." But when Peanuts was animated, they needed a voice for the children's teacher. And is was  the composer Vince Guaraldi who came up with the idea of using a trombone, and the "wah-wah" voice was born.

Mon, 01 May 2017 08:58:41 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/peanuts-charles-schulz-trivia/erin-mccann
<![CDATA[Anime With The Most Beautiful Water Animation]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-anime-water-animation/jonah-dorrance

Though water takes no definite form, many an anime succeeds in using the best water animation techniques to make the universal solvent a subject as captivating as any character. From exceedingly gorgeous rivers and vibrant swimming pools to the best oceans in anime, these anime with the best water animation send your visual senses into overdrive, their attention to detail, motion, and color leaving you feeling ever so slightly damp. It may not be the most uniquely animated thing in an anime series, but when illustrated with care, water looks fit enough to submerged yourself in.

While water plays a major part in many of the series, like Free! or Ponyo, it also plays a more supporting role as a beautiful setting for shows like Kids on the Slope or March Comes in Like a Lion. Some series even use water as a means of exploring emotion, with Tsuritama and Your Lie in April likening feelings of stress and loneliness to being submerged. Their altogether distinct and unique animation styles turns an everyday compound into a subject worth exploring. The magical water animation makes these sports rivalries, coming-of-age tales, and love stories even more enjoyable, and that much more enthralling.

Anime With The Most Beautiful Water Animation,

5 Centimeters Per Second


Sailor Moon

Garden of Words

Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club

Nagi no Asukara

Your Lie in April


Spirited Away

Grimgar Of Fantasy And Ash

Thu, 11 May 2017 06:40:50 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-anime-water-animation/jonah-dorrance
<![CDATA[15 Ghosts Who Are The Heroes, Not The Horrors, Of Their Narratives]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/ghosts-you-have-to-root-for/erin-mccann

No matter how they died and what they get up to, there are just some ghosts you have to root for. Perhaps they are murder victims, or are the hard-searching parents of a dead child, or are witches killed in violent ways many years ago. Whatever the case, they're stuck in our world and could use a little cheering on.

Some good ghosts are nice and friendly, while others are angry and resentful. Regardless of their temperaments, something happened to ghosts when they died, and they are stuck in a sort of limbo, not belonging here but unable to move on. Occasionally, they hang around just to help solve their own murders, which is both helpful and admirable. In some cases, no one really knows how they died. 

The ghosts in this list are fighters. They've put up with a lot and deserve a little recognition and maybe a pat on the back. Go ahead – give them a little cheer.

15 Ghosts Who Are The Heroes, Not The Horrors, Of Their Narratives,

Dolly Cole

The Story: Rhode Islander Dolly Cole has been called a vampire, a witch, and a cross-dressing prostitute. Whatever she actually was, people thought she was weird and were afraid of her. It's said the townsfolk killed her child by burning down her house, but the story of how she herself died is unclear; she either died by drowning in the nearby river or from murder.

Why You Should Cheer For This Ghost: Being different is not a reason for arson and murder.

George, The Pirates Of The Caribbean Ghost

The Story: Apparently, the ghosts at Disney World aren't confined to the Haunted Mansion. The ghost of George is said to wander the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Florida theme park. It's said he was a construction worker who helped build the ride and either died when a beam fell on him, or he fell from a high area. Disney doesn't recognize that the ghost exists, but it's rumored that if employees don't say good morning or good night to him, the ride malfunctions.

Why You Should Cheer For This Ghost: Having to listen to automated pirates singing for eternity does not sound like the happiest place on Earth. This guy deserves some sympathy.  

The Ghost Of Kilkenny

The Story: In Kilkenny, Ireland, after Alice de Kyteler's fourth husband died, his children joined forces with the families of her other husbands and accused her of being a witch and casting spells on their fathers. The bishop wanted to restore the power of the church in the town, so he declared there to be a coven of witches and named de Kyteler as the leader. She fled town, but her servant confessed to witchcraft (after being tortured) and was burned at the stake. 

Why You Should Cheer For This Ghost: Some people believe the ghost to be the servant rather than de Kyteler, but either way, it proves religion and justice don't always mix.

Chloe Of The Myrtle Plantation

The Story: The Myrtle Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, is home to Chloe, a young slave girl who was governess to two children. Chloe didn't repudiate the sexual advances of the plantation owner since she was afraid of being sent back into the fields to work. One day, he caught her listening to a conversation through a keyhole and chopped off her ear. In order to make herself seem useful, she baked some oleander leaves into a cake thinking it would make the family sick and she could nurse them back to health. The poisoned cake ended up killing several family members, and the other slaves hung Chloe so they would not be punished as well.

Why You Should Cheer For This Ghost: Chloe did not have a very happy life, and all she wanted was some freedom. And who hasn't made an honest mistake while baking?

The Ghostly Residents Of The LaLaurie Mansion

The Story: Delphine LaLaurie was an affluent and stylish woman who owned a mansion with her husband in New Orleans' French Quarter in the 1830s. But beneath LaLaurie's refined exterior lurked a serial killer. After a fire swept through her house, a secret room was discovered in the attic. The contents of that room were nearly unimaginable. Slaves had been chained up, tortured, experimented on, confined to cages, killed, and made to live surrounded by human remains.

Why You Should Cheer For These Ghosts: These ghosts are angry – and rightfully so. The LaLaurie mansion is probably the best known haunted place in New Orleans and has changed ownership several times due to supernatural events. The LaLaurie family also escaped the city without any repercussions, so these ghosts may never find peace.

The Moore Family

The Story: One morning in 1912, Mary Peckham believed her neighbors' home in Villisca, Iowa, to be too quiet. When she found the doors locked from the inside and received no answer, she called the neighbors' brother to come inspect. He unlocked the door and discovered a bloody scene. The Moore family, along with two of the children's friends, had been brutally murdered, their skulls crushed with an ax. 

Why You Should Cheer For These Ghosts: The murderer was never found, partially due to a horribly managed police case. Other neighbors, friends, and townspeople came to check out the event, and the police were unable to stop the mob from walking through the crime scene, touching things, and taking souvenirs. They may not have had DNA testing back then, but it's still pretty unfair to the victims.

Freddy Jackson

The Story: Sir Victor Goddard discovered a ghost in a photo of his World War I HMS Daedalus squadron when he noticed the face of Freddy Jackson in the back row. Jackson had died two days earlier, accidentally killed by an airplane propeller. His funeral was happening at the same time of the photo. Other members of the squadron easily recognized Jackson's face, as well.

Why You Should Cheer For This Ghost: Give the guy a break; he just wanted to be in a photo with his friends.

Grace Brown

The Story: In 1906, Grace Brown was working at the Gillette Skirt Factory and began an affair with the owner's son, Chester. She became pregnant and begged Chester to marry her as she didn't want an abortion, and unwed mothers were treated as outcasts. The two traveled to Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks and rented a rowboat. They found the boat the next morning and Grace Brown's body nearby with bruises on her forehead. Chester was convicted and executed, but Grace Brown continues to haunt the shores of the lake and hotel where they stayed.

Why You Should Cheer For This Ghost: Chester Gillette did not step up to his responsibility, but that doesn't mean Grace Brown should suffer because of it. People who have encountered her ghost often experience a heavy feeling of sadness. Her story also served as the basis for the film A Place In The Sun, which portrayed her as an "unattractive nag."

Lisa Posluns

The Story: In 2002, Lisa Posluns was working late at her real estate office when she was attacked, raped, and murdered. Janitor Rui Marques was questioned, but DNA tests cleared him from the crime. However, he proved instrumental in solving the case when the ghost of Posluns appeared to him in a conference room and pointed to a black table. He remembered former janitorial employee Nelson DeJesus always wore black to work, and police discovered he had been harassing Posluns for a few months. DeJesus's DNA also matched the evidence found at the scene.

Why You Should Cheer For This Ghost: A more modern tale of a ghost helping solve their own murder deserves a thumbs up and some gratitude for effort, even if their clue was pretty vague.

Zona Heaster Shue, The Greenbriar Ghost

The Story: In 1897, Zona Heaster Shoe was found dead in Greenbriar County, WV, her head in a strange position. In the time it took for the doctor to arrive, Shue's husband washed and redressed her body and was acting strangely, seemingly trying to hide her neck and obstructing the doctor from making a full examination. Shue's mother had a dream in which her daughter informed her that she was murdered. The mother's dream and the husband's odd behavior convinced prosecutors to reopen the case. When they exhumed the body, an autopsy revealed obvious injuries to her neck and determined her death to be caused by strangulation. During her husband's trial, it was discovered Shue was his third wife and the second to die.

Why You Should Cheer For This Ghost: Three cheers for a ghost who returns from the grave to help solve their murder and convict their killer.

Tue, 02 May 2017 09:35:57 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/ghosts-you-have-to-root-for/erin-mccann
<![CDATA[Best Anime Catchphrases]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-anime-catchphrases/jonah-dorrance

The best anime catchphrases are the ones that are so memorable, even non-fans can recognize the words and know exactly where it’s from. These popular one-liners are the ones you find on t-shirts, posters, and even coffee mugs. You might even say these phrases aloud (if you aren't a closet otaku). Like some of the best Naruto quotes, such as Naruto's “Believe it!,” these phrases define both the characters and the series, becoming trademarks that fans can recite at the drop of a dime.

Some of these repetitive expressions are short and sweet, while others are a bit more wordy, but still totally bad*ss. Many times, the characters take on new variations of their respective phrase or the phrase is adopted by others characters in the series (like Kamina’s “Who hell do you think I am?”). Whether or not you have these phrases on your wall or wear them proudly as an anime tattoo, these catchphrases will live in your heart forever. Vote up the most memorable one-liners from anime that you love to shout - either in secret or in public. 

Best Anime Catchphrases,

Mirai's "How Unpleasant" From Beyond The Boundary

Izumi's "I'm Just A Passing Housewife!" From Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Usagi's "In The Name Of The Moon, I Will Punish You!" From Sailor Moon

Naruto's "Believe It!" From Naruto

Sebastian's "Yes, My Lord" From Black Butler

Happy's "Aye Sir!" From Fairy Tail

Kamina's "Who The Hell Do You Think I Am?" From Gurren Lagann

Mayuri's "Duduru~" From Steins;Gate

Natsu's "I'm All Fired Up!" From Fairy Tail

Haruhi's "Damn These Rich People" From Ouran High School Host Club

Thu, 11 May 2017 04:17:16 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-anime-catchphrases/jonah-dorrance
<![CDATA[25 Memes Of Nina And Alexander From FMA That Will Make You Laugh, Then Cry]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/funny-full-metal-alchemist-nina-and-dog-memes/tamara-jude

Fullmetal Alchemist remains one of the most popular anime around, meaning the Internet produces no shortage of Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood memes. The more lighthearted funny FMA memes poke fun at Edward’s height, Colonel Mustang’s powers, and the insanity of the Seven Deadly Sins. However, in the dark recesses of the Internet, more twisted fans created memes of Nina and Alexander from FMA, the daughter-dog pair who found out just how twisted both alchemy and FMA families can be. Regarded as one of the saddest moments in anime, people attempt to convert this somber moment into Fullmetal Alchemist Nina memes that induce laughter and sadness simultaneously.

One way to channel such somberness into laugher is through these messed up FMA little girl and dog memes. If you can't help but LOL, who is anyone else to judge? Below lie some of the most cringe-worthy yet funny memes with Nina and Alexander from FMA. As a warning to you now, they're pretty screwed up! Also, if you have not seen FMA, this is your final spoiler warning. Enjoy! (As best you can, that is).

25 Memes Of Nina And Alexander From FMA That Will Make You Laugh, Then Cry,

It's Too Real!

Like Two Peas In A Pod

Cheap Bastard...

Don't Give Him Ideas!

Beauty And The EEEEK!

BFFs For Life!

Embrace Your Body's Changes

Someone Please Stop These Two...

An Old Question With New Answers

No Treats For This Trick

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 06:51:33 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/funny-full-metal-alchemist-nina-and-dog-memes/tamara-jude
<![CDATA[The Biggest Flash-In-The-Pan Athletes And What They're Up To Now]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/flash-in-the-pan-athletes-where-are-they-now/rhune-kincaid

Joel Embiid's rookie season sparked a heated debate in the sports world about whether or not an athlete could be worthy of receiving a seasonal award without having played anywhere close to a full schedule of games in that season. The 76ers forward was undeniably the best first-year player in the NBA, but should the NBA Rookie of the Year trophy really go to someone who only played 31 of his team's 82 games?

The hype of this situation begs the question: Who are the biggest flash-in-the-pan athletes of all-time? Who made the biggest splashes in the smallest sample sizes? And who had the most sizzle with the least steak?

For clarification, a flash-in-the-pan player needs to have shown superstar potential at the highest levels of their sport before, of course, sinking into mediocrity, irrelevance, or worse. A draft bust and prospects who never excelled are different things altogether.

The Biggest Flash-In-The-Pan Athletes And What They're Up To Now,

Buster Douglas

In 1990, Buster Douglas shocked the boxing world by defeating the seemingly invincible Mike Tyson and becoming the new undisputed heavyweight champion of the world - he had caught an already-wobbly Tyson with an uppercut in the 10th round resulting in the surprising knockout.

Douglas was so unheralded that the only Las Vegas casino willing to take bets on the fight offered 42-1 odds.

Douglas quickly lost the belt to Evander Holyfield in his very next bout and never returned to championship contention. He closed his career with a string of bizarre publicity-stunt fights without ever actually getting back into shape.

Joe Charboneau

Joe Charboneau is known for a few somewhat obscure things:

  • Dying his hair flamboyant colors - before it was cool
  • Getting into bar fights
  • Fighting with team management
  • Opening beer bottles with his eye socket
  • Drinking beer through his nose
  • Getting stabbed in Mexico while there for an exhibition game
  • Playing less games (201) than any Rookie of the Year Award winner in the history of Major League Baseball 
  • Appearing in The Natural as an extra

Charboneau also hit .289 with 23 homers in 1980, but was out of the league by 1983 due to injuries.


Mark Fidrych

People had zero expectations when Mark Fidrych joined at the Detroit Tigers in 1976, but the charismatic goofball surprisingly wreaked havoc on opposing batters. He was nicknamed "The Bird" for his resemblance to Big Bird from Sesame Street, he swore on live national television, and he could be seen and heard talking to the ball before he threw it.

Tigers attendance nearly tripled on the days that he pitched. He won 19 games and became American League Rookie of the Year, but during spring training before the 1977 season began, he hurt his knee while "goofing around in the outfield."

More injuries followed and his previously charming antics grew thin. However, he continued pitching with an undiagnosed tear in his right rotator cuff for the rest of his career and was out of the league before 1981. The rotator cuff injury was finally diagnosed in 1985.

Tim Tebow

It seemed like a reach when Josh McDaniels traded up for Florida's Heisman-winning quarterback, Tim Tebow, with the 25th pick in the 2010 NFL draft. But for one shining season in 2011, Tebow became a superstar.

With his unorthodox throwing style and rugged runs, he led the Broncos into an overtime upset with the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Divisional Round.

However, by the next season he had been replaced by Peyton Manning, and now he's a terrible baseball player in the Mets minor league system (and a somewhat decent commentator for SEC football).

Vince Young

Vince Young had the perfect quarterback pedigree for being a draft bust: Transcendent, but a non-traditional quarterbacking style at the college level? Check. Relied on his legs more than pro quarterbacks can afford? Check. Overpowered collegiate teammates to make things easy? Check.

Nevertheless, the Tennessee Titans used their #3 overall pick on Young in 2006, and then a crazy thing happened - he was an instant success. He was named Offensive Rookie of the Year, made the Pro Bowl, and guided the Titans to a playoff appearance the following year. Things got weird after that, though, when reports surfaced that Young was already considering retirement after his first season. He was replaced by Kerry Collins, bounced around a few teams as a backup, proclaimed the 2011 Eagles to be a "Dream Team," and now, in 2017, he has agreed to chuck passes for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.

Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez was an innocuous 4th round pick by the New England Patriots in the 2010 NFL Draft, but he quickly teamed with Rob Gronkowski to form the most fearsome pair of pass-catching tight ends that the NFL has ever seen.

Over the course of three NFL seasons, Hernandez racked up 1,956 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns, and even had a 42-yard rush in Super Bowl XLVI. 

However, after the Patriots lost the 2010 AFC Championship Game to the Baltimore Ravens, things quickly unraveled. The following summer, police raided his home in search of evidence relating to the murder of Odin Lloyd, and Hernandez was arrested and charged with a 2012 double homicide in Boston. He was also convicted of the Lloyd murder and hung himself in prison shortly after being cleared for the double homicide.

Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin had already acquired a cult-like following by the time he made his first NBA appearance with the Golden State Warriors in 2009. It marked the first time that an American player of Japanese or Taiwanese descent had played at the game's highest level.

He then proceeded to bounce back and forth from the D-League to the Houston Rockets and back to the D-League a few more times before landing a backup role for the New York Knicks.

Injuries and a recommendation from Carmelo Anthony then propelled Lin into the starting lineup and the national spotlight.

In a 12-game stretch leading up to the 2012 All-Star game, Lin averaged 22.5 points and 8.7 assists; out-dueled John Wall, Deron Williams, and Kobe Bryant; became the focal point of the Knicks offense (and opposing defenses); and made a game-winning shot that compelled his teammate, Metta World Peace, to coin the phrase "Linsanity."

Despite his popularity in New York, he left for Houston the following off-season and slowly blended back into the league as a pretty-good-but-not-great point guard. The NBA may never again experience such concentrated fervor as it did for Lin's breakout run.

Josh Gordon

Despite playing on one of the worst teams in the NFL, Josh "Flash" Gordon turned in one of the greatest receiving lines in NFL history in 2013. He racked up 1,646 yards to lead the league and was named a 1st Team All-Pro. But much like his college career at Baylor that saw him awkwardly shuffled to Utah and eventually to the 2012 Supplemental Draft, his professional career was quickly derailed by failed drug tests. 

Between two suspensions, he only played 5 games in 2014 before being suspended for the entire 2015 season. He was eventually reinstated for the 2016 season, but elected to focus on his rehabilitation program. With his 2017 reinstatement application denied, Gordon might not ever play in the NFL again. 

Joel Embiid

Despite having a broken bone in his foot, the Philadelphia 76ers made Joel Embiid their third overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. It was a calculated risk, but the 76ers urged their fans to "trust the process." 

"The Process" became Embiid's nickname as he proceeded to sit out during the entirety of the next two seasons with continued ailments. He finally set (healed) foot on the court for the 2016-2017 season and proceeded to "process" his opponents to pieces. He averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game while averaging only 25.4 minutes per game. He was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for November, December, and January before a swollen knee slowed him down in February. A meniscus tear later ended his meteoric rise after only 31 games.

Eric Gagne

It's very possible that no pitcher in the history of baseball has been as un-hittable as Dodgers's closer Eric Gagne was from 2002 to 2004. Across those seasons, he strung together a record-shattering streak of 84 consecutive saves and, in 2003, he struck out a ludicrous 1.66 batters per inning.

He would take the field to the tune of Guns and Roses's "Welcome to the Jungle," and baffled batters with his ability to change speeds. However, arm troubles led to multiple Tommy John surgeries, and after his playing career, Gagne was named in the Mitchell Report. Investigators also accused him of using human growth hormone during his unreal ascent.

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:17:31 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/flash-in-the-pan-athletes-where-are-they-now/rhune-kincaid
<![CDATA[Incredible Ways Gene Kelly Changed Movie Musicals Forever]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/how-gene-kelly-changed-movie-musicals-forever/erin-mccann

Gene Kelly has a very important place in the history of movie musicals. In addition to being an actor and dancer, he was a singer, choreographer, and director who left behind a legacy of incredible moments on film. The ways Gene Kelly changed movies were so significant, they can be seen even in modern films like La La Land. Gene Kelly musicals are as important to that genre as Hitchcock's work is to modern thrillers. 

In a quick bit of old Hollywood history, movie musicals were at the height of their popularity in the 1940s, as Hollywood adapted Broadway shows, Busby Berkeley created crazy extravaganzas of choreography, and Fred Astaire wowed audiences with his classy clothes and elegant dance moves. But just as the musical genre seemed to be dying, Gene Kelly tap-danced in and completely changed how movie musicals were made.

Many people have seen him in Singin' in the Rain, but his impact on film and dance goes a lot deeper. How Gene Kelly changed musicals is an amazing story and, considering some of his innovations are still in use today, he is definitely a man to remember.

Incredible Ways Gene Kelly Changed Movie Musicals Forever,

He Changed The Role Of Men In Musicals By Being Both Masculine And Expressive

Musicals have historically been seen as being mainly for women. In most traditional musicals, such as Oklahoma, the male characters are manly, tough, and stoic. Gene Kelly was able to remain masculine and be expressive at the same time. He dressed like an average guy and retained his male independence by never teaming up with a partner, which set him apart from the likes of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Kelly once commented, "I think dancing is a man's game and if he does it well he does it better than a woman."

He Incorporated Elements Of Ballet In His Films

An American In Paris gave audiences something they'd never seen before in a movie musical; a 17-minute dance sequence that was pure ballet. The number is an ethereal dream sequence, and the idea was repeated on a smaller scale in Singin' In The Rain. Kelly proved audiences could enjoy a film that included a little bit of traditional choreography along with modern dance routines. An American In Paris earned Kelly a special Oscar for "his brilliant achievement in the art of choreography."

Seriously, just think about that for a second. When's the last time you saw a movie with a 17-minute ballet sequence in it? That's longer than it took to blow up the Death Star. 

His Dance Routines Were Athletic And Explosive

Before Gene Kelly found his place in the world of movie musicals, Fred Astaire was the most successful film dancer. Astaire was elegant and sophisticated, usually dressed in a tuxedo and top hat. Kelly wanted to get away from that image, and his previous experience as an athlete and gymnast gave his dancing a more explosive style than audiences were used to. His jumps, high energy movement, and a wide stance became Kelly's signature style, and brought dynamic energy to his movies. "It wasn't elegant," he once said, "but it was me."

He Danced With An Animated Mouse To Make History

Mixing live action and animation had been tried several times since the silent film era, but until Anchors Aweigh, no one had attempted to film an intricate dance number that combined the techniques. Gene Kelly changed that by dancing with Jerry the Mouse from Tom and Jerry in a short color sequence that took two months to shoot. The piece is a composite; Kelly danced against a blue backdrop and the animation was added later. With CGI, this could be easily done, but in 1945, it was a major accomplishment. 

He Used The Camera As Part Of The Choreography

Since film creates a 2D image, despite being shot in a 3D environment, Gene Kelly reasoned dancing in the movies had to be treated differently than on stage or in other live environments. "I tried to do things uniquely cinematic, that you couldn't do on a stage. Call it 'cine-dancing,' or whatever, but I tried to invent the dance to fit the camera and its movements," he said. Integrating camera movement into choreography was something no one had tried before Kelly.

One of the best examples of this can be seen in Singin' In The Rain, when the camera pulls back, the music swells, and Kelly dances using wide movements. Then, as the camera closes in on him, the music softens and his movements become less dramatic. This technique focuses your attention and creates a sense of intimacy; it's a vastly different approach than previously standard massive wide shots attempting to replicate the spectacle of Broadway. It also allows for the increased use of depth in cinematic space. 

He Broke New Ground By Filming On Location

On the Town celebrates New York City through the eyes of three sailors on 24-hour shore leave and features the classic song "New York, New York." At the time On the Town was made, movie musicals were always filmed on sets. Kelly realized the movie would not have an authentic look and visual impact if shot anywhere other than the streets of New York. Collaborating with co-director Stanley Donen, he insisted the studio let the production film on location, marking another first for studio musical filmmaking.

He Used Dance As Part Of The Narrative, Not Just As Spectacle

Early musicals treated song and dance separately from the story, like a bonus for the audience. Kelly realized during the making of Cover Girl that a dance routine could actually be used to tell part of the story. He dances with his alter-ego in the film, visualizing internal conflict. Allowing the audience to see how a dance impacts the characters and story was a big step forward for movie musicals, and is still widely used by modern musicals. 

He Helped Extend The Life Of The Musical Genre

The Golden Age of movie musicals lasted from about 1930 to 1960. Gene Kelly entered this world in the mid-1940s and gave it a jolt of life that kept musicals going for more than a decade. Although the age of the musical was eventually put to rest by an era of gritty films like Easy Rider and Midnight Cowboy, which probably could've used more dance routines, song-and-dances films continued to occasionally appear. Modern musicals like La La Land use a lot of Kelly's techniques, such as camera movement and story advancement through dance routines, and might not have even been made had Kelly not reinvigorated the genre.

He Often Used Props And The Set As A Dance Partner

Just as he used the camera as part of his dance routines, Kelly used props and set pieces as well. A squeaky floorboard and a piece of newspaper were used in Summer Stock to give a dance routine a little extra kick. His propensity to dance with props and the set added new visual dynamics to musical numbers, was always unexpected, and created some of the most well-known moments in musical history, such as his dancing with umbrellas and a light post in Singin' in the Rain. In Kelly's musical world, nothing was off limits as a dance partner.

He Incorporated Physical Comedy Such As Slapstick Into Dance Routines

"Make 'Em Laugh" was added to Singin' In The Rain so Donald O'Connor could have a solo number, and is probably the best example of slapstick incorporated into a musical. Kelly worked with O'Conner to convert a routine he'd previously performed on the vaudeville circuit into a song and dance. O'Connor commented, ""Every time I got a new idea or remembered something that had worked well for me in the past, Gene wrote it down and, bit by bit, the entire number was constructed."

Tue, 02 May 2017 11:07:22 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/how-gene-kelly-changed-movie-musicals-forever/erin-mccann
<![CDATA[15 Incredibly Bizarre Facts About Rocket Scientist Jack Parsons]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-jpl-rocket-scientist-jack-parsons/lyra-radford

Jack Parsons, founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the father of rocket science, was an enigma of a man to say the least. Parsons lived a double life, one of science by day and dark magic by night, although he believed the two were one and the same. He conjured spirits and ancient deities, and he delved into sex magic. He believed he had no limits and could manifest energies just as real as the once-believed-impossible science he helped create.

His known associates were eccentric and somewhat controversial. He was mentored by none other than cult leader and prince of darkness Aleister Crowley. Parsons even became a Priest for Crowley's order of Thelema. Parsons also became friends with Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and ended up contributing to much of Scientology's foundation – as he and Hubbard would discuss magic and philosophy for hours on end. As brilliant a scientist as he was, it wasn't long before his unorthodox personal life began to affect him professionally. Much like pet owners who begin to resemble their animals, this mad genius began to mirror his work – becoming highly explosive. In the end, he became too unpredictable to work with, and one of his experiments ended up leading to his death at just 37 years old.

15 Incredibly Bizarre Facts About Rocket Scientist Jack Parsons,

He Made His Own Magic

After having created his own science and then being squeezed out of it, Parsons decided to create his own magic, as well. He didn't want to just work Crowley’s spells; he was convinced he could combine science with magic and explore all of the physical and metaphysical realms.   

He was rebelling against the very concept of limitations to the human experience; he didn't see himself or humankind as a race that needed to stay tethered to the Earth. Space travel, dimensional travel – it was all possible in his mind, and he set out for the physical evidence to prove it. He threw himself into his magic.

He Was Investigated By The FBI Then Booted Out Of His Own Business

All the negative attention Parsons and his mansion of black magic and debauchery – the Parsonage – were attracting led to an FBI investigation. Parsons’s cult involvement seemed like it could be a threat to national security. By day, he was a rocket scientist working for the government, and, by night, he was jumping out of coffins, eating menstrual cakes, and trying to conjure up poltergeists to have sex with. Naturally, the FBI got a little worried about his head space.

They found no sign that he was a real security risk. It didn't matter, though. As the Cold War set in, people were being frozen out left and right for being alleged communists or sympathizers. After WWII, Parsons and several of his colleagues ended up losing their security clearance anyway. The government didn't have room for people with… "quirkiness."

He Had Affairs With Secretaries, Recited Pagan Poems, And Hosted Duels... At Work

Those who worked with Jack Parsons – especially members of his rocketry “Suicide Squad” like Edward Forman and Frank Malina – would often hear him recite a poem to Pan that was penned by Crowley while he worked on his rocketry experiments. Sure, this could be a little strange, but the real issue was his excessive lifestyle spilling out into work.

His devil-may-care attitude led to dangerous behavior that put the business at risk. He’d have not-so-subtle affairs with secretaries and host duels out on the rocket-testing range. He and Edward Forman would literally fire off guns at each other’s feet, trying not to flinch.

On one occasion, Fritz Zwicky insisted on a particular type of rocket fuel that Parsons didn't want to try. So Parsons decided to go out to where this fuel was being stored and just blew the whole batch up. He literally blew up inventory.

Parsons And Hubbard Tried To Summon A Goddess Together

Hubbard and Parsons teamed up to perform an Enochian magical ritual known as the Babalon Working, which basically involves trying to incarnate an actual goddess. The ritual took weeks during which the two men engaged in ritual chanting while waving swords in the air and drawing occult symbols. Then they broke out the runes and dripped animal blood on them. Finally, they attempted to “impregnate” magical tablets by masturbating on them together.

News of this got back Crowley, and he was actually appalled. The founder of a sex cult, the guy widely known as "The Wickedest Man in the World," was appalled. In a telegram, he called Parsons a “weak fool” and insisted Hubbard was a swindler taking advantage of Parsons. He was right. Hubbard just gained Parsons’s trust, stole his girlfriend, and ran off with $20,000 under the guise of a business investment that Parsons never saw again.

He Tried To Conjure Up A New Girlfriend

After Parsons’s lover/sister-in-law became enamored with L. Ron Hubbard, Parsons turned to his trusty old black magic. He became obsessed with researching things like ghosts and poltergeists and decided to conjure up himself a new lover.

That’s right – he decided to summon up an "elemental" to be his new girlfriend, and the ritual involved him masturbating onto magical tablets to the sound of music.

It was after one of these rituals in 1946 that Parsons met his soon-to-be-second wife, Marjorie Cameron. He was convinced his ritual worked, and she was his elemental. She was even the inspiration behind his book of poetry, Songs for the Witch Woman.

He Became 'Frenemies' With L. Ron Hubbard (Who Stole His Girlfriend)

After crossing paths with Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, Parsons quickly fell under his spell. The two became friends and confidants. They fenced together; they discussed philosophy and magic together; they were even rumored to be sexually involved, and, by 1945, Hubbard was living at the Parsonage. 

Hubbard greedily worked his way through many women in his time at the Parsonage – right on through, in fact, to Parsons’s girlfriend Sara. Sara was very taken with the scifi author, and she and Hubbard ended up founding Scientology together.

He Made His Marriage A Foursome After Seducing His Wife’s 17-Year-Old Sister

Apparently, there was no line Parsons wouldn't cross when it came to sex. Ritual sex, adulterous sex, and even a little bit of incest... it was all fair game to him. With the encouragement of his church, Parsons began having a sexual relationship with his wife's 17-year-old sister, Sara. His wife, Helen, started sleeping with another man around the same time, a senior member of the church named Talbot Smith. The four of them decided to move into the Parsonage together and continued to have multiple sex partners while also engaging in group sex (for ritual and recreational purposes) until Jack and Helen Parsons finally divorced.

He Bought A Mansion For Sex Magic And All Things Hedonistic

With all Parsons's rocket science genius, he became pretty rich (naturally). What did he do with his riches? He bought a mansion on Pasadena's Millionaire's Row and welcomed his sex-magic cult into it with open arms, and it quickly became a den of hedonism. In addition to housing all of the O.T.O.'s operations, all sorts of eccentrics became frequenters of the "the Parsonage." Science fiction writers, poets, Manhattan Project scientists, self-proclaimed witches – the house was always full of people, many of whom donned strange masks and costumes during their stay on the premises.

He Ate Menstrual Cakes With His Cult

As part of the O.T.O., Crowley and Parsons would perform the "Gnostic Mass," which Crowley devised as a perversion of the Catholic Mass. During the Mass, an altar of candles and hieroglyphic patterns stands together with an upright coffin on a black-and-white stage, awaiting the ceremony's officiants to emerge. In the coffin, the priest awaits the arrival of the priestess who, once she makes her entrance, leads the ceremony and prayers along with the priest. During their unholy version of the Eucharist, all those present drink wine and eat the Cake of Light – which is made with menstrual blood among other things. Yes, as in actual cakes made with actual menstrual blood inside them.

Parsons Was Mentored By Aleister Crowley

It was the occult philosophy of Thelema, which was founded by occultist Aleister Crowley, that Parsons adhered to. In the late 1930s, Parsons joined the Ordo Templi Orientis (The O.T.O.), in Los Angeles and partook in their drug-fueled, sexually charged rituals.

According to Crowley, he had a revelation in Cairo, Egypt, in which the spirit Aiwass dictated an entire prophetic text to him; this text became known as The Book of the Law. This acid trip became a religion and a way of life for Parsons and many others. Not only that, but Parsons was also actually mentored by Crowley. They eventually became very close, and Parsons was promoted to a priest of the Los Angeles chapter

Fri, 05 May 2017 09:03:44 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-jpl-rocket-scientist-jack-parsons/lyra-radford
<![CDATA[13 Completely Believable Fan Theories About Star Wars: Episode VIII]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/fan-theories-about-star-wars-the-last-jedi/nathan-gibson

The Star Wars franchise has always been about more than just space battles and intense action. With the introduction of the Expanded Universe (now Legends) in the form of novels, comics, and other types of media, fans received a bounty of information to speculate and theorize about. As such, Star Wars fan theories have come to dominate the conversations of countless nerds. This has not changed when it comes to the latest movie in the series, as many fans have tried to figure out the plot of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The Force Awakens not only brought the Star Wars saga back to the big screen, it also introduced many new characters and story elements. Unsurprisingly, the first installment of the new trilogy left plenty of questions unanswered. While the next film will surely provide answers, in the meantime there have been plenty of The Last Jedi fan theories, as people try to come up with their own ideas about what will happen. They range from fully-formed concepts to simple The Last Jedi rumors, and they are all fascinating (and sometimes plausible) in their own way.

13 Completely Believable Fan Theories About Star Wars: Episode VIII,

Snoke Was The Very First Dark Side Force User

The mystery surrounding the identity of Snoke has been hotly debated since The Force Awakens released in 2015. YouTube user Thor Skywalker believes the answer may lie in the First Order leader's age. To wit, he may actually be much older than most people think.

According to Thor, Snoke may be ancient, and possibly the first dark side Force-user who ever existed. He points to the fact that the character looks incredibly old, and that the novelization of the movie reveals Snoke had seen the rise and fall of the Empire. Apparently, he knew of Darth Vader’s betrayal of the Emperor. Now, we know Snoke isn’t a Sith Lord, as the filmmakers made it clear there were no Sith in the movie. Therefore, the villain could actually predate the Sith, and might have had a role in creating the dark order.

Luke Will Die During The Events Of The Movie, Leaving Rey As The Last Jedi

One particularly adamant fan theory popped up almost immediately after the title of Star Wars: Episode VIII was revealed to be The Last Jedi. The idea goes that Luke Skywalker will die at some point in the film. After all, he is currently the "last Jedi," something that was made clear in the opening crawl for The Force Awakens, and it looks like Rey is about to begin her own training to become a Jedi Knight after finding Luke in exile.

Several fans immediately leapt to the conclusion that this must mean the main protagonist from the original trilogy would have to die in order for new hero Rey to be truly considered the last Jedi. Considering Star Wars has never been afraid to kill off its main characters, and the fact that the new movies seem to focus on a new group of heroes, the Jedi Master could be on his way out.

Rey Is Actually Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Granddaughter

One interesting theory speculates that Rey could be related to Obi-Wan Kenobi. The popular school of thought is that she could be the granddaughter of the former Jedi Master. Little is known of Kenobi's life on Tatooine watching over Luke, and there was plenty of time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope for him to become romantically involved with someone. The theory would explain why Rey is so powerful with the Force, despite her lack of training.

Supreme Leader Snoke Might Have Been Created By Darth Plagueis

Emperor Palpatine revealed in Revenge of the Sith that his master, Darth Plagueis, was able to influence the Force to create life. It's believed this manipulation caused the virgin birth of Anakin Skywalker, as part of a failed experiment by the Sith Lord to create the perfect being.

Reddit user Darby_Piper believes this same process may have contributed to the creation of Snoke, as a sort of Force-twin to Anakin. This would explain his unknown origins, his seemingly powerful Force abilities, and his connection with Ben Solo.

Rey Is Actually A Clone Daughter Of Luke

This idea from noted YouTuber and theorist Mike Zeroh (which you can watch in video form above) posits that Rey might not be a true biological daughter of Luke, but rather his gender-swapped clone. Cloning is already a huge part of the Star Wars universe, so it wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

This would explain why Rey seems to have a connection to the Skywalkers, including Leia and Han, and why she was drawn to Luke’s lightsaber. Also, if Rey is a surprise clone of Luke instead of a known biological relation, we could skip over all the moral issues associated with our heroes abandoning her on a desert planet for over a decade. 

Kylo Ren Is Working As A Double Agent

Leticia Piroutek from Tumblr came up with a tantalizing Kylo Ren theory with her father. They suggest Kylo Ren may not be the villain he appears to be, but rather a double agent working on behalf of Luke and the light side.

This theory helps to explain the deep conflict the former Jedi suffers in The Force Awakens, especially when it comes to killing his father. All of his actions could be a way to gain the trust of Snoke, so he can learn more about him or perhaps kill him.

Luke Could Turn To The Dark Side

Everything we know so far about The Last Jedi casts Luke Skywalker in a more negative light than we are used to. The trailer portrays him as a shadowy figure, while the poster shows him alongside Kylo Ren, saturated with a red hue that suggests a predilection towards the dark side of the Force. Combined with Luke's assertion that, "It is time for the Jedi to end," some have speculated the Jedi Master could fall to evil, like his father did.

Frankly, this theory seems plausible. Mark Hamill has already said the idea is a possibility (though he has been known to troll Star Wars fans in the past) and previous fan theories have suggested he may have fallen to the dark side during Return of the Jedi.

The Jedi Order Will End, And Rey Will Begin Training As A New Type Of Force User

The title The Last Jedi and the words uttered by Luke Skywalker in the trailer (“it’s time for the Jedi to end”) seem to suggest the Jedi Order is not going to continue in the Star Wars saga. At least, not in the form we're familiar with. After seeing the damage that can be done by sticking to the dogma of the Jedi when Ben Solo fell to the dark side of the Force, Luke might have concluded the austere nature of the Jedi is no longer useful.

The Jedi have been in constant conflict with the Sith for thousands of years, and have never been able to defeat them fully. This could mean that a new type of Force-user is needed, someone who can operate in the middle of the light and dark sides of the Force. These so-called “gray” Jedi would be a new, more balanced version of their predecessors. Rey, of course, would be the first pupil and eventual master.

The Knights Of Ren Were The Jedi Luke Was Training

The identity of the Knights of Ren has puzzled Star Wars fans for some time. All we really know about them is that they are led by Kylo Ren and are dark side Force-users. However, it has been made clear by the filmmakers they are not Sith.

This does leave open the possibility they could be the former Jedi apprentices of Luke Skywalker, who were not killed when Ben Solo attacked the Academy, but rather joined him on his path to the dark side. According to Reddit user reverent_irrelevance, this kind of mutiny would be very likely to drive Luke into exile, as he would be distressed to see his former students turn to the dark side of the Force.

Luke Skywalker Is The Last Jedi

This one isn’t too much of a stretch when it comes to fan theories. The Force Awakens even called Luke the last Jedi in the opening crawl, and there has been no evidence of other surviving Jedi in any of the material released since Disney took over the franchise.

When you consider that Star Wars has always been the story of the Skywalker family, it makes sense that Star Wars: Episode VIII will focus heavily on the Jedi Master, specifically on his mission to stop the dark side from becoming too powerful while possibly setting up a new (new) Jedi Order.

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 03:55:33 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/fan-theories-about-star-wars-the-last-jedi/nathan-gibson
<![CDATA[Things You Never Knew About Rupert Murdoch, Arguably The Most Powerful Australian Ever]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/rupert-murdoch-facts/hugh-landman

Who is Rupert Murdoch? You might not know his resume, but you definitely know his work. The Australian-born businessman has turned media into a lucrative empire, with holdings all over the world. From The Wall Street Journal to 20th Century Fox, HarperCollins to Fox News, Murdoch has ties to them all.

His biography is the stuff of CEO legend. Murdoch inherited newspapers from his father and started his rise to becoming one of the richest men in the world. Stories about Rupert Murdoch paint a picture of a man who is ruthless about business; in England, for instance, he fundamentally changed the relationship between owners of media outlets and journalists by breaking unions. In the United States, Murdoch serves as the CEO of Fox News, one of the most-watched cable news network in the country.

These Rupert Murdoch facts paint a picture of a rich man who is basically a supervillain, but he really transcends the label. Murdoch's tremendous power can make or break politicians, frame news narratives at the stroke of a checkbook, and change once-trusted sources of information into founts of sensationalism and tabloid headlines.

Things You Never Knew About Rupert Murdoch, Arguably The Most Powerful Australian Ever,

He Had The Most Expensive Divorce Of All Time

Divorce is usually expensive - but for Murdoch, his 1999 divorce from Anna Murdoch Mann ended up being the most costly divorce ever. The media mogul and his wife separated after 32 years of marriage, and she was awarded a settlement of $1.7 billion. Most of the settlement was in assets, and Mann was awarded $110 million in cash.

A Newspaper He Owned Reported Him Dead

In 2011, the Internet hacking collective LulzSec hacked the website of the newspaper The Sun and reported Murdoch's death. Hackers claimed that Murdoch had ingested a rare earth metal and died in his topiary garden. Rather than being directed to The Sun's real website, users were sent to the fake story or to the hacker group's Twitter page claiming responsibility for the prank. The hack was the first that successfully bypassed the security of a major newspaper.

A Massive Scandal Damaged His Reputation

Murdoch was forced to close his first British paper, News of the World, in 2011. News broke that reporters and editors at his papers The Sun and News of the World had hacked the voicemails of murder victims' families and political figures, embroiling the media mogul in a scandal that greatly hurt his public image. In meetings that were intended to be private, Murdoch met with the families to apologize for the behavior of his journalists. 

Later, tape emerged that showed Murdoch may not have been as contrite in the well-publicized private meetings as he let on. On the recordings, Murdoch commented that the practices his writers used in bribing police officers were common for British media - even though he previously testified to the British Parliament that he had no knowledge of such actions by his employees.

An Activist Threw A Pie In His Face

You don't get to where Murdoch is by playing nice, and he's attracted his fair share of anger along the way. In 2011, after testifying before the House of Parliament about the News Corporation phone hacking scandal, Murdoch was pied in the face by Jonathan May-Bowles. The protester lobbed a shaving cream pie to illustrate his displeasure.

Though May-Bowles was aiming for the billionaire, Murdoch's wife Wendi Deng shielded her husband and pushed the pie thrower away. In the end, May-Bowles was sentenced to three weeks in prison and paid a small fine.

He Invented The Modern Tabloid

Tabloid newspapers skyrocketed in popularity in the second half of the 20th century, and Murdoch helped bring those papers into the mainstream. As The Economist puts it, "he invented the modern tabloid newspaper - a stew of sexual titillation, moral outrage, and political aggression."

Even Murdoch's more traditional media holdings have the reputation of being less focused on news and more on competing with sports and entertainment media. Outlets like Fox News have become successful by focusing on infotainment to attract viewers. 

He Owned His First Newspaper At Age 22

Murdoch's father, Sir Keith Murdoch, owned several newspapers in Australia. He sent his son to Oxford College in England, but young Murdoch had to return to his home country in 1953. His father had died, and the 22-year-old was tasked with running the family business.

Murdoch turned one failing newspaper, The Adelaide News, into a success. He then started The Australian, the first national paper in the country. Fifteen years later, he started what would become an international media conglomerate when he purchased London's News of the World in 1968.

He Has Six Children With Three Women

Murdoch has six children, ranging in age from their fifties to their teens. He had one daughter, Prudence, with his first wife, Patricia Booker. After they divorced, he and ex-wife Anna Murdoch Mann had three children: Elizabeth, Lachlan, and James. Murdoch then married Wendi Deng, and the couple had two children, Grace and Chloe. They divorced in 2013.

MySpace Was One Of His Biggest Failures

In 2005, Murdoch bought MySpace for $580 million. Despite its early promise, the social networking site could never compete with Facebook; in 2008, the website had over 100 million users, but by 2011, that figure had fallen to 30 million. In the end, Murdoch sold the website to Justin Timberlake and other investors for just $35 million.

He Gained Success By Breaking Up Unions

In 1986, talks broke down between newspaper workers and Murdoch, who was seeking to move the printing and editing portions of News International's periodicals to a new facility. The mogul wanted to modernize his printing operations and reduce staff, and asked unions to give up their right to strike and open the shop to non-union workers. Workers went on strike to prevent the move, but their plan backfired - Murdoch fired 6,000 of them.

After a year-long strike, Murdoch had forced the union to spend most of their funding in court battles. The British government and police enforced policies and used violent tactics to break the power of organized labor in the country.

He Is One Of The 100 Richest People In The World

Murdoch's power is truly staggering. His media organizations can sway political opinions, elevate certain political figures, and shape news narratives around the globe. And that power comes with a tremendous amount of wealth. According to Forbes, Murdoch is worth about $12 billion, making him the 96th wealthiest individual in the world. To put that in perspective, he's worth more than the annual gross domestic product of Madagascar, a country of 27 million people.

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 04:37:30 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/rupert-murdoch-facts/hugh-landman
<![CDATA[Well-Known Franchises Whose Original Locations Are Still In Business]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/orginal-franchise-locations-going-strong/brad-harris

Fast food origins are the stuff of myth and mythbusting. As last year's excellent The Founder illustrates, perhaps the mix of true history and corporate self-promotion that characterize fast food origin stories is best untangled by dramatization and the movies. As Roy Kroc, Michael Keaton plays the stumbling, then later ruthless entrepreneur who bought out the McDonald brothers' original store, then made it the namesake of his empire. While each chain has its own unique history, animated by colorful business personalities, corporate feuding, and the speed which goes along with the product, the McDonalds' story is typical in an industry which thrives on relocation. But for few others, the original location survives quietly in the outskirts of American suburbias or proudly as a part of a larger national marketing strategy. Here are the hold-outs, original stores of franchised cafes, vendors, and restaurants, where early history is often buried in corporate make-overs and buy-outs.

Well-Known Franchises Whose Original Locations Are Still In Business,


April 4th, 1964: a day redolent of oil, vinegar, Italian spices, and nostalgia.  You might guess without even knowing all the specifics, it was on this day that three high school buddies from Jersey City started a submarine sandwich shop. But not Nostradamus himself could predict the future success of their venture--several hundred million sandwiches later. The chain recently celebrated its 50th anniversary by offering 50 cent subs nationwide, well within the 35 to 90 cents range the Washington store charged for its original menu (9 different sandwiches). 

California Pizza Kitchen

Not a whole lot differentiates the original location from its national and international franchisees; but, where else might you conjure the spirit of the Spago-inspired venture capitalist restauranteur gamble?  Before opening the business in 1985, the founders Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield worked within the U.S. Justice Department, and then within their own firm. After pooling $550,000 in savings, bank loans, and investment from friends, the erstwhile lawyers struck it very rich and only 7 years later sold the majority share of the company to PepsiCo for a $100 million.  Bottom line: pizza pays.     

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle might have been heralding more than one change in eating when it opened its first location near the University of Denver campus.  One might scarcely imagine today when the burrito wasn't a staple part of the college student diet.  But Steve Ells also had another vision in mind when he sought to sell "food served fast [that] didn't have to be 'fast food'."  While few changes have been made to the original restaurant, much has changed for Ells since he opened the fast-casual in a former Dolly Madison ice-cream store: from an $85,000 loan he obtained from his father, the company now trades publicly on the New York Stock Exchange and boasts over 2,000 locations.  

Cold Stone Creamery

Before the advent of the 2,010 calorie milkshake and the political rise of former CEO (now governor of Arizona), the ice-cream conglomerate was a struggling mom and pop store.  Owner Donald Sutherland (no relation to the Canadian actor) reminisced, "I had days where I did less than $6." Some good press declaring the ice-cream "best in town," helped, and the parlor moved to its current location across the street on an inconspicuous strip mall, today, Store #0001. With 1,200 chilled granite slabs in operation, Cold Stone is now the sixth leading ice-cream seller in the U.S.. 

Dunkin' Donuts

The location was also home to Dunkin' Donuts' predecessor, "Open Kettle," started in 1948, which founder Bill Rosenberg renamed in 1950.  Synonymous with Boston culture, the company now has a global reach with over 3,200 stores located internationally.  But only at the Quincy shop will you see the original retro signage, reinstated after the store's recent renovation.  Not on display are the 1950 prices: 10 cents for a coffee and 5 cents for a donut (originally in 52 varieties). 

Nathan's Famous


 An original location worthy of not just a postcard home, but the professional historian's attentions, most recently, a treatment in the book Famous Nathan's: A Family Saga of Coney Island, the American Dream and the Search for the Perfect Hot Dog.  When Nathan Handwarker opened the stand in 1916, he sold the "Hot Dog" for a nickel.  Later to counter the suspicion against the inexpensive price, Handwarker, a Polish immigrant, hired white-jacketed men in surgeon's smocks to serve them (now practically an industry standard) and the stand's place in the American culinary imagination has not moved since. Today, its best known as the site of the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest, first held in the summer of 1916 among immigrant contestants to prove "American-ness".  Nelson Rockefeller, then governor of the state, agreed, declaring in 1966, "No man can be hoped to be elected in this state without being photographed eating a hot dog at Nathan's Famous."

P. F. Chang's China Bistro

The popular Chinese restaurant is actually the brain-child of Paul Fleming, an oil-man from Louisiana.  With his business partner, the chef Philip Chiang, Fleming conceived of a restaurant (P.F., for "Paul Fleming" and Chang -- "i" omitted for Chiang) that would combine a Chinese menu and nouveau cuisine.  For the first location, Chiang and Fleming chose Scottsdale Fashion Mall, the second most profitable retail space in the U.S.. "We got 1,000 customers the first weekend," Chiang recollects.  The mall location would be duplicated for many of the more than 200 restaurant (Terra-Cotta warriors no longer an unfamiliar sight in suburbia).     


Surely the most touted first store, the "Original Starbucks" location is familiar as the name of its brewed coffee, "Pike Place Roast."  As an anchor business within the Pike Place Market, the original is included within the U.S. Register of Historic Places and one of the most visited places in the world (with 10 million per annum, the 33rd most visited).  But not much other than a line around the block distinguishes the original from the over 25,000 Starbucks in operation: here at the first, a standard Starbucks' menu remains unchanged.  What you won't see is the original brown mermaid--not green--outside of the logo.


A stomping "ground" for UC-Berkeley students, this fixture of the North Shattuck has a definitive place in both bohemia and the history of drink. It is here in 1966 Arthur Peet, a Dutch immigrant and tea-trader, introduced the uncommon practice of roasting Arabica beans for fresh hot coffee.  In subsequent decades, Peet would herald other significant changes in the way Americans and the globe drank their coffee (Jerry Baldwin and other "peetniks" founded Starbucks). Make sure to check out the museum, a modest collection of coffee-brewing artifacts and articles in the back of the store, which narrates the story of Peet's, from the first store to its billion dollar private stock offering.  

Shake Shack

It's probably the only N.Y.S.E. publicly-traded company named after a set-piece from the movie Grease: the carnival ride where Sandy and Danny Zuko profess their love ("You're the One that I Want").  The successful company was launched in 2004 by Danny Meyer, a leading New York restuaranteur, as part of a joint redevelopment effort by the city and a private conservancy.  He asked The SITE Group to design the kiosk, which features the company's signature graphic type, its menu seen wrapping around the building and its name over a "vegetated" roof.  Situated between the Flatiron Building and the Metlife Tower, the stand is a modest architectural attraction amidst historical and much photographed monuments to South and East.

Fri, 12 May 2017 03:34:17 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/orginal-franchise-locations-going-strong/brad-harris
<![CDATA[Here Are The Radioactive Animals Living In Fukushima]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/animals-in-radioactive-fukushima/anna-lindwasser

On March 11th, 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced three nuclear meltdowns, initiated by the tsunami that followed the Tōhoku earthquake. This catastrophic event was the most significant nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. When most people think about the Fukushima disaster, they are rightly concerned with the human cost. About 18,500 people died as a result, thousands of people lost their homes, and the chances of developing cancer, particularly thyroid cancer, are high for survivors.

What many people don't think about is the wildlife affected by Fukushima. The animals in Fukushima not only faced the same risks that humans did, but many of them were not evacuated and were simply left to die. Some groups like the Nyander Guard Animal Shelter and a loose collection of farmers, as well as individuals like Naoto Matsumura, are stepping up to help these Fukushima disaster animals. While others, like the Japanese government itself, are attempting to have some of these radioactive euthanized in order to reduce contamination in the area. There's a lot that we can learn from the animals living in Fukushima. These special radioactive animals are truly interesting creatures.

Here Are The Radioactive Animals Living In Fukushima,

Butterflies Affected By Radiation Have Birth Defects

Butterflies in Fukushima have proven to be uniquely sensitive to radiation. A study led by Joji Otaki, a biologist at University of the Ryukyus in Nishihara, Japan, showed butterflies and butterfly larvae who were fed radiation-drenched leaves experienced high levels of physical abnormalities such as short forewings, and survival rates compared to butterflies who were given leaves unaffected by radiation. This affect occurred at multiple levels of radiation, including levels previously thought to be low enough not to do any damage. This sounds pretty grim, but there is hope - Otaki's findings also indicate butterflies that eat contaminated leaves and survive will probably develop a tolerance that will help them survive the low levels of radiation. Which is good, since that will likely persist in Fukushima over the next several decades. 

Tim Mousseau warns that humans shouldn't extrapolate about the effects of radiation on humans based on what happened to the butterflies. Humans, he claims, are less sensitive to radiocontaminants than butterflies are. 

The Horses Of Minamisōma Thrive Despite Being Left To Die

Minamisōma, a Fukushima city, has a 10-centuries old tradition called the Soma Nomaoi ("chasing wild horses") festival. Until the Fukushima disaster made the city uninhabitable, the festival was held on a yearly basis to honor the contributions that horses have made to humanity. After being forced to evacuate, rancher Shinichiro Tanaka returned to find his horses dead or starving. The Japanese government ordered Tanaka to slaughter the remaining horses, but he refused to do so. Instead, he nursed them back to health with help from director Yoju Matsubayashi, who documented the experience and created a documentary film called The Horses of Fukushima

Japanese Macaques Have Abnormal Blood Levels In Fukushima

The surviving Japanese macaques near Fukushima might look like any other macaques, but underneath their skin is something very troubling. Scientists discovered the macaques in that area have lower red and white blood cell levels, which could leave them prone to more serious infections. While scientists debate whether this is directly due to the radiation, there's no doubt their blood levels are extremely abnormal. 

Radioactive Wild Boars Get Aggressive With Humans Trying To Move Back In

Once the people of Fukushima evacuated, wild boars descended from the mountains and took over the area. In coastal towns like Namie and Tomioka, the boars strut through the streets, forage for food, and sometimes attack the humans who are attempting to return to their homes. According to Namie's mayor Tamotsu Baba, “It is not really clear now which is the master of the town, people or wild boars. If we don’t get rid of them and turn this into a human-led town, the situation will get even wilder and uninhabitable.” 

In March 2017, an evacuation order for the area was scheduled to be lifted. Violent boars ruling the town made it difficult, if not impossible, for the people of Fukushima to resettle peacefully. The humans aren't taking it lying down, though. Squads of hunters are setting up cage traps that use rice flour for bait, and shooting boars with air rifles. A single squad, led by Shoichiro Sakamoto, has captured over 300 boars so far. Despite these efforts, the radioactive wild boars seem determined to continue living in the towns. 

Naoto Matsumura, The Guardian Of Fukushima’s Animals

The story of Naoto Matsumura is the story of a true hero. Matsumura was a resident of Tomioka, a town in Fukushima that was evacuated in the wake of the nuclear disaster. At first, Matsumura did attempt to evacuate. But later he was rejected by family who feared contamination, and he wasn't satisfied with the conditions of the refugee camps. He headed back to his family's farm in Tomioka to see what had become of it. When he arrived, he found a bleak wasteland utterly devoid of human life - but teeming with animals who were left behind. 

Despite the personal danger involved, Matsumura decided to dedicate his life to caring for these animals. His charges include a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, cows, ducks, ostrich, pigs, and a pony. One particular animal, a dog, had been locked in a shed for over a year, and had only survived by eating the flesh of a cow who had died in there with him. Thanks to Matsumura, the dog became healthy and happy.

Matsumura claimed he isn't worried about what might happen to him as a result of living in a radioactive zone.  He said he was worried about getting cancer or leukemia at first, but doctors assured him that would not happen for 30 or 40 years. As of 2017, he plans to spend the rest of his life caring for the animals of Fukushim - a goal which you can support through donations.

Contaminated Salmon Made Their Way To The West Coast Of The US

After the 2011 disaster, people from around the world became concerned the contaminated water that seeped into the Pacific Ocean would spread. This fear wasn't completely unfounded. In 2016, salmon containing caesium 134 particles, a radioactive substance known as the "fingerprint of Fukushima," were found 6,000 miles away from the site of the disaster, off the coast of Oregon. The same particles were also found in the Tillamook Bay and Gold Beach in Oregon.

While this sounds terrifying, it actually isn't that bad. According to Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the levels found were too low to be harmful. In an interview with USA Today, he said: "To put it in context, if you were to swim everyday for six hours a day in those waters for a year, that additional radiation from the addressed cesium from Japan... is 1000 times smaller than one dental x-ray." 

Meanwhile, sea life around Fukushima seems to be doing just fine. Despite radioactive materials being dumped into the water, aquatic populations have remained relatively constant, and significant mutations have not been observed. This is probably because the ocean currents dispersed the toxic waste before it could have a serious impact on the ocean's population. That said, radiation is still leaking into the ocean, and the true impact on sea life is still unknown.

The Cats And Dogs At Nyander Guard, A Fukushima No-Kill Shelter

Nyander Guard is a no-kill animal shelter set up to accommodate animals who were lost or left behind in Fukushima after the disaster. In all, about 20,000 animals were left behind. Early rescue efforts with spearheaded by Akira Honda, a 52-year-old businessman from Fukushima who called for volunteers. These volunteers often had to sneak past police barricades to get back into the radioactive area. After a few volunteers were detained, these missions became a lot more difficult. Nyander Guard was a government sponsored solution. They have rescued around 750 cats and dogs, including a cat named Kevin Costner. 

Unfortunately, finding people to adopt these animals has been a challenge. Not only are people wary about exposure to radiation, adopting animals from shelters isn't a common practice in Japan. Usually, when people want pets, they buy them from pet shops. Also, because the Fukushima disaster wasn't particularly recent, donations to their GoFundMe page have slowed to a crawl. These donations are desperately needed, especially for the cats, many of which are suffering from serious health problems as a result of the radiation. 

A Group Of "Nuclear" Cattle Still Live On Their Farms, Despite Being Radioactive

Nuclear Cattle, a documentary by filmmaker Tamotsu Matsubara, tells the story of a group of six farmers who return to their hometowns in Fukushima a few times a week in order to care for their livestock. Like the horses of Minamisōma, these cattle were exposed to radiation, and the Japanese government asked farmers to euthanize their animals. This group of farmers refused to do so, and continued to care for their cattle at their own expense, despite the fact the animals could no longer be sold due to the contamination. 

While the farmers originally kept these cows alive out of affection, the cows now serve another important purpose. In 2013, 2013, Keiji Okada, an animal science expert at Iwate University, began doing research on the cows. While they got some information about the impact of radiation on animals like birds and insects, researchers know very little about how it impacts large mammals. Okada and his colleagues hope these cows will add to humanity's store of knowledge.

A Rabbit Was Born With No Ears

Yuko Sugimoto, a resident of Namie, a town just outside of the 18-mile exclusion zone surrounding the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, is a rabbit breeder who discovered something strange in her rabbit hutch during the spring of 2011. On May 7, a rabbit was born with no ears. In addition to being earless, the rabbit also had albinism, or a lack of melanin, which gave it white fur and red eyes. 

Born only two months after the nuclear disaster, this rabbit symbolized the havoc the radiation could cause. The rabbit's birth coincided with an announcement from Tokyo Electric, which stated seawater samples 150 miles north of Tokyo contained levels of radioactive strontium around 240 times the legal limit. Those levels were also found in the groundwater near two damaged nuclear reactors. While it was never proven that Ms. Sugimoto's rabbit's earlessness was caused by radiation, images of the rabbit still stirred up fears about what kinds of birth defects might occur in humans.

Bird Populations In Fukushima Are Dropping

According to a study conducted by Tim Mousseau, a professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, the bird population near Fukushima has been in freefall ever since the nuclear disaster. After conducting 2,400 bird counts and gathering data on 57 different species, Mousseau and his team determined that 30 of these species were experiencing sharp declines in their population. The effect was more pronounced for resident birds like the carrion crow and the Eurasian tree sparrow, and less so for migratory birds who did not arrive in the area until some of the radiation had dissipated.

Some birds who are still alive are growing white patches in their feathers. Mousseau believes the white patches are caused by radiation-induced oxidative stress, but his opponents disagree, claiming the low doses of radiation in Fukushima aren't enough to cause this, and the white patches are part of the normal molting cycle. 

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 09:28:45 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/animals-in-radioactive-fukushima/anna-lindwasser
<![CDATA[Disturbing Facts About Ahmad Suradji, The Shaman Serial Killer]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-indonesian-serial-killer-ahmad-suradji/amandasedlakhevener

Serial killers aren't solely an American phenomenon. There are plenty of serial killers in other countries, such as Ahmad Suradji, an Indonesian murderer. Suradji, also known as the Black Magic Killer, had a bizarre modus operandi and an insane motivation. He killed his victims in order to gain more spiritual power, as he believed he was a shaman. He was a ritual murderer and he had a very specific pattern to his kills. He believed that this ritual killing would enhance his abilities. This led to the creation of his aforementioned serial killer nickname

Suradji was born in 1949, and started his killing spree nearly 40 years later, in 1986. Over the next 11 years, he killed upward of 40 women. He was executed by the Indonesian government in 2008.  

Disturbing Facts About Ahmad Suradji, The Shaman Serial Killer,

He Drank His Victims' Saliva

Many serial killers do unsettling, ritualistic things with their victims. Ahmad Suradji's preferred methods were downright bizarre. He believed that his victims' saliva improved his shamanic powers, so he drank it after strangling them to death.

He wasn't very specific about how he drank it. Did he somehow manage to get it into a cup? Did he drink it straight from their mouths? Either way, he performed this strange ritual on every woman he killed. 

He Buried His Victims Facing His House, Believing It Gave Him Extra Power

After Ahmad Suradji killed his victims and drank their saliva, he buried them in a sugarcane field near his house. While they were still alive, he placed them in the ground feet first, up to their waists. After he strangled them to death, he stripped them naked, and then buried the rest of their bodies with their heads pointed towards his house, thinking the placement would further enhance his magical powers. 

One Of His Wives Was His Accomplice

Ahmad Suradji had three wives, all sisters. Although all three were questioned after the murders were discovered, only one, Tumini, was charged as his accomplice. She went on trial at the same time he did, and received life in prison for her involvement in his crimes. His other two wives apparently didn't know about his evil activities. 

He Claimed To Be A Shaman

Ahmad Suradji claimed to be a type of spiritual healer called a "dutak." Technically, the Indonesian government only recognizes six different religions (including Islam and Christianity), but some people who live there also believe in magic and various healing practices. Suradji was a shaman who, people believed, could make women more beautiful and help them get rich or find a faithful boyfriend, thanks to his "magical powers.

He Was Caught When Neighbors Found A Dead Body In A Nearby Field

Ahmad Suradji's killing spree lasted from 1986 until 1997, when he was finally captured. It's possible he could have continued his sinister work, had the body of one his victims not been discovered in a local sugarcane field.

After the police identified her and local residents realized she was last seen alive on her way to Suradji for a shamanic ritual, officials searched his house. Inside, authorities found the woman's belongings, as well as those of several other missing women. 

He Gave Religious Advice To His Fellow Prisoners

After entering prison, Ahmad Suradji stopped trying to be a shaman. He converted to Islam, and became very devout. In fact, he started giving religious advice to his fellow prisoners. Apparently, he was also very popular. His infamy as a serial killer led to a kind of celebrity status while he was incarcerated.  

He Didn't Have To Seek Out His Victims - They Came To Him

Because of his shamanic powers, Ahmad Suradji rarely had to go out and find victims. Most of them came to him for help improving their lives. Word spread around his village – and nearby villages – of his healing powers, so women came from all over the place to receive his help. 

As a part of his magical healing ritual (which, they quickly found out, was solely for his own benefit), his victims helped him by digging their own graves. He then covered the women waist-deep in dirt as part of his "cure," and then strangled them to death once they were immobilized. When Suradji went through a dry spell and didn't have any "clients" come to him, he reportedly went out and picked up prostitutes to kill in order to fulfill his quota. 

He Was Executed By Firing Squad

10 years after his capture and trial in 2008, Ahmad Suradji was executed in his home country of Indonesia by firing squad. Before he died, he gave one last interview, in which he stated, "The black magic came from God. I don't have it anymore, I have repented. I hope I have a chance to live."

Suradji was one of 10 people executed that year. Indonesia enforces the death penalty for everything from terrorism to possession of narcotics. Mass murder, of course, is punished with extreme prejudice. 

His Father's Ghost Instructed Him To Kill 70 Women, But He Only Made It To 42

Ahmad Suradji started his killing spree in 1986, after his father came to him in a dream with an important message. If Suradji killed 70 women, he would become even more powerful and be able to perform stronger acts of magic. He would also become a mystical healer.

However, Suradji failed at his goal, and "only" killed 42 victims. However, there might be others women still unaccounted for. After his capture, local police put word out, asking people to come forward with the names of women missing in the area. This added an additional 80 people to his list of possible victims. 

He Also Bred Cattle

Most serial killers have a day job. For example, John Wayne Gacy owned a construction and maintenance business. Things were a bit different in Indonesia, where Ahmad Suradji worked as a cattle breeder. His profession required quite a bit of open land, which provided him with a place to bury his victims. 

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 04:21:13 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-indonesian-serial-killer-ahmad-suradji/amandasedlakhevener
<![CDATA[10 Murder Plots That Would Have Radically Changed History (If They Succeeded)]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/thwarted-takeover-plots-from-history/peterdugre

Powerful leaders walk around everyday with bull's-eyes on their backs. And the world would likely be a much different place had many of the failed takeover plots and assassination attempts on the world's most controversial leaders worked - forever altering the course of history. However, nobody can say what would have happened if Hitler hadn't escaped the explosions intended to take his life and the attempted takeovers aimed at ending his reign, or if any of the over 600 assassination attempts on Fidel Castro would have succeeded and completed shifted Cuba's future. Nearly all of the world's leaders have endured threats and attempts on their lives, and below are just a few examples of the times some of them got away.

10 Murder Plots That Would Have Radically Changed History (If They Succeeded),

Adolf Hitler

Surely, either you or someone you know has said: "If I could go back in time, I'd kill Hitler." However, it turns out he wasn't an easy man to assassinate. There are over 20 documented plots to take down the Fuhrer between 1934 and 1944, but two in particular stand out because he escaped by pure luck. 

Most famously, he survived a plot on July 20th known as Operation Valkyrie, in which Claus von Stauffenberg and other conspirators planted a bomb near a conference room table at Hitler's hideout, the Wolf’s Lair in East Prussia. It went off, but had been coincidentally repositioned behind a table leg that happened to be sturdy enough to shield Hitler from its full impact. The bomb injured six, four of whom eventually died, and singed Hitler’s pants. The sophisticated conspirators had begun their attempts to kill Hitler in 1943 when Nazi war efforts were deteriorating, and they felt Germany needed to pivot toward a post-Hitler, post-war footing.

The other infamous attempt involved Johann Georg Elser, a German worker and feverish opponent of Nazism, who prepared a bomb in 1939 and carried out intricate, obsessive plans to assassinate Hitler. He hollowed out a hole in a pillar near a podium where Hitler was to give a speech on the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch and timed the explosion for what he thought would be a midway point in the oratory. Alas, the blast happened 13 minutes too late, but had Hitler still been delivering the speech, the ceiling would have collapsed on him. Seven died from the explosion.

Continental Army

A mutiny over wages could have made the Revolutionary War very difficult to win for the colonies. In Newburgh, NY, in March 1783, the fatigued Continental Army nearly turned on General George Washington because they hadn’t been properly paid. However, the Newburgh Conspiracy was quickly nipped in the bud by the crafty Washington.

The gripes of the troops eventually climbed to higher-ranking officers who circulated an anonymous letter urging a mutiny by the underpaid soldiers. The missive, written under the nom de plume Brutus, suggested that soldiers abandon the war effort and storm government coffers to take the money that was rightfully theirs. Having caught word of the growing conspiracy, Washington confronted the dissenting officers by surprise at a secret meeting, persuading them to fight on in an impassioned speech.

Elizabeth I of England

Queen Elizabeth I of England caught a lot of Catholic-flak for her Protestantism. On several occasions, those wishing to see Catholicism restored to England sought to install Elizabeth's cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, to the throne and kill Elizabeth to clear the way. However, Elizabeth's agents of espionage always remained a step ahead of the competition. 

In another thwarted attempt, the Throckmorton Plot of 1583, was discovered by Elizabeth's secretary of state, Francis Walsingham. His surveillance led to the discovery of correspondences describing the takeover plan leading all the way back to Mary. Throckmorton was tortured and killed, and Mary was locked up. The Spanish, also motivated to bring Catholicism back to England, were tied to the plot and all ambassadors were banished.

Then conspirators were at it again in 1586 - this time headed by conspirator Anthony Babington, who gave his name to the failed Babington Plot. The uncovering of a second plot against Elizabeth resulted in the execution of Mary, who had previosuly been imprisoned. Elisabeth's top spy, Walsingham, sent in a double agent to carry messages to and from Mary, thus entrapping her and implicating her in the ongoing threats against the queen.

Fidel Castro

Former Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro once said, "If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal." Although the CIA has long denied ordering any attempts at assassinating foreign leaders, a Senate investigation in 1975 substantiated that the CIA failed to kill Castro at least eight times between 1960 and 1965. Apparently, the US couldn't manage to take down the Cuban leader who was sitting just 90 miles off shore, ready and willing to do the bidding of the USSR at the height of the Cold War. 

Agents targeted Castro in his element, attempting to poison his cigars and contaminate the avid scuba diver's wet suit with a deadly fungus. The CIA even reportedly attempted to rig a colorful underwater conch shell with explosives hoping to lure a curious Castro to fiddle with it on a dive and be blown to smithereens. Castro's former protector, Favian Escalante, claimed that the grand total of known assassination attempts on Castro was 638.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Before Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated in 1933, a group of powerful industrialists - armed with the dangerous idea that their coming president was not in fact the answer for their ailing country - began a plot to overthrow the president-elect. The group (allegedly including JP Morgan) stashed away millions of dollars and weapons while ruminating on how a fascist regime should seize control of the US government. They believed that absolute power was the only way to lift the nation out of the Great Depression.

The paranoid clique of power brokers attempted to enlist a popular Marine Corps General, Smedley Butler, to recruit an army loyal enough to him to execute the coup d'état. Instead, Butler reported the indecent proposal to Congress and an investigation ensued. Nobody was prosecuted as a result of the investigation, but several accounts including that of William Dodds, US Ambassador to Germany, indicated that well-heeled industrialists were colluding with Germans to overthrow the US Democracy and install a fascist dictatorship. Of course, FDR was re-elected and the rest is history.

Gunpowder Plot

Many Britons still celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Day on November 5, the anniversary of the failed 1605 Gunpowder Plot, when King James I and all of Parliament almost suffered the blast of dozens of barrels of gunpowder planted beneath the House of Lords.

A group of Catholics led by Robert Catesby had planned the insurrection for a year with the intent of overthrowing King James I, an anti-Papist. The conspirators rented a cellar at the House of Lords and rolled in over 30 barrels of gunpowder. When Parliament was called to order on November 5, the plan was to blow King James I and the entire government to bits.  

One conspirator got cold feet on November 4 and urged the politician Lord Monteagle to steer clear of the House of Lords on November 5. Monteagle reported the mysterious message to police, and on the eve of the plot, a search turned up Guy Fawkes, who had been charged with detonating the rudimentary explosives. Fawkes confessed under torture in the Tower of London and all implicated were killed - some after a trial and some before.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte didn't begin executing his ambitious takeover of Europe until 1803 - three years after the plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise. At the time of the 1800 plot, Napoleon, as First Consul of France, was on a speedy trajectory toward gaining absolute control of the French government, but his dissenters aimed to stop him in his tracks.

The conspirators plotted to park an explosive-filled barrel, AKA Machine Infernale, that would detonate and spray shrapnel at the motorcade of carriages escorting Napoleon to the opera on Christmas Eve. A plotter who was to signal his collaborator when to light the fuse panicked, so the plan unraveled. The bomb went off too late, killing many including an innocent 14-year-old girl who had been paid to keep an eye on the carriage holding the Machine Infernale - she thought it was a barrel of grain.

Pope Sixtus IV

For 300 years the Medici family ruled Florence, Italy. Part of their platform was their opposition to papal rule - a slap in the face that didn't sit well with Pope Sixtus IV, who ended up being behind the Pazzi Conspiracy in 1478. The pope allied himself with members of the Pazzi family, rivals to the Medicis, and together they conspired to assassinate brothers Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici and take over the city government. In a brazenly sacrilegious ambush, four men - including two priests - attacked the brothers at Sunday mass. Giuliano died from 20 stab wounds, but Lorenzo got away with just a grazing of his shoulder. The Medici family fought back along with their supporters, who slaughtered more than 200 alleged Pazzi conspirators. The Pazzi family was then banned from Florence and stripped of its wealth.

Vladimir Lenin

Russian revolutionary Fanya Kaplan confronted Vladimir Lenin following his speech at the Hammer & Sickle factory in Moscow on August 30, 1918, and fired three rounds from a pistol at the Russian leader. One entered through his neck and remained lodged near his collarbone and another made it into his shoulder - but the bullets did not kill Lenin. For fear others would attempt to take his life, Lenin refused hospital care and was hurried away to his apartment where doctors treated him, but could not remove the bullets.

Kaplan, who had spent years in a Siberian prison camp and was nearly blind, would not implicate any others in her plot. She said she had acted alone and had wanted to kill Lenin for a long time because he was an enemy of the revolution. She was linked to the Socialist Revolutionaries who had been excluded by Lenin's Bolshevik party.

Only hours after the nearly successful attempt on Lenin's life, the period of Red Terror began and all perceived enemies of the state were brutally wiped out. However, the bullets might have eventually done their job - their impact on Lenin's health were attributed to the numerous strokes he suffered and to his ultimate demise in 1924 at the age of 53.

Yalta Conference

The Nazi war effort had begun to crack by 1943, so desperate times called for desperate measures. Enter Operation Long Jump: an alleged German plan to kill allied leaders Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the Tehran Conference in Iran. Russian agents have been credited with thwarting the German assassins before they could execute their brazen plan, and the Russian media loved to trumpet the heroic triumph of successfully saving Stalin and his frenemies. British and American intelligence considered the Russian report to be baloney, maintaining that it never actually happened.

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 04:33:01 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/thwarted-takeover-plots-from-history/peterdugre
<![CDATA[20 Comic Book Captains Ranked By Their Leadership Abilities]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-captains-in-comic-book-history/stephanroget

The word “captain” resonates with authority and power, so it stands to reason "captain" characters in comic books are among the most visible. From comic books to cartoons, the "captain" motif often arises in the form of a commanding and compelling character, with some even ranking among the best superheroes of all time. While many fictional captains exist in the realm of comics, only a select few of them are actually worth following into battle. The best comic book captains, or captains from other geeky parts of pop culture, possess both overlapping similarities and stark differences. What unites them all, like the best female superhero team leaders, is their belief in their ability to lead.

Some make excellent leaders, like Captains America and Kirk of their Avengers and crew, respectively. Others, like Captains Universe and Atom, use the “captain” moniker as a representation of their power. And some, like Captain Boomerang, appear to use the word only to differentiate themselves from other characters with “boomerang” in their name. So, with a whole lot of heroes sharing the title of captain, which comic book captain would make the best captain in real life?

20 Comic Book Captains Ranked By Their Leadership Abilities,

Captain America

Captain Atom

Captain Britain

Captain Cold

Captain Marvel

Captain Nemo

James T. Kirk

Jean-Luc Picard

Malcolm Reynolds

Captain Caveman

Fri, 19 May 2017 06:17:02 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-captains-in-comic-book-history/stephanroget