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"The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" as an Irish Pub Ballad

It is a sad, mournful tale of a young Irish lad named Will who was taken from the land of his birth during the Great Potato Famine to a faraway land where he could begin anew. This is The Fresh Prince of Bel Air as sung by Stefan Murphy. Listen, drink a pint, and mourn a bygone age.

-via Born in Space


The Existential Threat

"The Existential Threat" is a new song by Sparks, from their album A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip. It's about extreme psychological trauma, so of course they got Cyriak Harris to make the video. As you might guess, it's pure nightmare fuel. The lyrics are at the YouTube link.

See more of Cyriak's work in our previous posts.


Will Smith, King of Fourth of July

Will Smith is a power player in Hollywood, a movie star with a long list of hit films on his resume, so it's hard to think of him as anything else. But those of us of a certain age remember that in 1990, he was a rapper who lucked into his own TV series. The trajectory of Smith's film career changed greatly in 1996, when the film Independence Day opened across the US on July 3rd. It showcased Smith's acting chops in a way that opened doors to all sorts of blockbuster roles to come.  

As Vogue’s Julia Felsenthal has pointed out, the irony of Smith’s Hollywood coronation is that Emmerich had never considered his action-disaster spectacle to be star-driven. “One of the points we made was that we didn’t want this to be a movie-star movie,” the filmmaker said in 1996. “The movie was the star. We didn’t need a movie star to make it more expensive. And it would complicate the marketing.” And when crowds went in droves to see Independence Day, which premiered on July 3, 1996, the Will Smith they encountered wasn’t radically different than the one on Fresh Prince. On paper, Steven Hiller was just another smartass with swagger, but Smith seemed more poised and grownup than the sitcom kid audiences knew. And unlike Smith’s boisterous Bad Boys character, Hiller didn’t come across as a self-conscious asshole — Independence Day was the first time Smith seemed fully comfortable on the big screen, imbuing Hiller with effortless charm and buoyancy. Smith relaxed, and so we did, too. Suddenly, he looked like a movie star, the thing he was always meant to be.

Read about Will Smith's career and how Independence Day changed it at Mel magazine. -via Digg


My House, Not My Cat

(Image credit: Hannah Rose Summerfield)

Once I found a cat that had decided to live upstairs in my house, and had been there for a week. He did not want to leave. My other cats never told me about him. But that's not an uncommon story, as the Facebook group My house, not my cat is quite popular. A list at Bored Panda has stories of cats who moved in, or moved in and then gave birth, the cat who brought home kittens that weren't hers, and the dumped mother cat who is now working as a foster mom. The picture above shows what happened when Hannah went to feed her three cats and found five! I was particularly taken with this story:

I Have Been Feeding A Cat For Some Time Now. Of Course I Set Out A Little Shelter And Blanket Also. I've Grown To Call Them My Phantom Kitty. I Could Never Catch It During The Day So I Figured I Would Sneak Out To Take A Peek Tonight. Look At This "Cat"

Continue reading to see the accompanying picture.

Continue reading


Magic on the Yamuna River

Despite the Yamuna River not being able to maintain a thriving ecosystem, hundreds of birds still flock on to the place when winter comes, because of their tendency or habit to stay or return to a certain area. But it’s not only birds that come to this place. Humans also come here, too, and they go here to feed the winged creatures.

Because the tributary attracts such an influx of avians, it’s also a site of religiosity and legend. People travel to the water to feed the birds, an act thought to bring good karma, and disperse offerings for their loved ones who’ve died.

These ritualistic acts have been captured on surreal photos by Delhi-based photographer Sankar Sridhar. Check out the photos over at Colossal.

(Image Credit: Sankar Sridhar/ Colossal)


This Pigeon Learned To Fly Again, Thanks To This Man Who Took Care of Him

When Rick Van Benschoten (@oxdad) saw this young pigeon lying down on a street in lower Manhattan as he was riding his bike, he immediately checked to see what was going on with the bird. Upon picking the pigeon up, the pigeon did not respond. Rick knew that it was in a bad state, and he immediately took action.

“I’ve rehabbed pigeons before, and I didn’t know if he just needed rest, or if he needed medical care,’ said Rick as he narrated the video. “So I packed him up and off we went.” Thankfully, the pigeon just needed rest and was hungry, and so Rick fed him and took care of him at his home. And there, the pigeon regained his strength, and learned to fly once again.

Watch the video over at The Dodo to find out more about this wholesome story.

(Image Credit: Sean Grossman/ The Dodo)


Hard To Translate This One

Sometimes people higher than you will give you jobs that you don’t really know how to do, such as translating something into a language that you have no clue how to speak. But in order to save face, you just do the job anyway, just like what this guy did. He literally put “No smoking in Arabic” on the tank’s body.

A redditor said that it might have been painted by a subcontractor that didn’t speak English, but what do you think?

I wonder what happened after this was shown to the contractor.

Via Reddit

(Image Credit: Varundaguy/ Reddit)


Flying Couch

Hasan Kaval is a madman. But he knows how to relax, in a well-worn leather love seat, watching TV with chips and soda. Only he's doing in high in the sky! He's speaking Turkish, and the wind is so loud that auto-translate cannot hear it, so you might want to skip through the first minute and a half. Then- holy moly! The lack of a seat belt will make you nervous, but he survived to post the video. Do not try this at home. -via reddit


Majestic Cat Paintings by Tokuhiro Kawai

A cat can be seen standing in the room. Two cherubs, one on its left, and another on its right, can be seen helping it to put on the royal robes. Another cherub flies on top of the cat’s head, with a crown on its tiny hands. The cat, however, seems to be thinking of something entirely different than his current coronation, with its eyes fixed on somewhere else in the room.

The oil painting, titled “Fantasy of a pet cat” was created in 2006 by the Japanese artist Tokuhiro Kawai.

Traditionally, the classical approach to painting has always been intended for narrative: heroes, saints and the divine were painted in their glorious feats of battle or miraculous miracles. But the task of storytelling has since been ceded literature and film. Kawai attempts to rekindle this fragile bond, but in a contemporary context in which religion and epic battles are less a part of our lives. “Human beings live their life carrying this kind of contradiction or unanswerable problems. By creating an original hero, I want to pursue the amusing trait of a mankind who exists with the desire to battle, and yet have contradictory behaviors,” says Kawai.

This isn’t Kawai’s only cat-centered painting; he has a lot more, along with his other Renaissance style paintings, which can be seen over at Spoon & Tamago.


(Image Credit: Tokuhiro Kawai/ Spoon & Tamago)


An Even Bigger Neolithic Site Has Been Discovered Near Stonehenge

The ancient past has always been full of mysterious structures and strange sites that continue to baffle archaeologists and historians to this day. Belonging in this category is the iconic Stonehenge, which is said to have been used as a burial ground in the past, according to many scholars. But while the place might have been used in the past as a burial ground, people are still baffled at how the ancient people managed to build such a big structure. But it seems that there is now a much larger mystery to solve, and this mystery can be found just a few miles away from Stonehenge.

Now, another monumental site has been discovered in the area, and though it’s much, much bigger than Stonehenge, it’s easy to see why it’s been missed for so long. The newly found site, contemporaneous with Stonehenge, is a vast arc of pits, which archaeologists believe represents a significant development in their understanding of the inhabitants of early Britain.
“When we started the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, we started to look in between the monuments [we knew about],” says Vincent Gaffney, an archaeologist at the University of Bradford and lead author of a recent study describing the newly-discovered site, published in the journal Internet Archaeology. “The Neolithic period was a time of monumentalization of ritual sites. It was happening all over the country. This dwarfs the lot of them.”

More details about this site over at Atlas Obscura.

(Image Credit: garethwiscombe/ Wikimedia Commons)


Hamilton and 10 Other Ways to Watch the American Revolution

How will you celebrate the Fourth of July this year? To stay safe and commemorate the United States declaring itself independent from the British Empire, you might want to watch the American Revolution unfold on your television. The big event is the debut of the Broadway hit Hamilton on Disney+ of course, but to keep you entertained all weekend, Den of Geek has compiled a list of the best movies about the birth of our country. They range from 1959 to today, and include musicals, miniseries, and animation, as well as the movies you are already familiar with. Some are about the Founding Fathers while others look at how the war affected everyday people, plus subjects that were untouched in your history classes. There's even one British production!  


The Lively & Liveable Neighbourhoods that are Illegal in North America

Europe has neighborhoods where the US has zoning laws. Buildings in many US cities and mid-size towns are highly divided by use, with apartments downtown, stores in shopping centers, industries in the industrial park, and single-family houses in vast neighborhoods and suburbs, where you must have a car in order to buy groceries, eat out, or socialize.  -via Digg


Google Acquires Another Company That Makes Smart Glasses

With their ordinary-looking glasses that have “technology that’s there when you need it, gone when you don’t, hidden by design”, Focals by North just might be the smartest glasses in the market, perhaps even better than Google Glass. Still, it wasn’t perfect. The Focals had a lot of issues when it was released, and this resulted in the product not selling well in the market. 

Unlike the tech giant Google, which could probably withstand a failure or two, North isn’t that big of a company. Because their product was a flop in the market, the company’s future was bleak. It was rapidly losing money, and just a month after it released the glasses, it had to lay off 150 employees just to keep itself running.

The Focals were anywhere from $600 to $1,000, depending on your color and prescription needs, and launched in 2019. By all accounts, the company was not doing well before Google bought it. After the January 2019 launch, Focals laid off 150 employees in February 2019, a substantial portion of the "over 400 people" it employed. Josh O'Kane, the reporter who broke the acquisition story for the Toronto-based Globe and Mail, said on Twitter, "We've learned the company likely sold very, very few Focals and was running out of money." The company has planned a Focals 2.0 with a better display and lighter body, but with the Google acquisition, those products are canceled.

Thankfully, the company is in better hands now. But it has been anticlimactic for the company’s CEO.

Google's smart glasses contribution was, of course, the infamous Google Glass, which launched in 2012 and basically shut down as a consumer product about two years later. (North CEO Stephen Lake actually called Google Glass "a massive failure" in a 2019 tech talk. Awkward!)

More details about this over at Ars Technica.

(Image Credit: North/ Ars Technica)


These Were Created By A Neural Network

There has been a growing interest in neural networks recently. Just a few weeks ago, I posted about a neural network which created realistic faces based on the blurry photos it was fed with.

Now, a programmer named Aldo Cortesi has created an even stranger algorithm — one that draws silhouettes for nonexistent animals, some of which look plausible and others which look like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
In a post about the project, Cortesi wrote that he was indeed inspired by algorithms that generate human likenesses.

Check out the photos over at Futurism.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, one of these days, I come across something weirder than these fictional animal silhouettes.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: Futurism)


The Bat-Man

If Tim Burton's Batman were made in 1945, it would be The Bat-Man. YouTuber Journey's End edited together the movie from 1989 with vintage footage and gave it the necessary filters to look somewhat like the 1943 Batman serial, now starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Jack Palance. I'd go see it! -via reddit

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