Filmmaker, photo hound, author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Ransom was a daily contributor to mentalfloss.com for many, many years.
What? You don't have a frat boy in you? Well, you might get a kick out of Brian McGackin's (AKA the "Broet Laureate's") slender-but-fun volume of poems anyway. They include gems like this, a bro-tastic send-up of William Carlos Williams' "This is Just to Say" --
I have finished
that was in
you were probably
this girl came over
and so hot
Broems, McGackin told NPR, are poems for people who don't usually like... READ ON
With all this talk of debt, currency devaluation, plummeting markets and creditworthiness, I've lately had visions dancing in my head of dollar bills being flushed down toilets and fed through shredders. Which got me wondering: what happens to our money -- our actual, physical money -- when it gets worn out?
Turns out, some bills wear out faster than others. The dollar bill has the shortest lifespan of all the bills, because it gets the most handling. The average life expectancy of a buck is just... READ ON
As an American, sometimes it's tough to know which commonly-used words and phrases are particular to America, and sound strange in other parts of the world. There was a fascinating round-up of "Americanisms" on this BBC blog the other day, and I wanted to share a few here. Some I find surprising -- what, you guys don't say that? -- and others irritate me as much as the Brits.
• I hear more and more people pronouncing the letter Z as "zee". Not happy about it! - Ross, London
Can't help you there,... READ ON
Sick Mick and the Boys is a feature-length documentary that's been in the works for a few years now, directed and shot by some buddies of mine from film school. And what they've got so far looks great. It's got everything I look for in documentaries: the desert, crazy people wrestling with their demons, and rocket-propelled motorcycles.
See? Amazing characters, drama, and beautiful to look at. I hope you can help 'em kickstart their project (or kickfinish it, as the case may be) -- a few... READ ON
As far as we know, a Liberian man named Alfred Sirleaf is the world's only analog blogger. In the heart of the capitol of a country where most people don't have Internet access and can't afford a daily newspaper, Sirleaf curates the Daily Talk, which is written on a chalkboard along a busy road. According to the New York Times, it's the most widely-read report -- digital or analog -- in the capitol, Monrovia. VBS.tv sent a reporter of their own to talk to Mr. Sirleaf, and they filed this report, and the... READ ON
Today I'm going to be signing copies of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children at San Diego's Comic-Con, so if you happen to be one of the happy mutants that managed to snag a ticket, please stop by and say hello! I'll be at the Quirk Books booth -- number 1636 -- from... READ ON
I've been hanging out over at English Russia a lot recently, and I came across an archive of Russian propaganda posters. I'd wager that Russia has historically been the world's most prolific producer of posters like this, so there's lots to choose from and cherry-pick when looking for creepy stuff. (Though not so creepy that I wouldn't consider framing some of them, if I could find high-res versions.) The translations come from the editors of English Russia, and may or may not be complete -- or... READ ON
Anyone growing up in the 80s likely has vivid and fond memories of Rick Moranis' role as the hapless and self-deprecating Louis Tully in Ghostbusters, or perhaps as the dad in Honey I Shrunk the Kids or the fur-hatted Canadian funnyman from SCTV. But with speculation brewing about the ghostbusters reprising their roles in a new sequel, people have started to wonder, hey, what happened to Rick Moranis? A guy on the Internet even wrote a song about it:
The short answer is: he retired in 1997. He... READ ON
3-D technology has been around in one form or another for a very long time. It was fairly common even around the time of the Civil War, in what were known as stereoview pictures -- two photos of the same scene taken from slightly different perspectives (that difference corresponding, more or less, to the distance between your right and left eye) that, when viewed together with a stereoviewer, would trick your brain into resolving the two pictures into a single 3-D image. The stereoview cards looked like... READ ON
I guess I thought painting was the one art form that was immune from the mashup -- of course, I was proved wrong years ago, by the cover art for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies -- but now it seems that things have gone a step further. John Constable's Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden is a pleasant-enough scene, rendered in muted tones and subtle brushstrokes that almost evoke the sound of a light breeze blowing through the tall trees in the foreground. Of course, it lacks a distinct air of... READ ON
Above the Supreme Court is a basketball court—"The Highest Court in the Land."