Filmmaker, photo hound, author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Ransom was a daily contributor to mentalfloss.com for many, many years.
A few months ago I posted a delightful short film by Studiocanoe, about his job as a projectionist, and how esoteric and precious his endangered profession had become. Now here's another of his films, equally delightful, about how he and a dozen of his friends lived in an empty hospital in the center of London for nine months, and managed to make such a bizarre, sterile place feel like home. They called it "the homespital." Having photographed a few abandoned hospitals in my day, it's difficult to... READ ON
At this point, I think there's a Star Wars-themed product for just about everything, but here's one you might not have seen -- a throw rug designed to look like a Wampa, the terrifying creatures that occupy the ice planet Hoth. (As if I needed to explain that.) The good news is, it's plush, fits right in front of your bathroom sink so you won't have to freeze your toes while brushing your teeth on chilly mornings, and I'm told he doesn't... READ ON
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that NIrvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was one of the most popular, if not *the* most popular, song of the grunge era. It became the anthem for that generation -- even if the lyrics were mostly unintelligible -- and in the last few years it seems to have graduated into a whole new level of classic-anthem-hood, one in which everybody is rushing to cover it. Here are some of the best, weirdest, and worst covers of "Teen Spirit." But I warn you: once you listen to... READ ON
Jem Cohen is one of the pioneers of "experimental" documentary -- or "punk rock" doc, if you prefer -- and has spent his filmmaking career solidly outside the mainstream, working on shoestring budgets, making these very edgy, personal, lyrical films that don't feel quite like anything else out there. Coming up in the 70s and early 80s, one of the reasons he's called "punk rock" so often is that he claims that ethos as an inspiration, but also because he's been associated with a great many musicians and... READ ON
This rather blows my mind. I'm not sure how Hank and his computer genius friend pulled it off, but after soliciting the help from thousands of his writer brother's fans for this birthday surprise, Hank was able to create a composite video of himself and more than a thousand other people, all saying the exact same words at the same speed while making the same (slightly exaggerated) gestures with their hands. (Well, I have *some* idea of how they did it, but I have no idea how it didn't take literally a... READ ON
If you ever wondered what the coolest lake in the world is, wonder no more. It's called Lake Vostok, and it's in Antarctica. Actually, it's under Antarctica -- four kilometers below its icy surface -- making it not only the coolest lake, but the coldest, too, and likely the most isolated. Russian scientists have been drilling toward it since the 1990s, but drilling was stopped for eight years in 1998 over fears about contamination. According to Wired, the lake is "unique in that it's been completely... READ ON
In this short-but-sweet TED talk, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington talks about how she discovered the importance of sleep: by fainting from exhaustion a couple of years ago, hitting her face on her desk, breaking her cheekbone, and needing a bunch of stitches. She also talks about the insidious idea in our culture that being sleep-deprived is a kind of status symbol -- as if people who get seven or eight hours of sleep a night have lives that are emptier or less important or less connected than... READ ON
You can tell a lot about a society from its stock images. Not what the society is really like, but how it likes to perceive itself. Take, for instance, the pervasiveness of one particular genre of stock image, Woman Laughing Alone With Salad. Here are but two... READ ON
We've had an unprecedented amount of rain here in Los Angeles lately, and it's making people weird. It takes months of sunless days to affect people in Portland or Seattle, but just a week or two gets Angelenos down in the dumps. Aside from the flooding and mudslides, the rain has had other transformative effects on my city -- one of which is that, at night at least, it's kind of beautiful. So I grabbed my camera and got some shots of it, and made this little video about the rain. Featuring a... READ ON
Okay, I'm aware that this show is nothing but poofy tabloid-culture nonsense, but I Get That A Lot is kind of a guilty pleasure. It's a reality prank show about celebrities who assume "regular" jobs and pose as "regular" folks -- without doing very much to disguise their faces, etc -- and when people ask them if they're XYZ celeb, they're supposed to say "I get that a lot." Which they do. And it's delightful!
Snoop Dogg is so giant and weird-looking that there's no way people won't recognize him,... READ ON
There was a third Apple founder. Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake for $800 in 1976.