Filmmaker, photo hound, author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Ransom was a daily contributor to mentalfloss.com for many, many years.
This week, Floss' senior annotator warms the bench while the Old Prospector tries his hand at a little pop cultural deconstruction. From his unhealthy obsession with precious metals to his impenetrably filth-laden colloquialisms, who better to tackle an anachronistic annotation of ghetto ingenue Li'l Romeo's new single? Let's get it started!
Are you serious, man?
They must not know who I be!
We got tha hood pressure in tha buildin'!
Are ya pullin' my donkey's... READ ON
If the trend-setting Hiltons are involved, the Next Big Thing can't be far. In this case, it's not record albums, reality shows or fragrance lines they're planning, but something more along the lines of what they're traditionally known for: a hotel. In this case, a hotel in space.
"British Airways are also said to want to become involved in the project. Under consideration is a survey of BA and Hilton customers asking them if they would like to take a holiday in space. They would be asked if they... READ ON
How much can you know about a country from looking at its parking lots? Plenty, says filmmaker and self-proclaimed anthropologist of the American parking lot Jeff Krulik, who has spent twenty years treating them like cultural barometers. He started digging in 1986 with the now-classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot, in which he perfectly captures the hair-metal zeitgeist by asking an arena parking lot full of Judas Priest taligaters three simple questions: "What's your name?" "Where are you from?" "Does Priest... READ ON
Now that swearing like a pirate has jumped the shark, isn't it time we exhumed another subgenre of anachronistic curse words? To save us all from another "scurvy dogs" joke -- one more and I will walk the bloody plank -- I humbly propose replacing all naughty pirate jargon with crusty old-prospector talk, which is just as colorful, if not more expletive-laced. But this time, let's be smart about it -- nerdy, even -- and figure out from whence they came before we start throwing them around willy-nilly.... READ ON
Even if you slept through Philosophy 101, you've probably heard of the mind-body problem: thunk-up by Plato and riffed-upon by Rene "I Think Therefore I am" Descartes, it contends that the mind/soul is distinct and seperate from the body, and capable of maintaining a seperate existence from it. So what's the problem? Turns out, according to neurologist Oliver Sacks and our friends at Damn Interesting, that sometimes they can be a little too seperate.
Known as Proprioception Deficit Disorder -- or, in... READ ON
After today, I'm imposing a self-moratorium on blogs about monkeys and the internet, despite the many letters, text messages and e-cards I've received urging me to continue mining this admittedly deep vein. (Thank you, faceless Blogospherians, I am humbled by your enthusiasm.) But this, I just had to share. Many of you may be aware of the little website that could: YouTube. For those of you who are not, YouTube is a video hosting website that
Was only started in December 2005, but is already... READ ON
Michael Moore's got nothin' on these guys. Brit network Channel 4 has just inked a deal with American distributors to release Death of a President, which uses CGI and preexisting footage of our own G. Dubya to construct a fictional account of his assassination. (Apparently they digitally grafted the prez's face onto an actor's body. Reminds me of a French woman.) Sure to ignite a firestorm of controversy -- in fact, its producers are counting on it -- the story has Dick Cheney taking office in Bush's... READ ON
If you haven't heard of Lonelygirl15 yet, crawl out from underneath that virtual rock. Beguiling video blogger and supposed naif LonelyGirl has been called "the Mona Lisa of YouTube," and her blogs -- around thirty of them since early summer -- have been viewed millions upon millions of times (that's, like, finale of 'Seinfeld' big, for you Nielsen ratings nerds out there). So what hooked everyone? There are differing theories (I'll leave out the ones about Scientology and mind-control) but the simplest... READ ON
Forgive me if today I blog about something a little more serious, and somewhat less _Flossy, than usual. It was exactly five years ago that I packed everything I owned into a station wagon and left home for good. This is a short piece remembering 9/11's less infamous but for me no less momentous neighbor, 9/12, accompanied by photographs I took along the... READ ON
Can one person really change the world? The answer, claims Princeton's parapsychological Global Consciousness Project, is no. At least, not just by thinking about it. But results of recent experiments by the GCP hint that the combined mental energy of millions may indeed have some impact upon world events. After measuring the readouts from random number generators stationed all over the world for the past seven years, the group found spikes of decidedly non-random activity surrounding a number of... READ ON
Pepsi-Cola was originally called “Brad’s Drink.”