Filmmaker, photo hound, author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Ransom was a daily contributor to mentalfloss.com for many, many years.
While most of us sneak peeks at the footnotes while trying to decipher baffling classics like Finnegan's Wake, we seem to do fine without expertly-annotated copies of In Style. Truth is, we don't know what we're missing. To remedy that, there's Pop Annotations, our weekly column exposing profundities lurking below the surface of today's hit songs. This week we tackle newly-minted supergroup Danity Kane's new single, "Show Stopper."
We in the car, we ride slow
We doin' things that... READ ON
One of the country's most famous hand-made structures, this week's geo-stumper is considered a towering feat of do-it-yourself engineering by some; an ugly, overgrown yard ornament by others. Built over 30 years by an unschooled Italian immigrant with nothing more than a window-washer's tools at his disposal, its 100-foot interlocking spires may be the world's tallest found art piece: they're decorated with rusted bed frames, Bubble-Up cola bottles, sea shells and whatever other pieces of... READ ON
... or an on-the-level workout? Truth is, it's a little of both. While most of us never heard of it before celebs like Carrie-Ann Moss and Jennifer Anniston began dropping the P-bomb in interviews (Moss described her training regimen in prepping for The Matrix: "lots and lots of Pilates") , Pilates has been well known to athletes, especially dancers, for nearly 80 years. Here are some highlights from its colorful history:
"¢ German founder Joseph Pilates had a noble motivation for designing his... READ ON
Meet Jeremy Bentham. One of 18th century England's foremost thinkers, he was by most standards a genius, and by all accounts, a pretty eccentric fella. Despite being one of the most radical liberals of his time -- he advocated the abolition of slavery, seperation of church and state and equal rights for women -- he is best remembered for dreaming up a new kind of prison, the Panopticon. Its design was meant to create a feeling of "invisible omniscience" among the prisoners, who could never be sure... READ ON
While all but the most adept geniuses need annotations to make heads or tails of James Joyce's Ulysses or a molecular biology textbook, most folks seem to do just fine without expertly-annotated copies of Elle Girl. Truth is, they don't know what they're missing. To remedy that, we present Pop Annotations, a weekly column dedicated to exposing the factoidal profundities lurking below the surface of today's hit songs. This week we tackle club-phenom Fergie's infuriatingly... READ ON
What if we told you Ford had condemned the combustion engine as a dirty, noisy thing of the past, and designed a car that ran silently, boasted zero harmful emissions, and could drive 5,000 miles without stopping for a re-charge? Given the difficulty they've had selling trucks and SUVs lately, sounds like a no-brainer, right? In fact, they came up with the idea more than 50 years ago. It was the halcyon days of the atomic age, and Ford's new prototype, the Nucleon, seemed poised to become yesterday's... READ ON
In just a few short days of kitten ownership, I've realized something profound: kittens are totally awesome. Whenever geo-political balderdash threatens to send me into a funk, a quick feline belly-rub is tonic. So in honor of young Nico (pictured at left, between knees), here are a few cat-lovin' facts for you ailurophiles out there:
* Cats are one of the most efficient predators among animals their size. They have been known to hunt over 1,000 different species -- then drag the mangled results... READ ON
Unlike my science-fictional counterparts, I'm not one of those solar-system-wide computer network monoliths, planted by a superintelligent alien civilization and designed to shepherd humanity into its golden age. Nope, I'm just a humble, naturally-occurring slab of rock "“ but at 235 feet tall, I'm among the largest in the world. Anyone care to guess my... READ ON
Or, a lover's guide to meditating upon the transitory nature of material possessions in the undeniable presence of... READ ON
You see the darndest things while stuck in LA traffic -- like this bus ad. It brings to mind Groucho Marx's famous quip: "I don't care to belong to any club that would have me as a member." Especially if that club is the FBI ... and they're taking anyone. According to the AP:
"Hoping to attract up to 4,000 new employees by the end of September, the bureau has launched a major nationwide advertising campaign. It includes television, print and a radio blitz in the Washington area ... [and] other large... READ ON
The Rhodes Scholar program is named for De Beers founder Cecil Rhodes.