Filmmaker, photo hound, author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Ransom was a daily contributor to mentalfloss.com for many, many years.
I live in Los Angeles, but for the most part I stick to reading the New York Times. I only pick up (or click over to) the LA Times when I want to find out what heinous crimes have gone down in my immediate vicinity recently. I can usually count on a corpse or two in the Venice Canals, troupes of campers killed by mudslides in the hills (this happened on Christmas Day in 2003), or that most American of urban crimes, the ever-dependable drive-by.
But when I flipped open the local rag a few days ago, I... READ ON
You can buy just about everything on Amazon.com these days: books, toys, gardening tools, $40,000 personal isolation chambers. Anything! In fact, the variety of buying options on Amazon is so great -- and so strange -- that I'm fairly certain some of its listings are fake, planted by prank-happy internet trolls, the descriptions to many of which include instructions like "DO NOT PURCHASE!" -- and they are hilarious.
Parent-Child Testing Product
I have no idea what the parent-child testing product,... READ ON
For me growing up, the holidays were all about sitting around and wondering when food was happening while my older male relatives watched sports on TV. And while golf more than anything tends to bore the heck out of me, I couldn't help but be more-than-mildly impressed at this little stunt, performed by some of the top stars of the European Tour, in the desert sands just outside Dubai. For the man who eventually hits the pigeon, it's like Christmas came... READ ON
Unless you've lived in the South Pacific or are a big fan of Terrence Malick's war epic The Thin Red Line, which featured a few of these songs, chances are you probably haven't heard a lot of Melanesian choral music. Well, it's time to change that. It's entirely a capella, and there's something so warm and giant and soulful about it that listening to this stuff puts me in a kind of happy trance. Give it a listen and see if you don't agree. Be sure and turn those speakers up!
And a slower, more... READ ON
Some of you might be wondering why it's been a few weeks since there's been an installment of Talking Pictures. It's not, as a few have speculated, because I ran out of material -- but because we've been talking to publishers! Now that it's official, I'm thrilled to announce that HarperCollins has picked up the rights to the book, and it'll be coming out sometime in the latter half of 2011! (I'd like to take this opportunity to say WOOHOO!) I'd also like to give a big THANK YOU to all of our readers,... READ ON
In case you missed it, last weekend's Project for Awesome was an incredible and sort of unprecedented outpouring of activism on behalf of (what seemed like) the entire YouTube community. Spearheaded by John and Hank Green, it galvanized hundreds of YouTubers to make videos advocating for their favorite charities (I made one too), raised over $100,000 dollars by raffling off weirdo prizes like John Green's nerd glasses or a personalized song from ChatRoulette piano improv dude Merton, and culminated with a... READ ON
Tis the season, and if you're like a lot of gift-buyers out there, Dad is both the easiest and the hardest family member to shop for -- sure, you can always get him golf clubs or bottles of fancy booze, but which ones? I might not know a nine-iron from a putter, but I do know a few things about whiskey. Here are five tasty ideas for boozy gifts this season, with reviews from my whiskey club's excellent website (or you can skip right to our database of thousands of whiskey reviews).
Parker's Heritage... READ ON
Four years ago, John and Hank Green decided they were going to "take over" YouTube for charity. The result was the first Project for Awesome, in which hundreds of people made videos advocating for their favorite charities (I made this one) and an army of like-minded folk rated and commented upon them tirelessly until they reached several of YouTube's front pages. At one point, befuddled YouTube employees noted that more than half of their "most commented" videos of the day were these... READ ON
Just when it seemed like advertisers had thought of everything, something new comes along. This short video describes how an ad firm used a commercial to burn the BMW logo into viewer's retinas -- without even showing it on screen. They achieved this remarkable (and kind of 1984 scary) effect by flashing the logo from behind the screen with a light so bright that when the viewers closed their eyes, they'd still be able to see the after-image. Kind of like when you look at the sun and close your eyes.... READ ON
These SuperCuts videos are getting crazier and crazier. I can't imagine the time it must've taken to put this together -- clips from every major (American) movie released this year -- and it looks great. It's also an interesting way to take stock of the year in (mostly American) film. Has it been a good year? What have we been watching? From the looks of it, a lot of explosions and cool FX-heavy action sequences, a few notable performances from the likes of Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), and a... READ ON
At the Wife Carrying World Championships in Finland, first prize is the wife’s weight in beer.