Filmmaker, photo hound, author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Ransom was a daily contributor to mentalfloss.com for many, many years.
It's crucial that the autocratic leader of an on-the-verge-of-starving population look like he knows what he's doing, lest the people turn against him. One of the top ways that Kim Jong Il seems to do this is by surveying his kingdom, as it were, which also gives the press corps that follows him a chance to publicize the various facilities and natural resources he surveys. This is good because it lets the people know that yes, we have bread factories! And yes, we have fields that grow things! And so... READ ON
Ingeniously combining two of my favorite things, nostalgia for the original Nintendo Entertainment System and indie movies -- specifically, 2007's dark and disturbing There Will Be Blood -- is Super There Will Be Blood! It was created by Tomfoolery for Jameson's Done in 60 Seconds competition, where amateurs compete to make one-minute versions of their favorite movies. I'm betting no one put in more work than these guys, though.
Super There Will Be Blood from Tomfoolery Pictures on... READ ON
There are some pretty amazing Australian films out there, but by and large they're only well-known in their home country. I thought I'd use tonight's Late Movies to share a few of my favorites.
Bad Boy Bubby
This is one of my favorite Australian films, and also one of the weirdest and most disturbing movies I've ever seen. It centers around an abused man-child, the titular Bubby, who was kept indoors and told that outside was poison for the first thirty-something years of his life. When his... READ ON
Americans have never been shy about indulging their vices -- especially during the holidays -- and so to kick off our national week-long, post-Thanksgiving food and alcohol come-down, I thought I'd share these pictures of our forebears smoking, drinking and rollin' doobs. Having a good time is nothing new, and neither is dealing with the morning... READ ON
Whether or not you're a heavy metal fan, you're aware enough of the genre, I'm sure, to know it involves liberal amounts of headbanging on the part of both fans and performers, and -- more specific to death/black metal -- a peculiar kind of long, guttural scream that's apparently words being sung. If you've ever wondered where people came up with these bizarre forms of musical expression, I say to you now: I've found the answer. Look no further than the animal kingdom.
Exhibit A is this angry rooster,... READ ON
People who comment on websites and blogs aren't just a homogeneous mass. On the top of the heap, obviously, you've got mental floss commenters, who are thoughtful and intelligent and generally polite. On the absolute bottom of the heap, you have YouTube commenters. It doesn't matter what the video is, it's pretty much inevitable that someone will chime in with a humdinger like "THIS IS GEY!!!"
Sometimes, though, YouTube commenters get it just right -- and that's why the world has screenshots. One... READ ON
DEFENESTRATION: the act of throwing someone or something out a window. It's an incredibly specific word for an act which has figured large in cinematic history. Tonight, we'll be looking at a variety of defenestrations, both fictional and real. Let's start off with an amazing supercut of defenestrations by Everything is Terrible editor Defenestrator III. I asked him via email what was up with all the window-breaking, and this was his reply:
"Well, you know, the window is like the portal into the... READ ON
There's a movement out there, among a disgruntled faction of parents, which argues that kids in America have been saddled with too much homework. A punishing, make-you-crazy-with-stress, anti-productive amount of homework. It's exactly what kids have been saying for years, but until recently, it seems, no one took them seriously on the matter. Now, in the last few years, there have been several attention-grabbing books written on the subject (The Case Against Homework is one, The Homework Myth: Why Our... READ ON
Remember answering machines? Not the cute little digital numbers we all have today, but the big clunky tape-based jobs of yesteryear? The kind where, if you left them for too long and didn't back up and erase the tape, you'd run out. Filmmaker Mark Craig had an answering machine like that for twenty years, but instead of recording over his old tapes, he saved them. He stumbled across a box of them awhile back -- twenty years of answering machine messages -- and realized that he could construct a sort... READ ON
Before he wrote Jaws, Peter Benchley was a speechwriter for LBJ.