Filmmaker, photo hound, author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Ransom was a daily contributor to mentalfloss.com for many, many years.
If there's one thing I like more than mysteries, it's complicated art projects done for seemingly no reason. The Pelican Brief Project has both! So there's an excellent video store in West Los Angeles called Cinefile. One day they found a DVD in the return bin that looked a lot like -- but wasn't quite -- the Julia Roberts thriller The Pelican Brief. Curious, they popped it in their DVD player and discovered that a local band called Candybox Violence had removed the film's soundtrack and replaced it with... READ ON
Along with my post from a few weeks ago about Chinese ghost malls, file this under "weird stories from China." (Maybe I'll start calling them Strange Chinographies?) While the US is gradually adopting organic and non-GMO foods as its nutritional gold standard, Chinese agricultural scientists are genetically modifying cows to produce human breast milk -- or at least, something very like it. They're also modifying cows' DNA to make them "more nutritious," all of which seems to be edging toward the concept... READ ON
I've been thinking about and working on various aspects of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children for so long that it feels like the book came out a long time ago -- but it was only yesterday that it officially hit shelves! It's been a long, peculiar trip. To celebrate, I'm releasing this longer, more peculiar version of the book trailer. If you're so inclined, you can read sample chapters and find out how to order the book here (though it should be in bookstores now, too). Also, yesterday the book... READ ON
When I need to write but I'm having trouble concentrating, or transporting myself into that weird twilight head-space that makes me productive, I turn to music. I'm certain this applies not only to writing work but to lots of other mental tasks as well, but there's something about music that helps shut out the white noise of extraneous thoughts, and streamlines my ideas. That said, it has to be the right kind of music, and though I've been honing my "writing" iTunes playlist for years now, I still can't... READ ON
CASSINI MISSION from cabbas on Vimeo.
Space mission footage can look a little dull and, well, scientific sometimes, but filmmaker Chris Abbas managed to imbue images captured by the Cassini mission with a wonderful sort of lo-fi mystery. He writes:
I truly enjoy outer space. It's absolutely amazing that we now have the ability to send instruments out into the void of the universe to observe all sorts of interesting things. Asteroids! Moons! Planets! Dark matter! This is the perfect opportunity for a... READ ON
Remember last month when I posted all those pictures of abandoned chateaus in Belgium and Luxembourg? Well, the reason I was on the hunt for such places was that I was making the book trailer for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, a book whose plot involves a fair amount of creepy things happening in big, old abandoned houses in remote parts of Europe -- and what better way to capture the atmosphere of the book than to actually go to a place like that? Now, I know what you're thinking, and let... READ ON
THXTHXTHX is a charming blog made up entirely of handwritten thank-you notes, addressed not to people but to objects and ideas and gestures and everyday things that the blog's founder, Leah, is thankful for. In an online landscape dominated by cynicism and sarcasm, it's like a breath of fresh air -- and it's often charming and funny and disarmingly true, as well.
Having lived in my current place for going on five years (a personal record), I can relate to this... READ ON
I love this cover for a fictional (as in does-not-exist fictional) book from comic artist Lucas Adams. Sort of an existential nihilist kids' book -- my favorite... READ ON
My friend Andy was one of the most brilliant visual thinkers I knew in film school, and since graduation a few years ago he's been doing us all proud by making incredible short films and music videos that defy categorization. I wanted to share a few of my favorites here with you. If you're a David Lynch fan or just enjoy stunning, other-worldly imagery, I think you'll dig Andy's work.
DOLL FACE was Andy's breakout film, and it's easy to see why. It asks questions about beauty, about technology, and... READ ON
I'm beginning to feel like Charles Dickens, serializing my novel like this! Actually, it's fun -- I love hearing readers' reactions to discrete chunks of the book, although it sounds like many of you have given up reading for fear of spoiling the book for yourself. But fear not! There are lots of unexpected twists and turns that aren't revealed in this third and final preview chapter, where we're finally introduced to the mysterious, fog-enshrouded island off the coast of Wales where Jacob's grandfather... READ ON
Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty glass.