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How To Drive A Tank

Driving a tank is every destructive little child's personal goal. But with age comes maturity, and with maturity comes the realization that getting a hold of one of these puppies is going to be a little difficult. For all those tankophiles who just aren't ready to make a personal commitment to the U.S. military, we offer the following tips for getting yourself behind the wheel:

Check Your Neighbors' Mail
It may seem a bit hopeless, but the key is to not be fooled by misleading labels. After all, what are the chances that the Johnsons are really getting a 3,500-ton package of Belgian chocolates? This lesson would have come in mighty handy to the German army in 1915, when the first British tanks were shipped over to join the World War I combat in France. Developed by the British Navy and originally christened "land ships," the new weapons were sent by train to the front lines. Fearing those trains might fall into enemy hands, the British labeled the crates "TANKS," disguising them as large cisterns being sent to the apparently parched Russian army. Very sneaky. In fact, the British turned out to be too sneaky for their own good. Because of the secrecy surrounding the tank's development, only key Navy officials had any real working knowledge of the new weapon. Meanwhile, the men leading the Army infantry divisions that were actually supposed to work with the tanks didn't know what to do with them or how to use them in battle. The result: foot soldiers and their tank units often ended up separated, allowing the German army to pick them off individually.

Try Amazon.com
Say you wanted to combine the thrill of tank driving with the social experience of a really good kegger, then what? In 2002, a California design firm came up with the perfect solution: the JL421 Badonkadonk—an 1100-pound armored vehicle with roomy plush interior, killer hot rod lighting, and a state-of-the-art sound system. Although normally focused on graphics and furniture design, NAO Design put together the prototype Badonkadonk as a publicity gimmick, formally launching it at the August 2002 Burning Man Festival after several trial runs around the Stanford University party scene. More productive uses have since been discovered; the "Donk" is used by the Stanford Band drum section to transport heavy equipment (and intimidate rival teams) on game days and in 2005, the designers added a pyrotechnic system—including flamethrowers (which we assume to be very useful). Sadly, though it can pull 40 m.p.h., the vehicle isn't street legal. But, NAO Design has yet to sell one of these bad boys, so there's still a chance to be the first kid in your block (nay, hemisphere) to own one. One Badonkadonk will set you back $20,000 on Amazon.com, shipping and handling not included.

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travel
The Real Bay of Pigs: Big Major Cay in the Bahamas
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iStock

When most people visit the Bahamas, they’re thinking about a vacation filled with sun, sand, and swimming—not swine. But you can get all four of those things if you visit Big Major Cay.

Big Major Cay, also now known as “Pig Island” for obvious reasons, is part of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. Exuma includes private islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and David Copperfield. Despite all of the local star power, the real attraction seems to be the family of feral pigs that has established Big Major Cay as their own. It’s hard to say how many are there—some reports say it’s a family of eight, while others say the numbers are up to 40. However big the band of roaming pigs is, none of them are shy: Their chief means of survival seems to be to swim right up to boats and beg for food, which the charmed tourists are happy to provide (although there are guidelines about the best way of feeding the pigs).

No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but there are plenty of theories. Among them: 1) A nearby resort purposely released them more than a decade ago, hoping to attract tourists. 2) Sailors dropped them off on the island, intending to dine on pork once they were able to dock for a longer of period of time. For one reason or another, the sailors never returned. 3) They’re descendants of domesticated pigs from a nearby island. When residents complained about the original domesticated pigs, their owners solved the problem by dropping them off at Big Major Cay, which was uninhabited. 4) The pigs survived a shipwreck. The ship’s passengers did not.

The purposeful tourist trap theory is probably the least likely—VICE reports that the James Bond movie Thunderball was shot on a neighboring island in the 1960s, and the swimming swine were there then.

Though multiple articles reference how “adorable” the pigs are, don’t be fooled. One captain warns, “They’ll eat anything and everything—including fingers.”

Here they are in action in a video from National Geographic:

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Pop Culture
The House From The Money Pit Is For Sale

Looking for star-studded new digs? For a cool $5.9 million, Top10RealEstateDeals.com reports, you can own the Long Island country home featured in the 1986 comedy The Money Pit—no renovations required.

For the uninitiated, the film features Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as hapless first-time homeowners who purchase a rundown mansion for cheap. The savings they score end up being paltry compared to the debt they incur while trying to fix up the house.

The Money Pit featured exterior shots of "Northway," an eight-bedroom estate located in the village of Lattingtown in Nassau County, New York. Luckily for potential buyers, its insides are far nicer than the fictional ones portrayed in the movie, thanks in part to extensive renovations performed by the property’s current owners.

Amenities include a giant master suite with a French-style dressing room, eight fireplaces, a "wine wall," and a heated outdoor saltwater pool. Check out some photos below, or view the entire listing here.

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

[h/t Top10RealEstateDeals.com]

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