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8 Unique Magazines I Just Learned About

Despite the Internet age, print publications are still thriving. The magazine racks in stores are filled with a plethora of publications in certain categories (teen, fashion, men's, news, gossip), but other topics are a little more"¦ unusual. After scouring newsstands and trawling the 'net, I'm proud to present 8 really unique magazines.

1. The Magazine for the Blind: Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind

The Ziegler is a 100-year-old monthly that's distributed for free to legally blind people around the world. Published in four formats (contracted braille, cassette, online, and e-mail), the magazine reprints articles culled from 4 national newspapers and 30 magazines. Matilda Ziegler was the benefactress of the magazine; the brilliant idea was conceived by a man named Walter G. Holmes.

2. The Magazine for Haters: The Miserablist

Miserablist.jpg

With the motto "Because Life is S%^," The Miserablist is for those who are anti- everything. The first issue of the student-designed concept magazine won the Magazine Academy competition held by the Periodicals Training Council (UK) and, as the winner, will be printed and distributed. Articles include "Sex is Rubbish" and "I Hate Festivals."

6 more after the jump.

3. The Scented Magazine: LEMON

LEMON.jpgWhile odors waft from the pages of most magazines, the scent of LEMON is not the result of advertisements. The twice-yearly magazine, which blends 60s/70s pop with "21st century hyper-culture," contains specially formatted inserts that "exude the scent of citrus." Adding to the mag's unique take on ubiquitous magazine features is its music coverage, which is done in graphic-novel format, "rendering musicians as comic book heroes."

4. The Oldest Magazine Still in Print: The Scots Magazine

Scots.jpgFirst published in 1739, The Scots has since grown to be the world's most widely read Scottish interest publication. The monthly mag features "the country, the people, the culture" of Scotland with articles on mull weavers, Dumfries races, and golfing. Originally a 48-page news pamphlet, the magazine actually ceased publication at least once, and also changed hands, which leads to some debate over its title as "oldest magazine in continuous publication."

5. The Lost & Found of Magazines: FOUND Magazine

FOUND.jpgA single note discovered on a car windshield spurred an idea that snowballed into FOUND Magazine, Dirty FOUND, books, tours, and a website. The magazine appears on newsstands only once a year, but when it does appear, it's packed with all things found: letters, cards, homework, lists, tickets, napkins, doodles, photos, and more. The more risqué finds appear in the sister mag Dirty FOUND.

5. The Most Ad-Heavy Magazine: Lürzer's Archive

Luerzers Archive.jpgMany readers bemoan the high ad content of popular magazines, but the readers of Lürzer's Archive are actually pleased to find their magazine filled with ads. Why? Lürzer's is a bi-monthly archive of "the best new print campaigns worldwide." Featuring spreads of said ad campaigns, the archive also includes some commentary as well as actual paid advertisements (mostly for designers and photographers). Ringing up at approximately $15/issue, the hefty tomes are also some of the more expensive magazines on the stands.

7. The Magazine for Proud Alcoholics: Modern Drunkard

Modern Drunkard.jpgThis magazine lacks a regular publication schedule, although subscriptions are available. Modern Drunkard has been "standing up for your right to get falling down drunk since 1996" and is staffed by a group of "functional alcoholics." The office includes a bar; typos are common because the proof-readers are "enthusiastic drinkers." Modern Drunkard's layout is modeled after that of men's adventure magazines from the 1950s.

8. The Sneaker Magazine: SNEAKER FREAKER

SNKR FRKR.jpgFour years old, SNEAKER FREAKER was the first international sneaker magazine. It's produced only twice a year, but is available in approximately 25 countries. The magazine covers sneakers, sneakers, and the political climate in Central America sneakers. Plus, anything else sneaker-related. Surprisingly, the magazine contains only a few ads per issue, which is a large part of why each issue costs around $9.

>>Know of any great ones we missed? Predator X-treme? Pro Bull Rider? Be sure to leave 'em in the comments.

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Food
Hate Red M&M's? You Need a Candy Color-Sorting Machine
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iStock

You don’t have to be a demanding rock star to live a life without brown M&M's or purple Skittles—all you need is some engineering know-how and a little bit of free time.

Mechanical engineering student Willem Pennings created a machine that can take small pieces of candy—like M&M's, Skittles, Reese’s Pieces, etc.—and sort them by color into individual piles. All Pennings needs to do is pour the candy into the top funnel; from there, the machine separates the candy—around two pieces per second—and dispenses all of it into smaller bowls at the bottom designated for each variety.

The color identification is performed with an RGB sensor that takes “optical measurements” of candy pieces of equal dimensions. There are limitations, though, as Pennings revealed in a Reddit Q&A: “I wouldn't be able to use this machine for peanut M&M's, since the sizes vary so much.”

The entire building process lasted from May through December 2016, and included the actual conceptualization, 3D printing (which was outsourced), and construction. The entire project was detailed on Pennings’s website and Reddit's DIY page.

With all of the motors, circuitry, and hardware that went into it, Pennings’s machine is likely too ambitious of a task for the average candy aficionado. So until a machine like this hits the open market, you're probably stuck buying bags of single-colored M&M’s in bulk online or sorting all of the candy out yourself the old fashioned way.

To see Pennings’s machine in action, check out the video below:

[h/t Refinery 29]

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Pop Culture
The Strange Hidden Link Between Silent Hill and Kindergarten Cop
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

by Ryan Lambie

At first glance, Kindergarten Cop and Silent Hill don't seem to have much in common—aside from both being products of the 1990s. At the beginning of the decade came Kindergarten Cop, the hit comedy directed by Ivan Reitman and starring larger-than-life action star Arnold Schwarzenegger. At the decade’s end came Silent Hill, Konami’s best-selling survival horror game that sent shivers down PlayStation owners’ spines.

As pop culture artifacts go, they’re as different as oil and water. Yet eagle-eyed players may have noticed a strange hidden link between the video game and the goofy family comedy.

In Silent Hill, you control Harry Mason, a father hunting for his daughter Cheryl in the eerily deserted town of the title. Needless to say, the things Mason uncovers are strange and very, very gruesome. Early on in the game, Harry stumbles on a school—Midwich Elementary School, to be precise—which might spark a hint of déjà vu as soon as you approach its stone steps. The building’s double doors and distinctive archway appear to have been taken directly from Kindergarten Cop’s Astoria Elementary School.

Could it be a coincidence?

Well, further clues can be found as you venture inside. As well as encountering creepy gray children and other horrors, you’ll notice that its walls are decorated with numerous posters. Some of those posters—including a particularly distinctive one with a dog on it—also decorated the halls of the school in Kindergarten Cop.

Do a bit more hunting, and you’ll eventually find a medicine cabinet clearly modeled on one glimpsed in the movie. Most creepily of all, you’ll even encounter a yellow school bus that looks remarkably similar to the one in the film (though this one has clearly seen better days).

Silent Hill's references to the movie are subtle—certainly subtle enough for them to pass the majority of players by—but far too numerous to be a coincidence. When word of the link between game and film began to emerge in 2012, some even joked that Konami’s Silent Hill was a sequel to Kindergarten Cop. So what’s really going on?

When Silent Hill was in early development back in 1996, director Keiichiro Toyama set out to make a game that was infused with influences from some of his favorite American films and TV shows. “What I am a fan of is occult stuff and UFO stories and so on; that and I had watched a lot of David Lynch films," he told Polygon in 2013. "So it was really a matter of me taking what was on my shelves and taking the more horror-oriented aspects of what I found.”

A scene from 'Silent Hill'
Divine Tokyoska, Flickr

In an interview with IGN much further back, in 2001, a member of Silent Hill’s staff also stated, “We draw our influences from all over—fiction, movies, manga, new and old.”

So while Kindergarten Cop is perhaps the most outlandish movie reference in Silent Hill, it’s by no means the only one. Cafe5to2, another prominent location in the game, is taken straight from Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers.

Elsewhere, you might spot a newspaper headline which references The Silence Of The Lambs (“Bill Skins Fifth”). Look carefully, and you'll also find nods to such films as The Shining, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, and 12 Monkeys.

Similarly, the town’s streets are all named after respected sci-fi and horror novelists, with Robert Bloch, Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury, and Richard Matheson among the most obvious. Oh, and Midwich, the name of the school? That’s taken from the classic 1957 novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, twice adapted for the screen as The Village Of The Damned in 1960 and 1995.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in 'Kindergarten Cop'
Universal Pictures

The reference to Kindergarten Cop could, therefore, have been a sly joke on the part of Silent Hill’s creators—because what could be stranger than modeling something in a horror game on a family-friendly comedy? But there could be an even more innocent explanation: that Kindergarten Cop spends so long inside an ordinary American school simply gave Toyama and his team plenty of material to reference when building their game.

Whatever the reasons, the Kindergarten Cop reference ranks highly among the most strange and unexpected film connections in the history of the video game medium. Incidentally, the original movie's exteriors used a real school, John Jacob Astor Elementary in Astoria, Oregon. According to a 1991 article in People Magazine, the school's 400 fourth grade students were paid $35 per day to appear in Kindergarten Cop as extras.

It’s worth pointing out that the school is far less scary a place than the video game location it unwittingly inspired, and to the best of our knowledge, doesn't have an undercover cop named John Kimble serving as a teacher there, either.

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