CLOSE
Original image

The Quick 10: 10 Altered Images

Original image

It’s all over the news this week – Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram decided to do a little Photoshopping on what should have been a rather benign picture. But it’s far from the first time a picture has been doctored for political reasons. Here are 10 of them (OK, nine – you’ll see why when you get to #10).

1. It was a pretty straightforward event: President Barack Obama, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Barack Obama, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and King Abdullah II of Jordan were walking down a hall to a meeting. But when Al-Ahram ran the picture in their newspaper, they moved the players around so that Mubarak was leading the pack instead of Obama.

2. If you crossed Joseph Stalin, he had you deleted. Literally. In 1920, Lenin was speaking to members of the Red Army and was accompanied by his pals Leon Trotsky and Lev Kamenev. When Stalin took power, he had his rivals obliterated from the picture (they were standing to his left on the stairs to the podium) so the public wouldn’t think Trotsky and Kamenev had Lenin’s support.

3. Mao Tse-tung did the same thing to people who fell out of favor with him. In this picture, taken in 1936, Po Ku was wiped clean out after he and Mao stopped seeing entirely eye-to-eye.

4. I guess if you were supposed to be a powerful man, you might be embarrassed that someone had to hold the horse you sat astride like you were riding a pony at a petting zoo. Mussolini was; that’s why he had the horse handler removed from this famous picture.

5. This case of Photoshopping did exactly the opposite of what it was trying to do. After reports surfaced that Kim Jong-il was in poor health, the photo to the left was published to show that he was clearly alive and thriving, hanging out with a unit of North Korean soldiers. But the white riser directly behind him is suspiciously different than the riser behind everyone else in the front row.

6. If you’re trying to conceal the identity of someone in a picture, it’s usually best to use a head that doesn’t belong to a person who is standing three feet away from the person you’re trying to hide. Confused? Here’s the story – the director of Spain’s National Intelligence Center was accused of going on pricey fishing trips using taxpayer money. To counter the attack, the director himself released a picture from one of the trips in question to say, “See? I wasn’t there.” The problem? There’s only a handful of men in the picture, and one of them appears twice. See this lazy Photoshop job for yourself.

7. Even Honest Abe is subject to a bit of photo doctoring. In this famous picture of him, you’re only seeing Lincoln’s head. The body actually belonged to John Calhoun, Vice President under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.

8. During his 2004 presidential campaign, President Bush released an ad that showed a small child in the foreground, waving a little American flag. In front of him, soldiers stood stoically. In fact, some of the soldiers stood several times. It was later discovered that the original image showed Bush at a podium in front of the assemblage. When he was removed from the picture, the photo editor simply reused a section of soldiers to fill in the gap. When his campaign was called out for doctoring the image, a new photo was released.

9. To this day, we’re not totally sure why Hitler had right-hand-man Joseph Goebbels removed from this picture. We just know that the person who did his photo retouching did a terrible job.

10. OK, this one isn’t exactly historic or political, but it’s so blatant I couldn’t help but include it. That’s Oprah’s head, obviously, but the body was stolen from Ann Margaret. Worst. Photoedit. Ever.

Original image
iStock
10 Sweet Facts About Candy Canes
Original image
iStock

The sweet and striped shepherd’s hooks can be found just about everywhere during the holiday season. It's time you learned a thing or two (or 10) about them.

1. THEY’VE BEEN AROUND SINCE THE 17TH CENTURY.

While the origins of the candy cane are a bit murky, legend has it that they first appeared in hooked form around 1670. Candy sticks themselves were pretty common, but they really took shape when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany got the bright idea of twisting them to look like shepherd’s hooks. He then handed them out to kids during church services to keep them quiet.

2. A GERMAN IMMIGRANT BROUGHT THE TRADITION TO THE STATES.

It’s no surprise, then, that it was a German immigrant who introduced the custom to America. The first reference we can find to the tradition stateside is 1847, when August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decked his home out with the sugary fare.

3. THEY HAVEN’T ALWAYS BEEN STRIPED.

Candy canes without the red don’t seem nearly as cheery, do they? But that’s how they were once made: all white. We’re not really sure who or exactly when the scarlet stripe was added, but we do know that images on cards before the 1900s show snow white canes.

4. THEY’RE A (RELATIVELY) VIRTUOUS HOLIDAY TREAT.

Most candy canes are around five inches long, containing only about 50 calories and no fat or cholesterol.

5. THEY DON’T ALWAYS FIT ON A CHRISTMAS TREE.

The world’s largest candy cane was built by Geneva, Illinois chef Alain Roby in 2012.  It was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar, and was eventually smashed up with a hammer so people could take home a piece.

6. EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN WAY OF EATING THEM.

Fifty-four percent of kids suck on candy canes, compared to the 24 percent who just go right for the big crunch. As you may have been able to guess, of those surveyed, boys were nearly twice as likely to be crunchers.

7. MORE THAN A BILLION ARE MADE EACH YEAR.

According to the National Confectioners Association, about 1.2 billion candy canes are made annually, and 90 percent of those are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Which honestly begs the question: Who’s buying the 10 percent in the off season?

8. A PRIEST PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN THE CANDY’S MOVE TO MASS PRODUCTION.

Bobs (that’s right; no apostrophe) Candies was the first company to really hang its hat on the sweet, striped hook. Lt. Bob McCormack began making candy canes for his kids in the 1920s, and they were such a hit he decided to start mass-producing them. With the help of his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller (and his invention, the Keller Machine), McCormack was eventually able to churn out millions of candy canes a day.

9. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN (ODDLY-TIMED) HOLIDAY.

December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. Go figure.

10. THE PROCESS FOR MAKING THEM BY HAND IS MESMERIZING.

Here’s how they make candy canes at Disneyland—it’s a painstaking (and beautiful) technique.

Original image
MoviePilot.com
10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Films
Original image
MoviePilot.com

1. Sylvester Stallone, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Sly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his film career. Despite co-starring with the delightful Estelle Getty as the titular violence-prone mother, Stallone knows just how bad the film was:

"I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes."

2. Alec Guinness, Star Wars.

By the time he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, Guinness had already appeared in cinematic classics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations and Lawrence of Arabia. During production, Guinness is reported to have said the following:

"Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young."

The insane amount of fame he won for the role as the wise old Jedi master took him somewhat by surprise and, ultimately, annoyed him. In his autobiography A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, Guinness recalls a time he encountered an autograph-seeking fan who boasted to him about having watched Star Wars more than 100 times. In response, Guinness agreed to provide the boy an autograph under the condition that he promise never to watch the film again.

3. Bob Hoskins, Super Mario Brothers. He was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. As far as I’m concerned, Bob Hoskins is forgiven for Super Mario Bros. Hoskins, though, doesn’t seem to be able to forgive himself. Last year the Guardian spoke with the veteran actor about his career and he summed up his feelings rather succinctly:

What is the worst job you've done?
Super Mario Brothers.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Super Mario Brothers.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.

4. George Clooney, Batman & Robin. Sure, Batman & Robin made money. But by every other imaginable measure, the film was a complete failure, and a nightmare to the vast majority of the Caped Crusader’s most fervent fanatics. Star George Clooney recognized what a stinker he helped create and once plainly stated, “I think we might have killed the franchise.”

5. David Cross, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. When actors have a movie out, it's customary that they publicize the film by saying nice things about it. Earlier this year David Cross took a different approach. When it came to describing his new film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the veteran comedian — better known for Mr. Show and Arrested Development — went on Conan and called the film a “big commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines” and told people not to go see it.

6. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up. Judd Apatow’s unplanned pregnancy comedy was a huge hit and helped cement her status as a bankable film actress. After the film’s release, however, Heigl didn’t have all good things to say. In fact, what she specifically said about it was that the film was:

"…A little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”

7. Charlize Theron, Reindeer Games. The 2000 action film Reindeer Games starred Ben Affleck, Gary Sinese and Charlize Theron and was directed by John Frankenheimer. But it all somehow failed to come together. In the end the film lost a lot of money and compiled a wealth of negative reviews – including one from its star actress who simply said, “Reindeer Games was not a good movie.”

8. Mark Wahlberg, The Happening. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t exactly seem like a guy who lives his life afraid of trees. But that is the odd position M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 film The Happening put him in. Wahlberg, as it turns out, doesn’t look back too fondly on the film. He went on record during a press conference for The Fighter when he described a conversation with a fellow actor:

"We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie and it was a bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to … I don’t want to tell you what movie … alright “The Happening.” F*** it. It is what it is. F***ing trees, man. The plants. F*** it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook."

9. John Cusack, Better Off Dead. John Cusack reportedly hated his cult 80s comedy so much that he walked out of the screening and later told the film’s director Steve Holland that Better Off Dead was "the worst thing I have ever seen" and he would "never trust you as a director again."

10 Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is considered a classic and has delighted many generations of fans. But the film's own lead actor, Christopher Plummer, didn't always sing its praises. Mr. Von Trapp himself declined to participate in a 2005 film reunion and, according to one acquaintance, has referred to the film as The Sound of Mucus.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios