The Late Movies: Girl Talk Mashups

I know what you're thinking: yeah, yeah, more mashups. But I promise you, THIS IS DIFFERENT. The guy behind Girl Talk -- a laptop-wielding hipster named Greg -- raises the mashup to an art form. (An extremely danceable art form.) He's released five albums thus far, all available for free, each composed of hundreds and hundreds of clips and samples from pop songs and classic rock and hip-hop and rap and everything in between. Astoundingly, he's never been sued.

I REALLY like this stuff. The latest album, ALL DAY, is all I've listened to while working out for the past month. I've never been able to listen to an album so many times and not get sick of it. It's kind of like the ultimate mixtape, for persons of a certain age and musical persuasion. Girl Talk allows stuck-in-the-90s Pixies-lovers like myself (who also like rap but don't make much of an effort to seek it out) to shake our asses more or less unironically to Beyonce and Miley Cyrus. And that is remarkable.

And now, some songs. Or should I say, "songs," as these three-to-five-minute chunks are each composed of dozens of them. By the way, due to the amount of hardcore rap that's sampled in these tracks, they contain NSFW LANGUAGE.

Coolio and Yo La Tengo -- obviously meant for one another. But it works!

Girl Talk concerts are famously energetic. This video is rotoscoped footage from one of those concerts. Fancy!

Some Jay-Z and Radiohead tracks get married, and have beautiful children.

"No Diggety" and "The Weight" -- a weird combo, but somehow it works.

"Oh No" kicks off the latest album. It's crude, rude, and ... brilliant.

This is a pretty good look at what a live concert is like -- definitely high-energy. They say Greg wraps his laptop in saran wrap and tape to keep the sweat that drips off him during shows from short-circuiting it.

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The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)

For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.


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