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7 Secret Passageways & Hidden Doors

1. Wardrobe Hidden Playroom

Like something straight our of Narnia, this wardrobe is actually a secret entrance to a playroom. The owner of the house had the wardrobe and figured he might as well add a touch of magic to the house for a pretty amazing result.

2. Home Theater Ticket Booth Hidden Door

Do you like  unique hidden doors and cool home theaters? Well this one is orderable from Creative Building Resources. CBR's elaborate hidden door features a programmable, scrolling LED sign built into the top of the frame, while the interior of the hidden door functions like your traditional ticket booth. For those who intend to staff the ticket booth, or at least fill it with a costume-draped dummy, the interior is accessed through a full sized cabinet door at the back.

3. Victorian Façade Hidden Garage

Not sure about your neighborhood, but mine has strict codes about what you can and cannot do to the facade under our historic preservation laws. Same in San Fran. By hiding the space behind a retractable facade indistinguishable from the rest of the historic Victorian apartment house, theses owners were able to avoid running afoul of the city planning department strict appearance codes.
Here's how it works:

4. Bookcase Hidden Door

The bookcase, holding rows of books, a stuffed dachshund and a volleyball, silently swings outward, revealing a tiny, well-lit study room.

5. Painted Wall Hidden Door

This one speaks for itself, I'd say.

6. Staircase Hidden Door

7. Mat Hidden Wine Cellar

Ever wanted a wine cellar but didn't have the space to build one? Here's a secret solution! The cellars are kept at ideal temperatures, insulated on the sides and top. Cool air is piped in and warm air is piped out. Even when no air flow is needed for temperature purposes it is kept moving to keep the air fresh. People have had these installed in all kinds of ways, from flush- and hidden-door versions to entrances that intentionally boast their presence.

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How Do You Stress the Word: THANKSgiving or ThanksGIVing?
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iStock

Here’s something else to stress about for Thanksgiving: where to put the stress in the word Thanksgiving.

If you’re from California, Iowa, or Delaware, you probably say ThanksGIVing, with the primary stress on the second syllable. If you’re from Georgia, Tennessee, or the Texas Panhandle, you probably say THANKSgiving, with the primary stress on the first syllable.

This north-south divide on syllable stress is found for other words like umbrella, guitar, insurance, and pecan. However, those words are borrowed from other languages (Italian, Spanish, French). Sometimes, in the borrowing process, competing stress patterns settle into regional differences. Just as some borrowed words get first syllable stress in the South and second syllable stress in the North, French words like garage and ballet get first syllable stress in the UK and second syllable stress in the U.S.

Thanksgiving, however, is an English word through and through. And if it behaved like a normal English word, it would have stress on the first syllable. Consider other words with the same noun-gerund structure just like it: SEAfaring, BAbysitting, HANDwriting, BULLfighting, BIRDwatching, HOMEcoming, ALMSgiving. The stress is always up front, on the noun. Why, in Thanksgiving alone, would stress shift to the GIVE?

The shift to the ThanksGIVing pronunciation is a bit of a mystery. Linguist John McWhorter has suggested that the loss of the stress on thanks has to do with a change in our concept of the holiday, that we “don’t truly think about Thanksgiving as being about thankfulness anymore.” This kind of thing can happen when a word takes on a new, more abstract sense. When we use outgoing for mail that is literally going out, we are likely to stress the OUT. When we use it as a description of someone’s personality ("She's so outgoing!"), the stress might show up on the GO. Stress can shift with meaning.

But the stress shift might not be solely connected to the entrenchment of our turkey-eating rituals. The thanksGIVing stress pattern seems to have pre-dated the institution of the American holiday, according to an analysis of the meter of English poems by Mark Liberman at Language Log. ThanksGIVing has been around at least since the 17th century. However you say it, there is precedent to back you up. And room enough to focus on both the thanks and the giving.

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Watch Boris Karloff's 1966 Coffee Commercial
TAKWest, Youtube
TAKWest, Youtube

Horror legend Boris Karloff is famous for playing mummies, mad scientists, and of course, Frankenstein’s creation. In 1930, Karloff cemented the modern image of the monster—with its rectangular forehead, bolted neck, and enormous boots (allegedly weighing in at 11 pounds each)—in the minds of audiences.

But the horror icon, who was born 130 years ago today, also had a sense of humor. The actor appeared in numerous comedies, and even famously played a Boris Karloff look-alike (who’s offended when he’s mistaken for Karloff) in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace

In the ’60s, Karloff also put his comedic chops to work in a commercial for Butter-Nut Coffee. The strange commercial, set in a spooky mansion, plays out like a movie scene, in which Karloff and the viewer are co-stars. Subtitles on the bottom of the screen feed the viewer lines, and Karloff responds accordingly. 

Watch the commercial below to see the British star selling coffee—and read your lines aloud to feel like you’re “acting” alongside Karloff. 

[h/t: Retroist]

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