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7 Gross-Sounding Foods That Might Help You Live Longer

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By Chris Gayomali

It's not exactly a secret that so-called superfoods like coffee, dark chocolate, and red wine help us live longer, healthier lives by keeping the body's engines running clean with age-defying antioxidants. But while many folks find the aforementioned indulgences quite tasty, there are plenty of pungent, slimy foodstuffs from around the world that are comparatively jam-packed with life-extending nutrients and bacteria, even if they take the tastebuds a little more getting used to. Here, in no particular order, are seven purported superfoods that might help you live a longer, healthier life.

1. Garlic, onions, and things that smell like rotten eggs

Researchers in China found that the gas that gives rotten eggs their foul smell could be the key to slowing down the effects of Father Time. According to Bloomberg, a small amount of hydrogen sulfide — which was recently discovered to be produced by the body's own cells, but can be released by foods like onions and garlic, too — helps "counter cell-damaging free-radicals; encourages production of an enzyme thought to be a regulator of lifespan; and interacts with a gene that appears to have its own market basket of anti-aging activity." While eating rotten eggs is obviously a no-no, adding more garlic and onions to your diet in the interim might help unlock the same health benefits. Just remember to keep gum handy.

2. Kefir

It's not quite yogurt. But it's not quite milk, either. Indigenous to the Caucasus Mountains of the former Soviet Union (whose inhabitants are known for their unusually long lifespans), kefir is a fermented milk drink made by combining lactic acid bacteria, milk, yeast, and lactobacillus bacteria to make a tangy, fizzy elixir that can now be found in just about any Whole Foods. Originally swirled together in bags made from goat hide, the superfood is filled with all the probiotic goodness that health experts champion, helping to fight off infection and inflammation while normalizing digestion. 

3. Kimchi

Pickled and buried underground for months at a time, the spicy Korean staple is widely regarded as one of the healthiest foods in the world. (And while it may sound gross, trust us: Kimchi is delicious.) As a result of its fermentation, kimchi is brimming with healthy lactobacilli that have been proven to help regulate the gut, and perhaps even fight certain cancers. (It also comes loaded with vitamins A, B, and C.) Former South Korean Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sung-Hoon Kim once told the Washington Post that the stuff could be sold at Sephora as a regenerative skin-care product. "I'm 73 years old," he said. "Do you see any wrinkles on me?" 

4. Blood sausage

Blood sausage — sometimes called black pudding — is exactly what it sounds like: Pork, beef blood, gelatin, and spices, all heated together and left to congeal in a tube. Yum! The stuff is also unusually nutrient-dense: Not only is blood sausage high in muscle-building protein with nary a carb in sight, but the murky, jellied plasma is chock full of zinc and iron — two nutrients many adults are deficient in. 

5. Habanero peppers

Capsaicin, the chemical that gives hot peppers their uncomfortably fiery burn, was designed by Mother Nature to keep hungry animals away. But the spice also introduces a number of helpful phytochemicals into the body, which help burn calories, relieve pain for patients suffering from osteoarthritis and psoriasis, and might even help kill prostate and breast cancer cells. Good news all around. At least if your stomach can handle the heat.

6. Natto

The slimy, sticky consistency of fermented soybeans might take some getting used to for many western palates, but the Japanese breakfast food is actually something of a health marvel. To make it, soybeans are left to soak overnight. Then, powdered natto bacteria is sprinkled on top, and the beans are left to ferment and age for a week. Not only does the pungent soybean mix pack as much protein as lean beef, but natto is rich in an enzyme called nattokinase, which helps prevent blood clots and, as a result, can help lower high blood pressure.

7. Pure-fat butter

As it turns out, organic butter made from the milk of grass-fed cows is actually quite good for you. Researchers have found that the fatty acids in naturally processed butter may contain anti-carcinogenic properties, and, conversely, might even help lower cholesterol. Plus, without the saturated fat found in butter, the body is incapable of absorbing the carotenoids found in bright, colorful veggies. "So go ahead, eat butter," says Men's Health, "and do it without guilt."

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entertainment
10 Surprising Facts About The Babadook
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In 2014, The Babadook came out of nowhere and scared audiences across the globe. Written and directed by Aussie Jennifer Kent, and based on her short film Monster, The Babadook is about a widow named Amelia (played by Kent’s drama schoolmate Essie Davis) who has trouble controlling her young son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), who thinks there’s a monster living in their house. Amelia reads Samuel a pop-up book, Mister Babadook, and Samuel manifests the creature into a real-life monster. The Babadook may be the villain, but the film explores the pitfalls of parenting and grief in an emotional way. 

“I never approached this as a straight horror film,” Kent told Complex. “I always was drawn to the idea of grief, and the suppression of that grief, and the question of, how would that affect a person? ... But at the core of it, it’s about the mother and child, and their relationship.”

Shot on a $2 million budget, the film grossed more than $10.3 million worldwide and gained an even wider audience via streaming networks. Instead of creating Babadook out of CGI, a team generated the images in-camera, inspired by the silent films of Georges Méliès and Lon Chaney. Here are 10 things you might not have known about The Babadook (dook, dook).

1. THE NAME “BABADOOK” WAS EASY FOR A CHILD TO INVENT.

Jennifer Kent told Complex that some people thought the creature’s name sounded “silly,” which she agreed with. “I wanted it to be like something a child could make up, like ‘jabberwocky’ or some other nonsensical name,” she explained. “I wanted to create a new myth that was just solely of this film and didn’t exist anywhere else.”

2. JENNIFER KENT WAS WORRIED PEOPLE WOULD JUDGE THE MOTHER.

Amelia isn’t the best mother in the world—but that’s the point. “I’m not a parent,” Kent told Rolling Stone, “but I’m surrounded by friends and family who are, and I see it from the outside … how parenting seems hard and never-ending.” She thought Amelia would receive “a lot of flak” for her flawed parenting, but the opposite happened. “I think it’s given a lot of women a sense of reassurance to see a real human being up there,” Kent said. “We don’t get to see characters like her that often.”

3. KENT AND ESSIE DAVIS TONED DOWN THE CONTENT FOR THE KID.

Noah Wiseman was six years old when he played Samuel. Kent and Davis made sure he wasn’t present for the more horrific scenes, like when Amelia tells Samuel she wishes he was the one who died, not her husband. “During the reverse shots, where Amelia was abusing Sam verbally, we had Essie yell at an adult stand-in on his knees,” Kent told Film Journal. “I didn’t want to destroy a childhood to make this film—that wouldn’t be fair.”

Kent explained a “kiddie version” of the plot to Wiseman. “I said, ‘Basically, Sam is trying to save his mother and it’s a film about the power of love.’”

4. THE FILM IS ALSO ABOUT “FACING OUR SHADOW SIDE.”

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Kent told Film Journal that “The Babadook is a film about a woman waking up from a long, metaphorical sleep and finding that she has the power to protect herself and her son.” She noted that everybody has darkness to face. “Beyond genre and beyond being scary, that’s the most important thing in the film—facing our shadow side.”

5. THE FILM SCARED THE HELL OUT OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE EXORCIST.

In an interview with Uproxx, William Friedkin—director of The Exorcist—said The Babadook was one of the best and scariest horror films he’d ever seen. He especially liked the emotional aspect of the film. “It’s not only the simplicity of the filmmaking and the excellence of the acting not only by the two leads, but it’s the way the film works slowly but inevitably on your emotions,” he said.

6. AN ART DEPARTMENT ASSISTANT SCORED THE ROLE AS THE BABADOOK.

Tim Purcell worked in the film’s art department but then got talked into playing the titular character after he acted as the creature for some camera tests. “They realized they could save some money, and have me just be the Babadook, and hence I became the Babadook,” Purcell told New York Magazine. “In terms of direction, it was ‘be still a lot,’” he said.

7. THE MOVIE BOMBED IN ITS NATIVE AUSTRALIA.

Even though Kent shot the film in Adelaide, Australians didn’t flock to the theaters; it grossed just $258,000 in its native country. “Australians have this [built-in] aversion to seeing Australian films,” Kent told The Cut. “They hardly ever get excited about their own stuff. We only tend to love things once everyone else confirms they’re good … Australian creatives have always had to go overseas to get recognition. I hope one day we can make a film or work of art and Australians can think it’s good regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.”

8. YOU CAN OWN A MISTER BABADOOK BOOK (BUT IT WILL COST YOU). 

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In 2015, Insight Editions published 6200 pop-up books of Mister Babadook. Kent worked with the film’s illustrator, Alexander Juhasz, who created the book for the movie. He and paper engineer Simon Arizpe brought the pages to life for the published version. All copies sold out but you can find some Kent-signed ones on eBay, going for as much as $500.

9. THE BABADOOK IS A GAY ICON.

It started at the end of 2016, when a Tumblr user started a jokey thread about how he thought the Babadook was gay. “It started picking up steam within a few weeks,” Ian, the Tumblr user, told New York Magazine, “because individuals who I presume are heterosexual kind of freaked out over the assertion that a horror movie villain would identify as queer—which I think was the actual humor of the post, as opposed to just the outright statement that the Babadook is gay.” In June, the Babadook became a symbol for Gay Pride month. Images of the character appeared everywhere at this year's Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles.

10. DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR A SEQUEL.

Kent, who owns the rights to The Babadook, told IGN that, despite the original film's popularity, she's not planning on making any sequels. “The reason for that is I will never allow any sequel to be made, because it’s not that kind of film,” she said. “I don’t care how much I’m offered, it’s just not going to happen.”

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Space
NASA Is Posting Hundreds of Retro Flight Research Videos on YouTube
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If you’re interested in taking a tour through NASA history, head over to the YouTube page of the Armstrong Flight Research Center, located at Edwards Air Force Base, in southern California. According to Motherboard, the agency is in the middle of posting hundreds of rare aircraft videos dating back to the 1940s.

In an effort to open more of its archives to the public, NASA plans to upload 500 historic films to YouTube over the next few months. More than 300 videos have been published so far, and they range from footage of a D-558 Skystreak jet being assembled in 1947 to a clip of the first test flight of an inflatable-winged plane in 2001. Other highlights include the Space Shuttle Endeavour's final flight over Los Angeles and a controlled crash of a Boeing 720 jet.

The research footage was available to the public prior to the mass upload, but viewers had to go through the Dryden Aircraft Movie Collection on the research center’s website to see them. The current catalogue on YouTube is much easier to browse through, with clear playlist categories like supersonic aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. You can get a taste of what to expect from the page in the sample videos below.

[h/t Motherboard]

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