CLOSE
Original image
Alek Komarnitsky

Internet-Controllable Halloween Display - Tonight!

Original image
Alek Komarnitsky

This year, my Halloween "decorations" involve putting out a single red "party bulb" on the front porch. And I might put on a hat. In any case, I'm just letting my natural spookiness carry the evening...which is why I'm pleased to tell you that Alek Komarnitsky's front yard is awesome. Komarnitsky has rigged up his Colorado home with an unbelievable array of lights, inflatable monsters, and other spooky stuff. But the best part is you can control all that stuff online.

Yes, during prime trick-or-treating hours (starting at 5pm MDT), Komarnitsky enables control buttons that let you mess with the lights and decorations, as multiple webcams let you watch the action live. Even now, with nothing happening and all the controls disabled, I'm watching the grass grow on his front lawn with 75 other people. Imagine how rad this will get when actual trick-or-treaters wander up and we all start clicking the "Hulk GRRRRR!!" button. Komarnitsky explains:

You can not only view the 10,000 lights and inflatables via three webcams, but you can control them - i.e. inflate/deflate the giant Frankenstein, Pumpkins, Grim Reaper, Skull, Headless Horseman, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Homer Simpson - D'OH! ;-)

The design of the page is hilariously geeky, a GeoCities-esque collection of Comic Sans, animations that follow your cursor, and plenty of animated GIFs. (Though, unlike GeoCities, it actually works!) Not only is the site fun, it's for a good cause -- Komarnitsky is encouraging visitors to support Celiac Disease research, and has raised over $75,000 for the cause already. Now enjoy the show.

If you miss tonight's display, don't worry -- the big show is Christmas, and even when there's no special event running, you can watch the grass grow. Here's one more view of the yard, from a few weeks back when snow covered the Halloween display (the snow has since melted):

Image courtesy of Alek Komarnitsky

Original image
Castle Rock Entertainment
arrow
fun
Brush Up on Your Film Trivia With This Website Dedicated to First and Last Lines From Popular Movies
Original image
Castle Rock Entertainment

Few elements of a film are more important than its opening and closing lines. In some cases, they divulge pivotal truths or serve as bookends to establish the movie’s overall tone. In others, they provide important context or reveal key information about the lead characters.

No matter which purpose these snippets of dialogue serve, the most iconic establishing or concluding film lines are perhaps the most quotable ones. (After all, how many Citizen Kane fans can hear the phrase “Rosebud” without being reminded of Kane’s favorite childhood sleigh?) But if you can’t remember the openers and closers from your own favorite flicks, a new website is here to help you brush up on your pop culture knowledge.

Made by the team over at AT&T Internet, the fun reference site takes iconic blockbusters and presents their first and last lines of dialogue using typography and the occasional illustration. The site “is a way to recap the last 50 years of movies into a slideshow,” communications manager Alex Thomas tells Mental Floss.

You can check out AT&T Internet’s online slideshow of first and last lines—featuring bits from 1972’s The Godfather, 1999’s The Sixth Sense, 1994's The Shawshank Redemption, and more—here.

Original image
iStock
arrow
fun
Watch Craftsmen Shape Gobs of Molten Glass into Colorful Marbles
Original image
iStock

Marbles aren't just for schoolchildren. Humans have likely been playing with the tiny toys for thousands of years, as indicated by ancient Egyptian artifacts and other objects studied by archaeologists. These trinkets have been crafted from materials including clay, stone, wood, glass, and metal. But in the early 1900s, Akron, Ohio–based Martin F. Christensen changed the way the playthings are made when he invented an automated machine that produced glass marbles.

Christensen's machine ultimately paved the way for the mass production of marbles. But in the video below, you can see how they're made the old-fashioned way. Produced by The Magic of Making—a series of short educational films created along with BBC—and spotted by The Kid Should See This, the clip shows glass makers in action as they use large ovens to melt granules of sand into liquid, and as they stretch, twist, and shape the molten goo into fragile (yet still playable) creations.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios