Youtube
Youtube

This Filmmaker Spent a Studio's Promotional Video Budget on Typhoon Relief

Youtube
Youtube

When 20th Century Fox approached filmmaker Casey Neistat to make a promotional video for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Neistat had a proposal: Let him use that budget to help victims of typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6000 people when it made landfall in November.

"Mitty is a movie about chasing a dream and they wanted me to make a movie about chasing a dream," Neistat writes on his Youtube channel. "I am a big dreamer but at that time only one thing came to mind; if i could do anything in the world right now what would it be? That's to help the victims of the typhoon."

Fox went for it, and Neistat released the result, an incredibly moving 7-minute film, today.

"It was complicated and at first improbable but with the help of an extremely loving group of locals, all who were total strangers, we were able to stretch the production budget really far," Neistat writes. "Beyond the food distributed in the video we also worked with a local nurse and purchased a lot of medicine and medical supplies, as well as providing tools to village leaders to be shared within the village and aid in the rebuilding process. ... Big thank you to Fox and Ben Stiller for not freaking the f*** out when they saw what i did with their money."

Neistat has directed shorts for Nike and Mercedes-Benz and posts frequently to his YouTube channel, where he makes films on everything from just when you're supposed to use the emergency brake in NYC's subways to the dangers faced by people using bike lanes, and much, much more.

To donate to typhoon relief, click here.

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toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)
Meet Japan's Original (Not-so-Fresh) Form of Sushi, 'Funazushi'
toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)
toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)

When it comes to sushi, fresh is usually best. Most of the sushi we eat in America is haya-nare, which involves raw seafood and vinegared rice. But in Japan, there's an older form of sushi—said to be the original form—called funazushi. It's made from fermented carp sourced from one particular place, Lake Biwa, and takes about three years to produce from start to finish. The salt it's cured with keeps the bad bacteria at bay, and the result is said to taste like a fish version of prosciutto. Great Big Story recently caught up with Mariko Kitamura, the 18th generation to run her family’s shop in Takashima City, where she's one of the very few people left producing funazushi. You can learn more about the process behind the delicacy, and about Kitamura, in the video below.

Watch Koko the Gorilla Meet Her New Pet Kittens

Koko the gorilla passed away at the age of 46 this week. Though she was best known for her use of sign language, her love of cats is what made her a media darling.

In 1983, the western lowland gorilla reportedly told trainer Penny Patterson that she wanted a cat. Patterson and her fellow researchers at The Gorilla Foundation supported this idea, hoping that caring for a cat might prepare Koko for motherhood.

They gave Koko a lifelike stuffed animal and after she ignored that gift, she was given a gray kitten for her birthday in July 1984. Koko rejoiced. She named the cat All Ball and carried him around like a baby. All Ball got out of Koko's cage and was hit by a car just a few months later. Trainer Penny Patterson shared the news with Koko, who, Patterson said, began crying. “Sleep cat,” she reportedly signed.

For Koko's 44th birthday in 2015, Patterson let her pick out two new pets from a litter of kittens. The result was as cute as you might expect.

For more Koko videos, follow kokoflix on Youtube.

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