Madame Tussauds Is Opening Its First Escape Room, and It’s Alcatraz Themed

Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds

In 1962, prisoners Clarence Anglin, John Anglin, and Frank Morris escaped from their cells at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, never to be seen again. To this day, it remains one of the most famous prison breaks in the world, and no one knows whether or not they survived their swim across the cold, choppy waters of the San Francisco Bay.

Now, you can try their daring escape for yourself. Madame Tussauds, famous for its wax museums around the world, will soon debut its first escape room, called “Alcatraz—The Breakout.” Fittingly, it’s opening at the company’s San Francisco outpost on Fisherman's Wharf, located just across the water from Alcatraz. (Luckily, once you break out, you can go get some sourdough instead of swimming across the frigid bay.)

Four friends attempt to solve puzzles and find clues in an escape room that looks like a prison cell.
Madame Tussauds

Groups of four to eight people will have 60 minutes to break out of their faux jail cell by collecting clues, cracking codes, and solving puzzles. You and your friends play inmates who have been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned at Alcatraz. A sympathetic guard tells you of the escape plan hatched by the Anglin brothers and Morris, and suggests you get out while you can. But there's a time limit. After an hour, the guard shifts change, and the officer helping you will go off duty.

Being Madame Tussauds, there will also be a wax figure involved: Clint Eastwood, who played Frank Morris in Escape from Alcatraz, the 1979 film based on the jailbreak.

The experience will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Memorial Day weekend, with prices starting at $125 for four people.

Family Game Night Just Got a Lot Cozier With This Inflatable Twister Game

Hammacher Schlemmer & Company
Hammacher Schlemmer & Company

With the potential for strained muscles and painful tumbles on your living room floor, Twister doesn't have a reputation for being the most comfortable board game. This unofficial version of the activity should hopefully lead to less bruising. As PopSugar reports, Hammacher Schlemmer & Company has upgraded the classic Twister mat to become a giant, inflatable play-board.

The inflatable game has all the elements of the original Twister: There are red, green, yellow, and blue dots (16 of each color) lined up on a white surface and a spinning wheel that shows you which limb to place where.

Normally the board is a flat sheet, but this one resembles a super-sized blow-up mattress. It measures 15 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 15 inches tall. A 1-hp air blower is included, and you can keep it running as you play so you don't have to worry about the board deflating and throwing off your balance. The game, which is capable of supporting up to 1500 pounds, is the perfect outdoor party accessory.

Contorting your body in relative comfort will cost you: The inflatable game costs $2000—about 100 times the price of a regular Twister board. If you can't resist adding it to your game collection, you can order it from Hammacher Schlemmer's website.

[h/t PopSugar]

The Bird or Bunny Optical Illusion Could Have You Second-Guessing Your Eyesight

jamesvancouver/iStock via Getty Images
jamesvancouver/iStock via Getty Images

The internet can't resist a mind-bending illusion. Some of the most popular ones to go viral feature content that can be interpreted two ways: The infamous dress ignited a web-wide controversy over whether it was black and blue or white and gold, and the "yanny or laurel" audio clip messed with people's ears instead of their eyes. The latest illusion the internet can't agree on is a video of someone petting a raven—or is it a rabbit? Watch the clip below and decide for yourself.

Paige Davis, the curator of bird training at the World Bird Sanctuary, shared this video of a white-necked raven more than two years ago. A biological psychiatry researcher named Dan Quintana recently found the clip on Imgur's Twitter account and tweeted it with the caption: "Rabbits love getting stroked on their nose."

"By first directing the viewer's attention to the nose, I was trying to distract viewers from the ears/beak, one of the clear giveaways that this was a video of a raven," Quintana wrote in a blog post.

With its head tilted back, it's easy to mistake the raven's beak for bunny ears and the top of its head for a nose. But a few details—like its translucent nictitating membrane that closes across the eye horizontally—indicate that it's really a bird.

This video is a real-life version of one of the most famous illustrated illusions of all time. Like the raven vs. rabbit clip, this drawing, sketched by American psychologist Joseph Jastrow in 1899, depicts either a duck facing left or a bunny facing right. There is no "right" way to view this illusion: Jastrow drew it to see how fast viewers could switch from one perception to the other.

Even though we know which animal the subject of this latest illusion really is, it still works with Jastrow's test: Watch the clip again and see if you can force your mind to go back and forth between seeing a bird and a rabbit. After that exercise, here are some more optical illusions to break your brain.

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