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11 Creative S’mores Combinations for National S'mores Day

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If you’re anxious to spice up an already perfect fire-forged treat, we’ve got some wild ideas that just might have a place around your campfire.

1. Filled Chocolate S’mores

The easiest way to beef up a three-ingredient treat like a classic s’more is to go hog-wild on a single element. Sure, you could get some fancy graham crackers or a flavored marshmallow, but why not focus on the chocolate? Instead of using a simple slab of the dark stuff, go for an extra-rich piece that comes with its own special fillings, from caramel to peppermint to still more chocolate.

2. The Elvis S'more

Not content to pay special attention to a single ingredient on your s’more? Go for rock 'n roll broke with a new-fangled twist on Elvis Presley’s supposedly favorite sandwich. The big guy loved putting crazy things between bread, particularly bacon, peanut butter, and banana. That's easy enough to replicate on a s’more, thanks to one clever bit: a peanut butter cup. 

3. S’mores Martini

The Savory

Although it might be easy and obvious to pile new ingredients on to an existing s’more and call it a day, it’s far more ambitious to take said s’more and turn it inside out for a new taste. How about a s’more martini? Thanks to marshmallow-flavored vodka, a bit of Kahlua, chocolate syrup and a generous graham cracker and chocolate rim, it’s surprisingly easy to make the childhood favorite into an adult treat.

4. S’mores Pops

The unsung hero of the s’more is the graham cracker. It may not get the glory of the chocolate or the marshmallow, but it’s the key to holding things together and making the treat a handheld one. So let’s do away with it, at least in its normal form. Instead of toasting marshmallows and then putting them on chocolate and graham cracker, toast up the mallows and then dip them in chocolate and graham cracker crumbs. Still handheld, albeit with a harder cleanup.

5. S’mores Pie

Graham crackers figure into other desserts, too—like pie!—so combining the two is a bit of a no-brainer. Deconstruct that s’more to make a s’mores pie, complete with a graham cracker crust and a toasted marshmallow top. You’ll need a plate and utensils, but it’s worth it.

6. S’mores Spaghetti

It’s not actual spaghetti—it’s something far tastier: Fake spaghetti made out of chocolate and marshmallow, with little graham cracker bits sprinkled over as fake Parmesan. It sounds almost impossible to make, but it’s definitely one of the wildest takes on s’mores around.

7. S’mores Cookie Sandwiches

If you’re willing to toss out one ingredient, it’s possible to open up a whole new world of s’more-related treats. Hold fast to chocolate and marshmallows, and turn a pair of tasty chocolate chip cookies into a vessel for delivering toasty marshmallows. Please forgive us, graham crackers.

8. S’mores In a Jar

Jar-bound desserts are all the rage now, and while they look impressive and sound kind of insane, they’re relatively easy to make—it just takes a lot of layering. As ever, the trusty graham cracker is the base here, while the fluffy marshmallow is the star.

9. S’mores Macarons

The beloved French pastry has long worked as a scrumptious delivery service for unexpected flavors, and s’mores are no different. Graham cracker dough, a marshmallow center, and a chocolate glaze? It’s nuts, but it’s also a brilliant way to make this stuff instantly high-brow.

10. Graham Cracker Loaded Brownie

Is that? No. It can’t be. It is! It’s a brownie—a treat on its own—loaded up with warm marshmallows, more melted chocolate, and graham cracker crumbles. Turns out, you can make anything into a s’more-flavored treat, as long as you’re willing to load up the ingredients and never look back.

11. S’mores Stuffed French Toast

S’mores may be dessert food, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have a place on the breakfast table—as long as you’re willing to stuff your French toast with the key ingredients. Two pieces of French toast are filling enough, but when they’re crammed with hot marshmallows, melted chocolate, and some graham cracker bits just for fun, all bets are off. Wild.

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15 Must-Watch Facts About The Ring
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DreamWorks

An urban legend about a videotape that kills its viewers seven days after they see it turns out to be true. To her increasing horror, reporter Rachel Keller (then-newcomer Naomi Watts) discovers this after her niece is one of four teenage victims, and is in a race against the clock to uncover the mystery behind the girl in the video before her and her son’s time is up.

Released 15 years ago, on October 18, 2002, The Ring began a trend of both remaking Japanese horror films in a big way, and giving you nightmares about creepy creatures crawling out of your television. Here are some facts about the film that you can feel free to pass along to anybody, guilt-free.

1. DREAMWORKS BOUGHT THE AMERICAN RIGHTS TO RINGU FOR $1 MILLION.

There were conflicting stories over how executive producer Roy Lee came to see the 1998 Japanese horror film Ringu, Hideo Nakata's adaptation of the 1991 novel Ring by Kôji Suzuki. Lee said two different friends gave him a copy of Ringu in January 2001, which he loved and immediately gave to DreamWorks executive Mark Sourian, who agreed to purchase the rights. But Lee’s close friend Mike Macari worked at Fine Line Features, which had an American remake of Ringu in development before January 2001. Macari said he showed Lee Ringu much earlier. Macari and Lee were both listed as executive producers for The Ring.

2. THE DIRECTOR FIRST SAW RINGU ON A POOR QUALITY VHS TAPE, WHICH ADDED TO ITS CREEPINESS.

Gore Verbinski had previously directed MouseHunt. He said the first time he "watched the original Ringu was on a VHS tape that was probably seven generations down. It was really poor quality, but actually that added to the mystique, especially when I realized that this was a movie about a videotape." Naomi Watts struggled to find a VHS copy of Ringu while shooting in the south of Wales. When she finally got a hold of one she watched it on a very small TV alone in her hotel room. "I remember being pretty freaked out," Watts said. "I just saw it the once, and that was enough to get me excited about doing it."

3. THE RING AND RINGU ARE ABOUT 50 PERCENT DIFFERENT.

Naomi Watts in 'The Ring'
© 2002 - DreamWorks LLC - All Rights Reserved

Verbinski estimated that, for the American version, they "changed up to 50 percent of it. The basic premise is intact, the story is intact, the ghost story, the story of Samara, the child." Storylines involving the characters having ESP, a volcano, “dream logic,” and references to “brine and goblins” were taken out.

4. IT RAINED ALMOST EVERY DAY WHEN THEY FILMED IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON.

The weather added to the “atmosphere of dread,” according to the film's production notes. Verbinski said the setting allowed them to create an “overcast mood” of dampness and isolation.

5. THE PRODUCTION DESIGNER WAS INFLUENCED BY ANDREW WYETH.

Artist Andrew Wyeth tended to use muted, somber earth tones in his work. "In Wyeth's work, the trees are always dormant, and the colors are muted earth tones," explained production designer Tom Duffield. "It's greys, it's browns, it's somber colors; it's ripped fabrics in the windows. His work has a haunting flavor that I felt would add to the mystique of this movie, so I latched on to it."

6. THERE WERE RINGS EVERYWHERE.

The carpeting and wallpaper patterns, the circular kitchen knobs, the doctor’s sweater design, Rachel’s apartment number, and more were purposely designed with the film's title in mind.

7. WATTS AND MARTIN HENDERSON HAD A FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL RIVALRY.

Martin Henderson and Naomi Watts star in 'The Ring' (1992)
© 2002 - DreamWorks LLC - All Rights Reserved

The New Zealand-born Henderson played Noah, Rachel’s ex-husband. Since Watts is from Australia, Henderson said that, "Between takes, we'd joke around with each other's accents and play into the whole New Zealand-Australia rivalry."

8. THE TWO WEREN’T SURE IF THE MOVIE WAS GOING TO BE SCARY ENOUGH.

After shooting some of the scenes, and not having the benefit of seeing what they'd look like once any special effects were added, Henderson and Watts worried that the final result would not be scary enough. "There were moments when Naomi and I would look at each other and say, 'This is embarrassing, people are going to laugh,'" Henderson told the BBC." You just hope that somebody makes it scary or you're going to look like an idiot!"

9. CHRIS COOPER WAS CUT FROM THE MOVIE.

Cooper played a child murderer in two scenes which were initially meant to bookend the film. He unconvincingly claimed to Rachel that he found God in the beginning, and in the end she gave him the cursed tape. Audiences at test screenings were distracted that an actor they recognized disappears for most of the film, so he was cut out entirely.

10. THEY TRIED TO GET RID OF ALL OF THE SHADOWS.

Verbinski and cinematographer Bojan Bazelli used the lack of sunlight in Washington to remove the characters’ shadows. The two wanted to keep the characters feeling as if “they’re floating a little bit, in space.”

11. THE TREE WAS NICKNAMED "LUCILLE."

The red Japanese maple tree in the cursed video was named after the famous redheaded actress Lucille Ball. The tree was fake, built out of steel tubing and plaster. The Washington wind blew it over three different times. The night they put up the tree in Los Angeles, the wind blew at 60 miles per hour and knocked Lucille over yet again. "It was very strange," said Duffield.

12. MOESKO ISLAND IS A FUNCTIONING LIGHTHOUSE.

Moesko Island Lighthouse is Yaquina Head Lighthouse, at the mouth of the Yaquina River, a mile west of Agate Beach, Oregon. The website Rachel checks, MoeskoIslandLighthouse.com, used to actually exist as a one-page website, which gave general information on the fictional place. You can read it here.

13. A WEBSITE WAS CREATED BY DREAMWORKS TO PROMOTE THE MOVIE AND ADD TO ITS MYTHOLOGY.

Before and during the theatrical release, if you logged into AnOpenLetter.com, you could read a message in white lettering against a black background warning about what happens if you watch the cursed video (you can read it here). By November 24, 2002, it was a standard official website made for the movie, set up by DreamWorks.

14. VERBINSKI DIDN’T HAVE FUN DIRECTING THE MOVIE.

“It’s no fun making a horror film," admitted Verbinski. "You get into some darker areas of the brain and after a while everything becomes a bit depressing.”

15. DAVEIGH CHASE SCARED HERSELF.

Daveigh Chase in 'The Ring'
© 2002 - DreamWorks LLC - All Rights Reserved

When Daveigh Chase, who played Samara, saw The Ring in theaters, she had to cover her eyes out of fear—of herself. Some people she met after the movie came out were also afraid of her.

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European Space Agency Releases First High-Res Land Cover Map of Africa
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Land Cover CCI, ESA

This isn’t just any image of Africa. It represents the first of its kind: a high-resolution map of the different types of land cover that are found on the continent, released by The European Space Agency, as Travel + Leisure reports.

Land cover maps depict the different physical materials that cover the Earth, whether that material is vegetation, wetlands, concrete, or sand. They can be used to track the growth of cities, assess flooding, keep tabs on environmental issues like deforestation or desertification, and more.

The newly released land cover map of Africa shows the continent at an extremely detailed resolution. Each pixel represents just 65.6 feet (20 meters) on the ground. It’s designed to help researchers model the extent of climate change across Africa, study biodiversity and natural resources, and see how land use is changing, among other applications.

Developed as part of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Land Cover project, the space agency gathered a full year’s worth of data from its Sentinel-2A satellite to create the map. In total, the image is made from 90 terabytes of data—180,000 images—taken between December 2015 and December 2016.

The map is so large and detailed that the space agency created its own online viewer for it. You can dive further into the image here.

And keep watch: A better map might be close at hand. In March, the ESA launched the Sentinal-2B satellite, which it says will make a global map at a 32.8 feet-per-pixel (10 meters) resolution possible.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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