This Could Be The Last Video Footage Ever Taken Of Amelia Earhart

On a clear spring day in 1937, Amelia Earhart invited her personal photographer, Al Bresnik, to the Southern California airport where she and and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were preparing for their attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The pictures taken by Bresnik went on to become widely seen and known after Earhart's plane mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific ocean a few months later. But a three-and-a-half-minute video taken on a 16-millimeter camera by Bresnik's brother John faded into obscurity, until now.

The home video, stored in a plain white box labeled "Amelia Earhart, Burbank Airport, 1937," sat on a shelf in John Bresnik's home for 50 years until he died in 1992. After that, it was moved to his son's home.

"I didn't even know what was on the film until my dad died and I took it home and watched it," the younger Bresnik, also named John, told The Telegraph. Even there, it languished for about 20 years until recently. Now, The Paragon Agency publishing house is making the full video, entitled "Amelia Earhart's Last Photo Shoot," available for download along with an 80-page book of the same name. But publisher Doug Westfall said he plans to eventually donate the film to a museum or archive.

The tape is remarkable, no matter what—it shows Earhart smiling and playful as she clambers about on top of her twin-engine Electra L-10E in a fitted jumpsuit. But there is some controversy surrounding when exactly the film dates from. Nicole Swinford, who wrote the accompanying book, asserts that it was taken in May, just before Earhart embarked on the ill-fated journey. But Richard Gillespie, executive director of the International Group For Historic Aircraft Recovery, thinks the film is from an earlier flight attempt that same year. In March of 1937, Earhart set out to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe, but only got as far as Hawaii before she crashed and had to make repairs to her plane.

"The airplane as shown in the film is very clearly the pre-repaired airplane," Gillespie claims. But whether the video dates from March or May of 1937, it is among the last—if not the very final—footage ever taken of Amelia Earhart.

[h/t Popular Mechanics]

Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”


More from mental floss studios