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12 Childhood Snacks You Can Make at Home

The '80s and '90s were the golden era of childhood snacks. Lunchboxes were filled to the gills with goo-filled fruit snacks, cartoon-branded pastries, and neon green juice. Those nostalgic for their after-school eats from childhood only need to remember that they are now adults with a kitchen. Take matters into your own hands and recreate these lunchbox classics. 

1. DUNKAROOS

Most people remember Dunkaroos as their first lesson in restraint. Each kangaroo-shaped cookie received a carefully rationed amount of frosting, lest the eater be left with a bunch of dry cookies. While these cookies are still for sale in Canada, the rest of us will have to recreate the treat at home with Teddy Grahams.

2. HI-C ECTO COOLER

Ecto Cooler was glowing green liquid sugar that was released in tandem with the new show The Real Ghostbusters. The drink was a huge success—even outliving the show it was helping promote—but it was eventually discontinued. [Update (April 2016): It's back!!]

3. BUTTERFINGER BB'S

Thanks to Bart Simpson, these bite-sized Butterfinger spheres will always have a place in our hearts. Luckily, you can make them at home using only three ingredients—and one of them is candy corn. 

4. SURGE

You knew you were at the right birthday party when they were serving Surge—the dangerously caffeinated soda that likely created a generation of very strong coffee drinkers. When the drink was inevitably discontinued, it was so traumatic that there is an actual website solely dedicated to resurrecting it. It must have worked because Surge is making a comeback, and you can now find Surge in most eastern states. 

5. SPRINKL'INS

This one seems like a no-brainer, but you can recreate Sprinkl'ins simply by buying Dannon vanilla or strawberry yogurt, and then adding sprinkles or colored sugar. Since you no longer have to abide by what the packaging provides you, any candy you can think of will do.

6. TMNT PUDDING PIE

Even as a child, I found these bright green pastries a little gross. But I won’t pass judgment if you would like to go through the work of baking some of your own.

7. MALLOMARS

These best way to make a cookie better is to put marshmallow on top of it and cover it in chocolate. You can still buy Mallomars in the grocery store, but there’s something to be said for ones you can make fresh in your own kitchen. 

8. WONDERBALL

The Wonderball was America’s version of the Kinder Surprise. Although they once had toys inside, in 2000 they were sold with candy instead to avoid choking hazards. You can no longer buy these spherical candies, but you can make your own. Follow the recipe above to make hollow chocolate balls, and then fill them with whatever candy or toys you would like. 

9. SNACKWELL'S DEVIL'S FOOD COOKIES

You can still buy these chocolate cookies, but they won’t taste the same. After being purchased by Back to Nature in 2013, the cookies were re-released without all the high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Blech! Luckily, you can make your own unhealthy treats at home. 

10. E.L. FUDGE COOKIES

Is there anything greater than biting the head of a smiling cookie elf? Probably not. This recipe lets you bake your favorite elf-shaped cookies, but you’ll have to settle on a different shape. Luckily, there are plenty of cookie cutters on the market to choose from.

11. HANDI-SNACKS

Dipping crackers and pretzels into the little plastic container of artificial cheese always grossed my mom out, but it was a lunchbox favorite for me. For a classier version, you can make your own cheese dip and crackers. 

12. HOT POCKETS

If you miss Hot Pockets, but not enough to actually eat one, try making your own—plus, this way you'll know exactly what ingredients are going into it. 

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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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Land Cover CCI, ESA
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Afternoon Map
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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