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Watch Athletes Ski a Mountain at Night—Using Only Flares for Light

Many resorts around the country offer skiing after dark with marked trails that are well-lit. But there are some skilled thrill-seekers who opt for a more adventurous take on night skiing. In the short film above titled Torched, Nicolas Vuignier and Jules Guarneri follow a crew of freeskiers and snowboarders as they travel down a mountain filled with obstacles, using only rescue flares to light their way.

"At first they didn’t really get it,” Vuignier told GrindTV about asking the winter athletes to be in the film. “They did not understand the concept, but when I showed them some of the first test shots, most of them wanted to try it!”

After a few trial runs during the day, the group, including skiers Greg Tuscher and Alex Neurohr, pro Sammy Carlson, and snowboarder Mathieu Schaer, strapped on their gear and hit the slopes in the Valais region of Switzerland. The flares, which were attached to their snow gear using duct tape, only provided a small amount of light, making the already tricky descent even more difficult. A behind-the-scenes video posted to YouTube shows just how much trial and error went into getting the footage for the short film, including solving the issue of flares burning holes into the skiers' pants during jumps.



[h/t: Gizmodo]

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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