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Farmington Metal Firepits via Etsy
Farmington Metal Firepits via Etsy

Relax Beside a Flaming Death Star With This Star Wars-Inspired Fire Pit

Farmington Metal Firepits via Etsy
Farmington Metal Firepits via Etsy

If a smoldering Death Star sounds like the perfect addition to your backyard barbecue, you're in luck. As reported by My Modern Met, Farmington Metal Firepits sells custom-designed pits inspired by Star Wars: Episode IV's (1977) iconic climax.

The nerdy piece of metalwork first surfaced on Reddit last year. At that point, it was a one-of-a-kind item that one Redditor's grandfather had welded for her using the end caps of old propane tanks. The Star Wars fans of the Internet were eager to purchase a Death Star fire pit of their own, so the poster's (Bandia5309) grandfather made more and started selling them on Etsy.

Each pit is crafted from steel and available in diameters of 30 inches for $1000 and 37.5 inches for $1300. And if you're looking for more options, Farmington Metal Firepits isn't the only company that specializes in Star Wars swag you can set aflame. The UK-based metalworkers Burned by Design manufactures steel burners modeled after R2-D2, Darth Vader, and BB8 (you can check out their full body of work on their Facebook page).

Farmington Metal Firepits

Farmington Metal Firepits

[h/t My Modern Met]

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Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.
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Design
This Snow Sculpture of a Car Was So Convincing Cops Tried to Write It a Ticket
Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.
Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.

Winter is a frustrating time to be on the road, but one artist in Montreal has found a way to make the best of it. As CBS affiliate WGCL-TV reports, his snow sculpture of a DeLorean DMC-12 was so convincing that even the police were fooled.

Simon Laprise of L.S.D Laprise Simon Designs assembled the prank car using snow outside his home in Montreal. He positioned it so it appeared to be parked along the side of the road, and with the weather Montreal has been having lately, a car buried under snow wasn’t an unusual sight.

A police officer spotted the car and was prepared to write it a ticket before noticing it wasn’t what it seemed. He called in backup to confirm that the car wasn’t a car at all.

Instead of getting mad, the officers shared a good laugh over it. “You made our night hahahahaha :)" they wrote on a fake ticket left on the snow sculpture.

The masterpiece was plowed over the next morning, but you can appreciate Laprise’s handiwork in the photos below.

Snow sculpture.

Snow sculpture of car.

Snow sculpture of car.

Note written in French.

[h/t WGCL-TV]

All images courtesy of Simon Laprise.

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Douglas Grundy, Three Lions/Getty Images
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geography
This 1940 Film on Road Maps Will Make You Appreciate Map Apps Like Never Before
Douglas Grundy, Three Lions/Getty Images
Douglas Grundy, Three Lions/Getty Images

In the modern era, we take for granted having constantly updated, largely accurate maps of just about every road in the world at our fingertips. If you need to find your way through a city or across a country, Google Maps has your back. You no longer have to go out and buy a paper map.

But to appreciate just what a monstrous task making road maps and keeping them updated was in decades past, take a look at this vintage short film, "Caught Mapping," spotted at the Internet Archive by National Geographic.

The 1940 film, produced by the educational and promotional company Jam Handy Organization (which created films for corporations like Chevrolet), spotlights the difficult task of producing and revising maps to keep up with new road construction and repair.

The film is a major booster of the mapmaking industry, and those involved in it come off as near-miracle workers. The process of updating maps involved sending scouts out into the field to drive along every road and note conditions, compare the roads against topographical maps, and confirm mileage figures. Then, those scouts reported back to the draughtsmen responsible for producing revised maps every two weeks. The draughtsmen updated the data on road closures and other changes.

Once those maps were printed, they were "ready to give folks a good steer," as the film's narrator puts it, quietly determining the success of any road trip in the country.

"Presto! and right at their fingertips, modern motorists can have [information] on any road they wish to take." A modern marvel, really.

[h/t National Geographic]

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