Chris Higgins is the author of The Blogger Abides and writes for This American Life, The Atlantic, Breakfast on Mars, and The Magazine. You can follow him at chrishiggins.com.
A year ago I collected 6 Re-Edited "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" Trailers. In these trailers, fans took footage from the film to reimagine it in insanely different ways. Once you look at the footage, you realize how much material is there, and also how editing and music cues change the film completely. A new re-edit entitled Ferris Club reimagines Ferris Bueller as Fight Club. If you haven't read or seen Fight Club, you're not gonna get it. But if you have, you're in for a treat:
See also: Crimes... READ ON
Blu is the pseudonym of an anonymous Italian graffiti artist. He creates extensive stop-motion animation videos using graffiti, often in public places. His latest video is BIG BANG BOOM, which he describes as "an unscientific point of view on the beginning and evolution of life ... and how it could probably end."
The video is most impressive for its insane feats of stop-motion wizardry: at one point, a "jellyfish" is represented by a plastic bag apparently moving in mid-air. A "crab" gathers up a... READ ON
There are lots of talking toys out there, and some also have microphones built in, so they can respond to your voice. One such toy is "Talking Carl," an iPhone app that mimics what you say. But what happens when Carl talks to another Carl? Friggin' pandemonium.
But wait, there's more. Remember the Furby? Well, I had a coworker who made a Halloween costume out of a bunch of Furbys (yes, that's the proper plural) and left it in the front hallway of the office. The... READ ON
Prepare to learn that you've been doing something wrong your entire life. In an extensive thread at Ask Metafilter, commenters share what they did wrong for years. The list is full of spelling and pronunciation problems, but many go much deeper. Here are some of my favorites:
I just found out last month that you are not supposed to grip a bowling ball with your thumb, index finger, and middle finger; it should be your thumb, middle finger, and ring finger. For years I wondered why my ball tended to... READ ON
Satellite imagery is full of interesting sights, but my favorite is the grinning KFC logo staring out at the universe from a desert in Rachel, Nevada. The logo (shown above, in an image from Google Maps) was apparently made by hand from colored tiles. If you zoom out a bit using Google Maps or Google Earth, you see that there are houses nearby, and even a business next door (the Little A'Le'Inn). Here's how Wikipedia describes the logo:
In 2006, KFC claimed to have made the first logo visible from... READ ON
Have you seen The Price is Right? I watch it at the gym, during the day, because I don't need to hear the sound to figure out what's going on. On the show, people guess prices for merchandise and play little games and eventually win or lose the merchandise. But one man, Terry Kneiss, watched a lot of The Price is Right. And he noticed something: many of the same products were used over and over. So he did his homework, and, in collaboration with his wife, memorized the values of as many items as he... READ ON
Our own magazine published an interview with Mark Twain a ways back, and we stand behind it.* The guy was dead at the time, and had been for nearly a hundred years. He couldn't really object, could he?
Now PBS has put forth a previously unpublished essay by Twain Concerning the Interview (in which the Interview is not our interview, but indeed any interview), and let's just say old Mr. Clemens did not much appreciate the format. Here's part of what he had to say:
The Interview was not a happy... READ ON
Here's someone playing a Super Mario Bros "speedrun" (running through the entire game as quickly as possible), but the video of the speedrun has been composited onto the wall of a real-world building, complete with graffiti. It's hard to describe, but the effect is mesmerizing. You can see the entire SMB level on the building, with tiny Mario making his way through it. How did they do that??*
Note: to see it in HD, go directly to Vimeo.
Super Mario Bros. from Surfap on Vimeo.
* = Okay, it's... READ ON
"Ceremony" is among the best-known songs by the band Joy Division, although it was made famous by New Order -- a band which was effectively the remnants of Joy Division, minus its deceased singer/songwriter, Ian Curtis. It's a hell of a song, partly because there are so few recordings (only three -- all live, from rehearsals or soundchecks) by the original band, including this one. So in a sense, all we have of "Ceremony" are cover versions -- there was no studio recording of this song with Ian Curtis on... READ ON
Cook and author J. Kenji Lopez-Alt had a mission: recreate McDonald's french fries. In order to achieve his fries-from-home dream, Lopez-Alt reverse-engineered the fries, from a series of four "Perfect Fry Factors" (my favorite is #4: "The fry must stay crisp and tasty for at least as long as it takes to eat a full serving"), to the acquisition of uncooked McDonald's fries (not as easy as you'd think), to precise measurements of the fries (1/4" thick), to a series of complex cooking experiments... READ ON
Liechtenstein is the world’s leading exporter of false teeth.