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Monday, August 8, 2011

VIDEO: 15 of the biggest, baddest, most ludicrous poker hands in the world

By Ali Plumb

Now we don't pretend to be poker experts here at Asylum, but we do love a friendly game every couple of weeks or so.

Normally it's just an excuse to eat our bodyweight in Pringles, drink approximately a gallon of beer (each) and vent our frustration with each other in the form of red and black bits of card.

But recently, our love of the good old-fashioned game of poker has extended from the lazy casual meet-up every once in a while to searching for the biggest and best hands of Texas Hold 'Em YouTube has to offer – every other day.

Somehow, we managed to unhook ourselves from the tractor beam-like pull of Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu and Sam Farha (or whoever you like most, really) on everyone's favourite video site and get on with our lives...

...until now. Pulling together our favourite bad beats, big bluffs and all-out uber-lucky mega-hands, we've got approximately loads of clips to show you today, all of them table-slammingly exciting/mad/lucky (delete as appropriate). In other words... enjoy – you may be some time.

QQ vs. KK vs. AA vs. 77 vs. 55

AA vs. KK vs. KK

KJ (suited) vs. AA

87 (suited, in the dark) vs A3

AA vs. AA

A4 vs. KJ vs. 99 – AQ9 flop

27 (offsuit) vs. K10

27 vs. KK

92 vs. 98 vs. AJ

A4 vs. 99

35 vs. 98 – 835 flop

AJ vs. KK – 3Q10

AA vs. KQ vs. AK

K5 (diamonds) vs. A8 (clubs)

AA vs. 109

Frances Bean Cobain Models For Hedi Slimane

Frances Bean Cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

It's hard not to talk about her very public beef with mom Courtney Love, or what it's like to grow up as the heir and legacy of one of rock and roll's most tortured souls, her father Kurt Cobain. But Frances Bean Cobain—named as such, as rock legend goes, after Seattle's Frances Farmer and the fact that she looked like a bean as a baby—has done remarkably well avoiding publicity. Which, despite the air of tragedy and complexity around her, is kind of a shame, because as Hedi Slimane's recent photo shoot depicts, she's a magnetic and alluring young lady.

Slimane, famous for his stint at Dior Homme, sat down with Frances for a group of stark, revealing black and white photos that are simultaneously eerie because Frances looks like a woman (instead of the baby oft-photographed with her grunge-icon parents) and because Frances looks like the precise blend of mom and dad. But also, she looks beautiful, wearing little makeup and a lot of jewelry, staring down the camera like she was born for it (she was) and like she grew up in front of it (she didn't). Romantic, introspective, and intense: more Frances, please.


Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

"Art is the solution to chaos," her tattoo reads. Since we last saw the baby-faced Frances she's certainly gotten a lot of ink. Guess it runs in the family.

frances bean cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

After being bombarded for nearly two decades with pencil-thin eyebrows, we love that the full brow is back. Also, it looks like Frances wasn't styled at all, and is just lounging around with her own handpicked, well-loved accessories.

Frances Bean Cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

The dark, unwashed hair is a definite testament to the hair looking better the day after shampooing rule.

Frances Bean Cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

With the petite skull necklace and her tattoos hidden, Frances echos her younger self and even looks a bit gentle.

Frances Bean Cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

Don't worry guys: there's no nip-slip here. The see-through lace covers everything up, and the pale, dark-haired girl seems eons away from her blonde parents. Dreamy look, tousled hair, filagree shoulders = tons of romance.

Frances Bean Cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

When Hole and Nirvana was the only thing on our Walkman, we also had that super-loved sweater with the holes in random places. Forgive the '90s reference—but we are being taken by how much she looks like a perfect blend of both parents.

Frances Bean Cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

Berry lip-stain is all this natual beauty needs.

Frances Bean Cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

The Tudor-era regality of this image is so striking, and the small detail of the spike ring lets onlookers know that, though you can basically "see through" Miss Cobain, you best not mess with her.

Frances Bean Cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

Thrift store reigns supreme. (Also reigning supreme: her pout.)

Frances Bean Cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

All right, quite honestly, and not to lose my job or anything, but this is how I imagined Bella Swan. Slightly bruised, vulnerable, but with eyes that'll leave you wounded. (You can borrow that, Stephanie Meyer...)

Frances Bean Cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

At MTV Style, we are a fan of having your nails MASSIVELY done up, or the quiet honesty of chipped polish. Both have deliberate, amazing messages.

Frances Bean Cobain

Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane's Diary

If looks (and cheekbones) could kill. We count four rings and one finger tattoo. The accessory excess is really happening for us. Thanks, Frances. You look stunning.

{Via Hedi Slimane}

The Hamburg Water Woman [5 PICS]

Fun With Subway Commuting: Riders Zip Down Playground Slide to Enter Dutch Metro Station



overvecht metro station playground slide utrecht netherlands photo

Screenshot from NOS Nieuws video.

Let's face it: Even on the nicest, newest subway or bus system, commuting is typically a bit of a grind. One metro station in the Netherlands, though, has sought to liven up the experience -- by installing a slide that riders can zip down instead of taking the stairs. Sounds silly? It is. But it also looks awfully fun.

The slide -- officially called a "transfer accelerator" -- is part of an overall renovation of the aging Overvecht Station in Utrecht, and the brainchild of the local design firm HIK Ontwerpers. According to the U.K. commuter paper Metro:

The designers explained the slide is a gift to the rail commuters and hope it will create a playful urban area that could generate positive energy in a disadvantaged neighborhood.

Video: NOS Nieuws.

It's not the first whimsical addition HIK Ontwerpers has made to Overvecht Station: Previous projects included an installation of poetry written out in lights and a fully equipped outdoor kitchen with seating area that people were encouraged to use for picnics and other social gatherings.

Dutch blogger Simon de Wilde, who has posted an image gallery and a video of the slide, gives it a thumbs up: "The slide is in use for a few days now and so far I think it is a great success. It makes people smile."

White Men Can't Jump

Trampoline + Pool + Idiot = Fail

'Sex and the City' Prequel as a Television Show?

sex and the city

Call it Kinder-Carrie -- Rumors Keep Swirling About a 'Sex and the City' Prequel

When news first broke that a Sex and the City prequel of sorts is in the works, based on Candace Bushnell's latest novels The Carrie Diaries and Summer in the City, the media was abuzz with casting ideas and star reactions, now the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the project could be produced as a TV series, as opposed to a big-screen film.

The latest reports have the project being discussed as the story of Carrie Bradshaw in high school, not so much a prequel as exploring what the characters were like as teens, and as a television series, not a motion picture.

Sarah Jessica Parker has already commented to 24 Frames that she's skeptical the idea can work. "I don't think we can pretend to go back," she said. "It's creating two histories. It's like, 'Oh, I didn't know that about Carrie Bradshaw.'"

The rumor mill has already cast Blake Lively as a young Carrie, Selena Gomez as a teen Charlotte and Emma Roberts as a mini Miranda.


Bridget Moynahan, who famously played Mr. Big's short-lived wife Natasha on the original series, is a champion of the young actresses ... just not in a project such as this one.

"I think they should leave Sex and the City alone," says Moynahan. "If you want to do something with Blake Lively and Emma Roberts and all these wonderful young actresses, then just come up with your own material and leave Sex and the City as it is."

I Want To Believe

Posted by: Scarlett Madison

The truth may have never been found, but some believe it’s still out there, somewhere. Maybe it’s right at the corner of…

I Want To Believe

Nicki Minaj Goes 'Jem And The Holograms' On 'Good Morning America'

Nicki Minaj performing on "Good Morning America" and Jem of Jem and the Holograms.
Photo: Getty Images/Courtesy of Fanpop

Doot doot doot, Friday morning, getting ready for the weekend/relaxing our platform-weary feet and then BAM…NICKI MINAJ appears looking like a classic '80s cartoon-eating chicken with a piano ring. Hence: Apocalypse, of the best sort.

At her Good Morning America shoot today Mistress Minaj rode up wearing an INCREDIBLE outfit, which is making us shake with caffeine/how much we want to explain how MIND-BOGGLING this is. It’s like a Matryoshka doll of win—each layer gets better and better—but it's topped off with this blonde explosion of frizzy hair deliciousness that is part helmet, part dream come true, and ALL a fire hazard.

No secret that Nicki loves her Barbies, but it seems like she is also taking a cue from our girl Jem (of the Holograms variety). Whatever fictional character she’s channeling, girl looks GOOD. Like G-double-O-D. So let’s break it down, because unraveling this kind of stuff is what'll get you Pulitzers. FIRST OFF, her earrings are so dollar-store diva perfect that we are calling a massive rise in the stock price of yellow because, as Nicki aptly displays, it goes with anything. In the same polyurethane plastic, we’ve got bangles galore (clashing, of course, but not fully, because the ménage—see what we did there?—of color she wears is repped across her wrists), and if you let your eyes wander down her hands, you see a totally Jem-referencing piano ring across her knuckles. Her microphone is Barbie pink (of course) and covered in glitter like any good rock star in the pre-Reagan age would do. (IF ONLY WE COULD SEE HER NAILS. WE MIGHT COMBUST.)

Nicki Minaj performing on "Good Morning America."
Photo: Getty Images

Let us move down, to the trifecta of magic of the plastic hoopskirt, printed leggings, rain boots. (Did you just say rain boots, you ask? We did. Because, in order to entirely smell of the inside of a Mattel factory, one must have their outfit consist entirely of RUBBER AND PLASTIC). She’s got this see-through hoopskirt, which fortunately does not hide the SUPER-HYPER-GRAPHIC leggings she’s wearing, and while we are zooming infinitesimally close...we can’t see the brand. But we’d guess—and this is awesome—they must be the priciest thing she is wearing. We love the fresh-off-the-street, DIY nature of this outfit. Girl brought leopard rain boots to a Giuseppe party, and she is working it like it is her job (which it is). Oooor she's anticipating a torrential downpour with all that water-repellent gear. Either way, we are SO down.

While we can't see the reason why she chose to nom on a drumstick (one hand glitter mic, the other hand a piece of chicken), it probably had something to do with keeping it real. Because that is all we see here. Pure Minaj REALNESS.


For Star Wars fans, Calif's Yoda statue is a mecca

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge lies another landmark cherished by a small but fervent group of travelers: a full-size replica of Yoda, George Lucas' master of the Force.

Since the statue of the Jedi sage went up amid the Presidio's landscaped lawns in 2005, Star Wars fans have made a pilgrimage to take pictures with their beloved character and take in Lucasfilm Ltd.'s sleek headquarters.

Given the franchise's huge impact not only on pop culture but on the tourism industry, the diminutive Yoda fountain is just one of dozens of location shoots and special sites visited by Star Wars acolytes. Others include Luke Skywalker's desert home in Tunisia, Guatemalan pyramids and a Tuscan lakefront villa.

For the Van Zweiten family of Oploo, Netherlands, a stop to see the pointy-eared master was a key part of their summer holiday in the United States.

"The Dutch guidebook said 'Love it, you will,' and we decided we had to come," said Tom Van Zwieten, a tax attorney who has also visited another shoot site in Tenerife, and who brought up his children watching the trilogies.

In "The Empire Strikes Back," Yoda builds Luke's confidence to harness the Force, an energy field that Jedis use to perform supernatural feats. "You must unlearn what you have learned," he tells Luke. "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you."

Some visitors to this corner of the park, flanked by towering palms and eucalyptus groves, hope to absorb such lessons through sheer proximity to the statue, poised atop a rushing fountain.

"Yoda is the source of wisdom and gravitas for the whole trilogy," said fan Dale Tolosa, 37, an underemployed actor who often dresses as a Star Wars biker scout with his chapter of the 501st Legion, an international, all-volunteer costuming group. "It's almost like he's a religious symbol or the Statue of Liberty, or a representation of all the positive fantasy that George Lucas has brought to the world since 1977."

Tolosa and his older brother, Matt, who dons the tunic of Luke's father Anakin Skywalker, also have visited numerous other location shoots, and are planning a trip to Death Valley, where R2D2 cruised the sand dunes.

Gus Lopez, a Star Wars collector in Seattle who runs an online memorabilia museum, has already been there, as well as to the Yoda fountain and to nearly every major Star Wars location shoot the world over, including sites in Norway and the Arizona desert.

Lopez's favorite? A redwood grove near Crescent City, Calif. where Lucas filmed the speeder bike chase scenes for "Return of the Jedi".

"It took friends and I a year to research and find the location because the forest that got logged looks so different today," said Lopez. "For all of these sites, it's about how you connect with the movies and how you actually feel like you're closer to it by being in a place that was involved in making them."

Some passionate fans choose to get directly involved at the locations they visit.

Belgian fan Mark Dermul has been raising money to visit the Tunisian salt lake Chott El-Jerid, which Lucas transformed into the desert planet of Tatooine. So far, nearly 400 donors have contributed $10,994 to repair the weather-worn plaster, wood and chicken wire holding together the iconic "Lars Homestead" where Luke Skywalker was raised and fans plan to do the restorations next summer, Dermul said.

Along with an entree into the fantasy world, other filming sites offer tourists special services and accommodations.

On the sweeping grounds of Villa del Balbianello, visitors can get married in the setting overlooking Italy's Lake Como where Queen Padme Amidala married Anakin in "Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones".

The epic film series has spawned a franchise including collectables, books, television series, video games, and comic books that Forbes magazine estimated in 2007 had earned more than $22 billion.

Lucasfilm is among several businesses and nonprofits that have relocated to the Presidio, the one-time military base turned national park overlooking the bay and the Pacific. Run-of-the-mill fans, however, aren't invited past the plush company lobby without invitation.

"The Yoda fountain is the public face of Lucasfilm, the one picture-taking opportunity that they have with something from Star Wars," says Steve Sansweet, a fan relations advisor to Lucasfilm who houses a trove of collectables on his land in Northern California, dubbed Rancho Obi-Wan.

Jay Shephard, a manager at an online testing company in Baltimore, went a step further, calling the fountain a mecca for fans.

"Yoda's like what I would like to aspire to be in the way that I live my life and the way I raise my kids," said Shephard, who founded a fan site called "Here's this little guy who's really unassuming, and you think 'how could this little creature be a warrior'? But the messages he shares with Luke in the movie really resonate with all of us."


Follow Garance Burke at

Comcast Launching $9.95 'Internet Essentials' Broadband for Low-Income Families

by Michael Santo

Comcast is launching Internet Essentials, a new initiative offering discounted Internet access and home computers to families that meet low income requirements. The program was mandated as a requirement of Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal, earlier this year.

In that way, it's very similar to AT&T's Naked DSL program, which AT&T was required to offer as a condition of its merger with BellSouth. Internet Essentials will be available wherever Comcast offers broadband, which means 39 states. To promote the program, Comcast has launched websites in both English and Spanish.

To qualify for Internet Essentials, a family must meet the following requirements:
  • Has at least one child eligible to receive a free school lunch under the NSLP (as an example, according to the Department of Agriculture, a household of three would have to make less than $25,000 a year in income);
  • Has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days;
  • Has children in grades K-12
  • Does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.
As part of the program, families will receive literacy training and Internet service for $9.95 a month (plus tax). Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen said, "When we look around the country, we see the disparities that exist. Quite frankly, people in lower-income communities, mostly people of color, have such limited access to broadband than people in wealthier communities."

Families will also receive a voucher which will allow them to purchase a new computer for $149.99 (plus tax).

As an example, according to the Department of Agriculture, a household of three would have to make less than $25,000 a year in income to qualify. Qualifying students will receive an application at the start of the upcoming school year.

Ants sipping coloured sugar water drops


It's easy to see which ants have been sipping which coloured sugar water drops thanks to their transparent abdomens. Father of three Mohamed Babu set up these photographs after his wife, Shameem, showed him some ants that had turned white after sipping on some spilt milk. Dr Babu mixed sugar water with edible colours red, green, blue and yellow and placed them in his garden to attract the insects. He discovered the ants preferred lighter colours such as yellow and green...

It's easy to see which ants have been sipping which coloured sugar water drops thanks to their transparent abdomens. Father of three Mohamed Babu set up these photographs after his wife, Shameem, showed him some ants that had turned white after sipping on some spilt milk. Dr Babu mixed sugar water with edible colours red, green, blue and yellow and placed them in his garden to attract the insects. He discovered the ants preferred lighter colours such as yellow and green...

Picture: Mohamed Babu/solent

Surprisingly impressive face appears in the clouds

By Ali Plumb

Let's be honest, this story isn't that complicated. There's this cloud, right, and if you look at this cloud, it looks like it's actually a face coming down from up above.

We wish we could inform you of some kind of Green Lantern-style alien race coming to earth in the form of cumuli fracti, or Skittles hailing down from the sky, but this is what we've got – and if we're honest, it's a pretty impressive spot.

After all, everyone's spent a sunny Sunday afternoon or two staring up at the heavens, trying to work out what certain clouds kinda-sorta look like, but no cloud we've ever seen as looked more like a face that this. As for pieces of toast and office doors... well, that's a different story...

Can Your Media Center Make the Kessel Run?


Now THIS is how you show off your geek pride, by making a custom-build media center PC out of a Millennium Falcon. And it looks like he put in some pretty nice hardware…SSD drive…good ram. Nice job!

Pocket Gardens Sprout on Paris's Anti-Parking Posts


potogreen paris france pocket planters photo
A 'Potogreen' in Paris. Photo: Anne Mazauric via Paule Kingleur.

Necessary as they are to keep cars from blocking the sidewalk, anti-parking posts, or bollards, can be an ugly sight in a city. Parisian artist Paule Kingleur has commandeered some of the 335,000 posts in the French capital as sites for hanging micro-gardens -- what she calls a neighborhood "vegetable insurrection."

"Tomatoes, arugula, radishes, and flowers of all kinds" grow in these micro-gardens, according to the website Le Parisien. Kingleur worked with 600 children from Paris schools to plant the seeds and help keep them growing, she told Treehugger in an email this week about her "Potogreen" project.

Sewn Out Of Recycled Tents
"Children are adopting gardens. They are responsible for their care and are committed to leaving them in public spaces," Kingleur told Le Parisien.

The planters themselves are about as eco-friendly as you can get, made of discarded milk cartons collected from local businesses and wrapped in fabric pockets sewn out of recycled tents by Emmaus Maisons-Alfort, a rehabilitation association that works with homeless people.

Though each pocket garden can't grow much, the splashes of green are brightening up Paris neighborhoods. As one resident told Le Parisien: "When I left my house and I saw all these stakes with umbrellas of green, it was a piece of poetry in the street."