Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Monday, September 19, 2011

Was Nicolas Cage a vampire during the Civil War? This $1,000,000 photograph holds the answers

Are you an unhinged billionaire? Are you a sucker for impulse buys? Do you sit around wondering if the fellow née Nicolas Kim Coppola is an immortal Confederate soldier who feasts on human blood? Then have I got an eBay purchase for you, pilgrim!

Behold this recent auction titled "Nicolas Cage is a Vampire / Photo from 1870 / Tennessee":

Original c.1870 carte de visite showing a man who looks exactly like Nick Cage. Personally, I believe it's him and that he is some sort of walking undead / vampire, et cetera, who quickens / reinvents himself once every 75 years or so. 150 years from now, he might be a politician, the leader of a cult, or a talk show host.

This is not a trick photo of any kind and has not been manipulated in Photoshop or any other graphics program. It's an original photo of a man who lived in Bristol, TN sometime around the Civil War.

I've had a lot of questions asking where I purchased this. As followers of my website know, I collect antique memorial photography - images of dead people - from the 1800s. This photo was found in the very back of album that contained an unusual number of Civil War era death portraits (which is why I purchased it). All of the other people in the album, living and dead, were identified by name - this man was not.

Photographer is Professor G.B. Smith. A contact of mine forwarded this interesting article (link) about the photographer, Smith. Turns out he was a confederate Civil War prisoner of war photographer.

Guaranteed to be an original 1860s-70s photograph and not a modern reproduction, copy or photo manipulation.

Cage has dabbled in vampirism before and is a man to speak in phantasmagoric riddles, so Nosferatuness isn't a total improbability. I bet this is the linchpin to the mystery of that naked man with the Fudgsicle.

[Via Buzzfeed]

8 Current Technologies That Will Shape Our Future: Augmented Reality

Today’s augmented reality (AR) will add floating text, symbols and 3D virtual images to a camera’s video feed to make it more informative or entertaining. Numerous iPhone apps like Layar provide local information. Tissot watches and Olympus cameras have webpages that let you experience virtual products. And Lego has a great point of sale display that lets kids virtually play with the toy inside the box they’re holding. You can even use AR glasses to experience this technology in a slightly more immersive, first-person point of view.

In the future, AR glasses will project images onto the lenses using components that are barely noticeable. Your PMC will display information on your glasses much like a heads-up display (HUD), for instance, with symbols projected along the periphery. Look at a symbol and say something, and your PMC will act on the broadcasted message. Your PMC will also do a great job of minimizing the information displayed, limiting it to just what you need to know now.

Read the full article here:

Greek bizman 'fired' again!


This is the fiery face of Greece’s financial crisis.

A small-business owner, unable to pay off bank loans that have plagued him for months, set himself on fire yesterday -- his third attempt, authorities said.

The unidentified 56-year-old went to a Piraeus Bank branch in Thessaloniki in northern Greece and tried to renegotiate payments on loans he had taken out on his home and failing business, police said.

When bank officials refused, the man went outside, doused himself with gasoline from a can and set his clothing on fire -- as he shouted that he was in debt.


Police rushed to the scene to put out the blaze with fire extinguishers and saved his life.

He was hospitalized with chest burns, and is expected to survive, authorities said.

Authorities said it was the third time he set himself on fire, including once 15 months ago when he also suffered burns, after complaining that he couldn’t pay off his outstanding loans.

Greece’s government, seeking its own loans from the European Union, has imposed drastic cost-cutting measures, which in turn triggered business failures, mounting unemployment and violent street protests.

European finance ministers, meeting in Wroclaw, Poland, yesterday, put off until October a decision about whether to go ahead with another huge loan to Greece.

Uncertainty about whether Greece will default on its outstanding loans has roiled world stock markets for months.

Perhaps Windows 8 Would Not Be That Good After All

What does it feel like to fly over planet Earth?

Full article here:

Uploaded by on Sep 15, 2011

A time-lapse taken from the front of the International Space Station as it orbits our planet at night. This movie begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and the Amazon. Also visible is the earths ionosphere (thin yellow line) and the stars of our galaxy. Raw data was downloaded from;

The Gateway To Astronaut Photography of Earth
" ".

Virtualdub was used to create the final movie.

You can see more beautiful images of our universe at my blog;

Miami Invaded By Giant, House-Eating Snails

by NPR Staff

A worker displays two giant African land snails.  For the third time since 1966, the snails are invading the US.

Enlarge Bobbi Zimmerman /AP

A worker displays two giant African land snails. For the third time since 1966, the snails are invading the US.

September 17, 2011

In southwest Miami, a small subdivision is being called "ground zero" of an invasion by a destructive, non-native species.

"It's us against the snails," Richard Gaskalla, head of plant industry for Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

That's the Giant African Land Snail, to be precise. They can grow to be 10 inches long. They leave a slimy trail of excrement wherever they go. They harbor the microscopic rat-lung worm, which can transmit meningitis to humans. And they will literally eat your house.

"They'll attach to the side of the house and eat the stucco off the side of the house," Gaskalla says. The snails are also attracted to garbage and pet food that's been left out.

Giant African Land Snails are restricted in the US. Gaskalla says people often smuggle them into the country in their pockets, because they make popular novelty pets.

"Back in 1965 we had an introduction that was traced back to an elementary-aged child that had put two of them in his pocket in Hawaii and brought them back to Miami," Gaskalla says. "Seventeen-thousand snails, a million dollars, and ten years, we eradicated them."

A more recent introduction several years ago was traced to small religious sects in Miami, where the snails are believed to harbor healing properties.

"A young woman had come in with some stomach ailments, and her mother said she had been fed the juices of a live snail as a healing rite," Gaskalla says.

"That's not in my medicine chest," he adds.

Authorities are asking residents not to handle the creatures. Anyone who finds a suspicious snail is advised to call the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services help line at 888-397-1517. Workers or volunteers will ID and collect the snails before taking them to be killed in a freezer.

"That's sort of a kinder, gentler way to get rid of them," Gaskalla explains.

9 Actors You Didn’t Know Were in Star Wars Movies


The crowded backdrops of Star Wars movies aren’t just populated by Frank Oz puppets, interns, and robots in Rick Baker makeup: There are genuine stars (and famous directors) running around there! We’ve pinpointed nine folks who made cameos in Star Wars films, and I’m willing to bet you couldn’t catch most of these players upon first viewing. Sofia Coppola is practically hiding.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 11.36.50 AM.png 1. Keira Knightley
Movie: The Phantom Menace
Role: Sabe, the decoy queen
Hired thanks to her resemblance to Natalie Portman, future Oscar nominee Knightley played Amidala’s doppelganger decoy and bodyguard. It’s the kind of fronting that could drive a woman mad. Talk about A Dangerous Method.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 11.50.20 AM.png 2. Rose Byrne
Movie: Attack of the Clones
Role: Dormé
Long before she sneered and scoffed at Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids, Damages star Rose Byrne wasn’t so cocky as Padmé Amidala’s handmaiden Dormé. That expressionless mug served her well in Patty Hewes’s firm.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 12.03.35 PM.png 3. Joel Edgerton
Movie: Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith
Role: Owen Lars
As Anakin Skywalker’s stepbrother Owen, Edgerton eventually takes custody of Luke Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith. He’s killed by stormtroopers in A New Hope, but it’s clear that Owen here has the fire of an Animal Kingdom/Warrior alum. Joel Edgerton is the brother of Ewan McGregor’s stunt double Nash Edgerton, and coincidentally, Owen Lars is named as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s brother in the novelization of Return of the Jedi.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 12.19.42 PM.png 4. Marton Csokas
Movie: Attack of the Clones
Role: Poggle the Lesser
Looks like Celebron from The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King has a sexy past with other fantastical franchises. In Attack of the Clones, Csokas voices Poggle the Lesser, the separatist Archduke of Geonosis who is gunned down by Darth Vader on Mustafar. Wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happened to him in The Debt.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 12.27.30 PM.png 5. Keisha Castle-Hughes
Movie: Revenge of the Sith
Role: Queen Apailana of Naboo
Soon after the august New Zealand actress scored an Oscar nomination for her unforgettable work in Whale Rider, she played a forgettable queen in Revenge of the Sith’s funeral scene. Looking kind of Thai for a Kiwi!

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 12.33.01 PM.png 6. Sofia Coppola
Movie: The Phantom Menace
Role: Saché
The oldest of Amidala’s five handmaidens, Saché donned a red-orange robe and stared off like a downtrodden protagonist in a Sofia Coppola movie.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 12.43.17 PM.png 7. John Ratzenberger
Movie: The Empire Strikes Back
Role: Major Bren Derlin
A few years prior to landing Cheers, the Pixar mainstay bundled up to play the deck officer Bren Derlin in The Empire Strikes Back. Even when he’s starring in a sci-fi classic, you just want to hand him a stein.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 12.57.45 PM.png 8. Joe Johnston
Movie: Star Wars
Role: Stormtrooper
In an additional insert scene shot for the original Star Wars, the Captain America: The First Avenger director (and Oscar-winner for Best Visual Effects on Raiders of the Lost Ark) stands out on the Death Star surface looking over at the captured Millennium Falcon. Still a fetching costume to this day.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 1.06.06 PM.png 9. George Lucas
Movie: Revenge of the Sith
Role: Baron Papanoida
The blue-skinned Baron Papanoida, who lingers outside Palpatine’s private box at the Galaxies Opera House, is your austere auteur, Mr. George Lucas! He’s glowering like Orson Welles in The Muppet Movie, but I’m sure he’s having a fine time.

12 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Blueberries

By: Michelle Schoffro Cook

1. Catechins found in blueberries activate fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells to assist with weight loss, and belly fat loss in particular. According to research at Tufts University, regularly ingesting catechins increases abdominal fat loss by 77 percent and double total weight loss.

2. They contain a group of natural phytonutrients (plant nutrient) called proanthocyanidins which have a unique ability to protect both the watery and fatty parts of the brain against damage from some environmental toxins.

3. Blueberries are one of the richest sources of proanthocyanidins. These phytonutrients decrease free radicals levels that are linked to aging (yes wrinkling!) and disease.

4. In animal studies, those given an extract of blueberries had less motor skill decline and performed better on memory tests than animals not given the blueberries. Researchers conclude that compounds in blueberries may reverse some age-related memory loss and motor skill decline.

5. Blueberries are packed with vitamins C, E, riboflavin, niacin, and folate.

6. They are a rich source of the phytonutrients ellagic acid. Ellagic acid has proven anticancer and genetic-material-protection capabilities. It also encourages a healthy rate of apoptosis—how the body seeks out and destroys harmful or damaged cells, like cancer cells.

7. Because they contain plentiful amounts of the phytonutrient quercetin, they may reduce the likelihood and severity of allergies.

8. Blueberries contain minerals like iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

9. Blueberries contain salicylic acid—the natural version of aspirin. Salicylic acid is known to thin the blood and reduce pain.

10. Blueberries are excellent anti-inflammatory agents. They increase the amounts of compounds called heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age. When heat shock proteins decrease the result is inflammation and damage, particularly in the brain. Research shows that by eating blueberries regularly, inflammation lessens.

11. They increase the production of feel-good dopamine. Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter (brain messenger) that tends to be low in Parkinson’s.

12. They just taste great. Ok, this is no surprise but it’s a great reason to eat blueberries anyway.

Adapted from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook.

The Most Amazing And Absurd Places For Rent

Morgan Brennan, Forbes Staff


New Mario Kart 7 footage

MasterCard engages the senses with mobile payment tech

MasterCard is working on a number of fronts to bring mobile payments to the market, partnering with Google on Google Wallet and throwing support behind Isis, the carrier-led NFC joint venture. But it’s got some interesting ideas of its own on how to spur mobile payments, shopping and interaction with a mobile phone.

The credit card company showed off a handful of projects Thursday that highlighted how it can leverage mobile phones to encourage shopping using a variety of technologies, from QR codes and NFC to audio signals motion control. The projects are all part of a larger platform, called QkR for now, that is being incubated in MasterCard Labs and is close to being deployed in the coming months.

When consumers use a QkR app that contains their credit card credentials, they’ll be able to scan QR codes right off a home shopping network-like show. After scanning the code when they see an item they’d like to buy, the app will let them check out and buy the product immediately. MasterCard also showed off an NFC table coaster that allows people to buy products without getting up and scanning the QR code. Instead, the NFC reader recognizes what product is being shown on TV and initiates a transaction when a user taps their phone on the coaster.

Another implementation involves audio scanning. Similar to the work that IntoNow and Shazam and others are doing, MasterCard can embed high and low frequency signals into TV commercials. When a user opens up their app and presses a button to listen, the app will recognize the signal and pull up relevant content based on the commercial. So a MasterCard commercial featuring the New York Yankees will pull Yankees gear for sale. The system uses high-frequency signals, which can work in loud settings and also can utilize low frequencies, which is how most scanning technologies work.

In a restaurant setting, users can scan a QR code or tap an NFC sticker to pull up discounts and coupons. And when they get to their table, they can do the same thing to pull up a menu, where they can order remotely and have their dishes delivered to their table. MasterCard said it’s talking to a lot of restaurants about this technology, which many businesses feel could be useful in improving efficiency. Users can also pay for their bills right from the app, which can also be a nice way to get in and out quickly.

And finally, MasterCard showed off how QkR can work in conjunction with the Xbox Kinect motion control system. Users can wave their hands to engage the system and conduct a transaction for a product by just moving their hands to get through a check-out process. I’m not sure how many people need to conduct a transaction using gestures, but MasterCard is showing how you can utilize other technologies to facilitate purchases. And it’s further playing off the idea that people will be able to make more purchases right from their couch.

Again, none of this is on the market, but an announcement could be coming in the next few weeks, I’m told. Since MasterCard is already a payments company, it makes sense for it to build apps and services that can speed people to the point of purchasing something. By using existing and emerging technologies and leveraging the mobile phone, MasterCard is trying to remove the barriers that might prevent or hinder people from buying things.

This is going to ultimately change the way we interact with the world. Our TV shows will likely be dotted with prompts to audio scan with an app. Stores will all come with NFC stations where people can check-in, get discounts and see what’s on sale. Restaurants may start to do away with waiters coming to take our order and instead let customers get their food order going by using their phones.

MasterCard can win if it becomes the conduit for all these transactions and encourages people to open up their digital wallets more often. But overall, the MasterCard technology shows that there are still a lot of ways in which we can tap smartphones and other technology to get transactions going.

Light from a water bottle could brighten millions of poor homes (w/ video)


Screenshot of a solar bottle bulb from the video below.
Image credit: Isang Litrong Liwanag

As simple as it sounds, a one-liter plastic bottle filled with purified water and some bleach could serve as a light bulb for some of the millions of people who live without electricity. Originally developed by MIT students, the "solar bottle bulb" is now being distributed by the MyShelter Foundation to homes throughout the Philippines. The foundation’s goal is to use this alternative source of daylight to brighten one million homes in the country by 2012.

In order to make the water bottles " up," holes are cut in the metal roofs of homes and a bottle is placed and sealed into each hole so that its lower half emerges from the ceiling. The clear disperses the light in all directions through refraction, which can provide a luminosity that is equivalent to a 55-watt electric , according to the MyShelter Foundation. The bleach prevents mold growth so that the bulbs can last for up to five years.

Although the solar bottle bulb only works during the day, it can meet the needs of many of the people in Manila, Philippines, and other cities, where the homes are so close together that very little sunlight can enter through the windows. As a result, the homes are dark even during the day.

Residents describe the difference that the solar bottle bulb has made. Video credit: Isang Litrong Liwanag

The solar bottle bulbs’ advantages include sustainability and safety; compared with candles or faulty electrical connections, they aren’t a fire hazard. The bulbs are also inexpensive to make and install, and of course have no operating costs while in use.

The MyShelter Foundation is promoting the solar bottle bulbs as the Isang Litrong Liwanag ("A Liter of Light") project. In Manila, the city government paid for the bulbs while the foundation is training residents on how to make and install them.

via: Treehugger
© 2011

Honey Badger The Most BAD ASS Animal on the planet!!!!

Honey Badger Don't Give a s**t!

Ikea Store Builds A Playroom For Men Where Wives Can Drop Their Husbands While They Go Shop

By Sarah Firshein


An Ikea store in Sydney, Australia, has either set retail shopping forward by three decades or set gender equality back by three decades—you decide: they're testing out Manland, which is, as one local newscaster describes it, "basically a creche for husbands and boyfriends with short retail attention spans, a place to hang out while their wives and girlfriends run the aisles of Ikea."

Think ultimate man-cave stuff such as video games, foosball tables, free hot dogs, pinball machines, and oddly enough, no books. (Apparently reading is not encouraged in Manland!) As with Ikea's childcare creche, women dropping off their husbands and boyfriends are given a buzzer. "After 30 minutes, the buzzer goes off, it reminds you that you have to come pick up your man or else, you know, we may have to all the authorities," explains one Ikea sales associate.

Clearly there are a number of loopholes in this whole program, not the least being the fact that it overlooks gay couples. And secondly, when is 30 minutes ever enough time to successfully navigate an Ikea.

This post originally appeared at Curbed.