Creepy or Not?

Philip Seymour Hoffman died in February of this year from a heroin overdose.  His last movie, A Most Wanted Man, based on the LaCarre spy thriller, came out a few days ago.  The trailers are running continuously.  I understand that the film makers need to go on and make their money back and show the film.  It might even be considered a tribute to Hoffman, who was an awesome actor and died well before his time.

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However, it is a fine line to me between honoring and taking advantage of his death.  Trailers are designed on purpose, not by accident.  In this scene, Robin Wright says to Hoffman’s character, “All good men have a bit of bad in them.  Yours might end up getting you killed.”  Now I know this scene was filmed before his death, but why pick that one line to put in every trailer?  Creepy?  I think so…  It seems like the trailer/marketing folks intentionally are focusing on Hoffman and his death instead of the film itself in their marketing blitz.

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Image found of Confederate White House housekeeper

Confederate Housekeeper660.jpg

Mary OMelia is seen in an undated photo provided by the American Civil War Museum. OMelia served at the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va.,as housekeeper for Jefferson Davis and his first lady, Varina Davis, and was a confidante of the first lady.The American Civil War Museum

Mary O’Melia left Ireland for America as a young widow with three children before she was hired as housekeeper at the White House of the Confederacy. An intimate witness to history, she also has been much of a mystery.

That was until this year, when a woman with a distinctive Irish lilt to her voice called The American Civil War Museum. The housekeeper, the woman said, was related to her late husband, and she had in her possession a necklace that Confederate first lady Varina Davis gave O’Melia.

But there was more.

“What really took my breath away is she said she had a photograph of Mary,” said Cathy Wright, curator at the Civil War Museum, formerly the Museum of the Confederacy.

“Considering that it’s been almost 150 years since she left the White House that anyone has been able to look at her face is just remarkable,” Wright said in an interview.

The tintype adds a human dimension to what is a tantalizing but frustrating portrait of a woman who left her children in Baltimore to oversee the White House in the capital of the Confederacy during the duration of the Civil War but publicly revealed little of the experience.

O’Melia was among a staff of 20, was a confidante to the first lady, and may have been in the mansion in April 1865 when President Abraham Lincoln visited after Confederate defenders left the city smoldering. Historical records are unclear on that point.

The discovery is important nonetheless because the museum, which is next door to the White House, has strived to piece together the often untold lives of the African-American slaves, free people of color and European immigrants who worked as domestics for the Davis family.

“One of the more elusive figures was Mary O’Melia,” Wright said.

O’Melia was a central character in this Southern version of “Downton Abbey” and she remains a bit of an enigma. Even her name is a mystery. It’s been spelled various ways through the years — O’Melia, O’Malley and O’Malla.

This much is known: she was born Mary Larkin on April 7, 1822, in Galway, in western Ireland. She was educated in a convent, and apparently the fine needlework the religious order of nuns taught her may have influenced her hiring by Varina Davis.

She married a ship captain, Matthias O’Melia, but was widowed at age 25 when he was lost at sea.

While the circumstances of her journey to America are not known, Mary O’Melia settled in Baltimore in about 1850. In 1861, she left her children with relatives and headed to visit friends in Richmond, where she was marooned when Virginia left the Union.

Told by friends Varina Davis could help her return north, she appealed to the Roman Catholic bishop to intercede on her behalf.

Ultimately, Davis prevailed upon O’Melia to take the position as housekeeper and companion to the first lady despite O’Melia’s separation from her children.

O’Melia would eventually remain at the Confederate White House until Richmond’s fall in 1865.

Despite her perch within the Confederate seat of power, O’Melia left little written accounts of her years in Richmond. She left it to others to speculate on her employment, including a reporter who wrote after her death of all the “exciting conferences” she would have witnessed.

When the first family left Richmond in April 1865, O’Melia remained to oversee the mansion.

Writing from Danville days after his departure, President Jefferson Davis wrote to his wife: “Mrs. Omelia behaved just as you described her, but seemed anxious to serve and promised to take care of everything which may mean some things.”

Perhaps a more telling gesture of O’Melia’s connection to the first family of the Confederacy was her correspondence with the Davis family after they parted and a wedding she and Varina Davis attended in 1867. They were the only white people in attendance at the wedding of Ellen Barnes, who had served in the White House.

When Jefferson Davis died in 1889, O’Melia attended a memorial in Baltimore. A reporter said she “attracted considerable attention” and was described as “a well-preserved old lady.”

Wright said O’Melia’s story resonates particularly with her because she calls herself the “modern housekeeper of the White House of the Confederacy.

“I’m supposed to be over there keeping it clean and maintaining it so I’ve always felt a personal affinity for her,” she said.

After her service at the White House, O’Melia returned to Baltimore where she operated boarding houses until her death in 1907.

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Sexualization of Food…sigh…

Peachy keen takes on a whole new meaning as idiots dress up peaches with underwear for sale.  Scientists have long shown that cleavage is a sexual attention getter for humans, hence the fascination with breasts and butts.  However, selling peaches as “sexy fruit” provokes images I would rather not think about…  Article below:

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

Brian Ashcraft

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

Peaches have long been compared to backsides. Because, well, peaches look like tushes! And now, thanks to some fruit venders in China, they really look like butts. Sexy butts.

These peaches are apparently being sold to capitalize on the the upcoming romantic Qixi Festival. They’re a novelty present! And should be taken as such. But, they aren’t cheap: A box of nine panty fruit is 498 yuan or US$80.

The peaches are getting mainstream coverage in China. Online, some people have been delighted by the peaches, while as Sina explains, some think they are rather vulgar! They look kind of cheeky to me.

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

[Photo: 农业博士]

China News reports that these unusual peaches are called “Ripe Fruit” (蜜桃成熟時), a name evoking obvious sexual connotations. The panty peaches were first developed by a fruit vender in Nanjing, with each pair of underwear slipped on each sexy butt by hand. As SDChina reports, the peaches are from Yangshan, in Wuxi, an area that’s also famous for its lingerie and garment industry.

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

[Photo: FenyiZX]

And how do these peaches taste? Well, The Wall Street Journal once called Wuxi peaches “the juiciest, most delicious peaches on earth,” so they’re probably pretty good!

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

[Photo: Mancy]

Other fruit venders in Shanghai and elsewhere have also apparently started selling sexy peaches. SDChina adds that this Nanjing fruit vender claims to have applied for a panty peach patent a month ago and is filing for infringement with the intellectual property bureau. Peach panty patents, who knew?

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

[Photo: Sjzhchb]

水果店老板推”内裤蜜桃”热传 无节操营销引争议(图) [China News]

小伙发明”穿内裤的水蜜桃” 网友大呼无节操(图) [SDChina]

Top photo: Eastday

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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National Geographic – What Americans Will Look Like in 2050

MY NOTE:   I hope this means at some point the government will stop basing programs like the Census on our race/nationality/ethnicity.  I think I am mostly Irish, however, without looking on Ancestry.com for a long time even I don’t know where I came from.  We are Americans, the mixed blood mutts of the world.  Just like pound puppies, us mixed-breed melting pot folks excel as we merge our DNA, cultures and traditions.  Let’s hope we continue to marry and procreate whomever we wish until race loses any meaning to us.

National Geographic

It’s no secret that interracial relationships are trending upward, and in a matter of years we’ll have Tindered, OKCupid-ed and otherwise sexed ourselves into one giant amalgamated mega-race.

But what will we look like? National Geographic built its 125th anniversary issue around this very question last October, calling on writer Lise Funderburg and Martin Schoeller, a renowned photographer and portrait artist, to capture the lovely faces of our nation’s multiracial future.

Here’s how the “average American” will look by the year 2050:

Image Credit: National Geographic

And like this:

Image Credit: National Geographic

And this:

Image Credit: National Geographic

Wow. These are obviously not Photoshopped projections, but real people, meaning tomorrow’s America lives among us now in every “Blackanese,” “Filatino,” “Chicanese” and “Korgentinian” you meet at the DMV, grocery store or wherever it is you hang out.

Their numbers will only grow. The U.S. Census Bureau let respondents check more than one race for the first time in 2000, and 6.8 million people did so. By 2010 that figure had increased to nearly 9 million, a spike of about 32%.

This is certainly encouraging, but there are obvious flaws with tracking racial population growth through a survey that lets people self-identify, especially since so many familial, cultural and even geographical factors influence your decision to claim one or multiple races. Complicating things further is the definition of race itself: It has no basis in biology, yet its constructions, functions and mythologies irrevocably shape the world as we know it.

So is an end approaching? Will increased racial mixing finally and permanently redefine how we imagine our racial identities? The latest figures suggest we’re getting more comfortable with the idea, or perhaps that we simply give fewer shits than ever before. Either would be a step in the right direction.

The Wall Street Journal reported a few years back that 15% of new marriages in 2010 were between individuals of different races. It’s unclear whether they’ve included same-sex unions in the count, but as currently stated, this number is more than double what it was 25 years ago. The proportion of intermarriages also varied by race, with “9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians [marrying] outside their ethnic or racial group.” Interracial unions now account for 8.4% of all marriages in the U.S.

Image Credit: Wall Street Journal

In addition, more than 7% of the 3.5 million children born in 2009, the year before the 2010 census, were of two or more races.

The future: As for how this looks moving forward, studies have repeatedly shown that young people, especially those under 30, are significantly more amenable to interracial relationships than older adults, while college grads are more likely to have positive attitudes toward them than those with only a high school diploma. What does this mean for Millennials? As a population composed largely of over-educated 20-somethings, our generation is primed and expected to play a major role in populating this projected future America. That goes double if you live in a Western state, where people intermarry at higher rates; Hawaii is winning at the moment, with 4 of 10 new marriages identifying as interracial.

This doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine, rainbows and butterflies, however. Stark segregation still plagues many parts of the country. Poverty remains a barrier to social mobility and its consequent opportunities to interact with a diverse range of people. Sadly, the inequalities that shape American society as a whole are equally present in interracial relationship patterns. Time will tell if this holds for the long term.

But in the meantime, let us applaud these growing rates of intermixing for what they are: An encouraging symbol of a rapidly changing America. 2050 remains decades away, but if these images are any preview, it’s definitely a year worth waiting for.

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Smart Aleck Answers to Children’s School Questions

Image credits: Douglass

Source: imgur

Source: clivewhite.co.uk

Source: funcage.com

Source: imgur

Source: picslap.com

Source: addfunny.com

Source: alittle-offcenter.blogspot.com

Source: meh.ro

Source: economicshelp.org

Source: cheezburger.com

Source: thehilariousblog.tumblr.com

Source: break.com

Source: tworiversblog.com

Source: marcofolio.net

Source: imgur

Source: izismile.com

Source: izismile.com

Source: izismile.com

Source: ericpazdziora.com

Source: msxlabs.org

Source: publimetro

Source: imgur

Source: examtime.com

Source: mrrozzyroo.com

Source: librarything.com

Source: izismile.com

Source: memedroid.com

Source: myconfinedspace.com

Source: funcage.com

 

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The 10 Worst X-Men Action Figures That Time Can’t Forget

Trevor Fitzroy

Young Trevor Fitzroy was a time-castaway FROM THE FUTURE and a member of the Hellfire Club, the elitist, S&M mutant nemeses to the Uncanny X-Men. (Note: I am obligated to type “FROM THE FUTURE” in all caps any time it appears in an article. My editor beats me otherwise.) Bishop, Jheri curl enthusiast and law enforcement officer from that future’s version of the X-Men, pursued Trevor to the present to bring him to justice. I really don’t have to explain why ToyBiz produced this wonder of a character, do I? Check out that foppish mop of green hair and matching goatee and, as advertised on the package, “futuristic crystal battle armor”. The dude just screams “tough mother” (or Flock of Seagulls groupie). I’m sure that all the little X-fans were clamoring for Fitzroy figures and were pissin’ their Pampers when they found out that their Walmart was a Trevor ghost town. Also, let’s just all pause and remember that Bishop, a character FROM THE FUTURE, was sporting a Jheri curl in a comic book in 1991. The 1990s were cray-cray.
Trevor Fitzroy

Random

I imagine a pitch at ToyBiz for an action figure for the character Random went something similar to this: “You know how the kids like badasses with guns? I mean, that Cable fella really POPS! Well, what about an action figure of a guy who has a gun already built-in to his body? His body is the weapon! I mean, can you imagine? Oh, what’s that? Who is he? Oh, I think he appeared in an issue of one of the comics? Was he in the cartoon? For like 10 seconds, maybe? Oh, Hell, it doesn’t matter. The kids will eat it up! Look at that snazzy vest and bandana! Collectible value, Gene! (Note: The executive who is being pitched to is Gene. He has marriage counseling after this meeting and has no time for this bullshit.) I’m telling ya, gold! Thanks for the signature. I’ll get the boys downstairs to work on this.” Also: His name is Random. Kids from the 2000s would not have put up with that.
Random

Marrow

Pink hair? Check. Bone spikes as weapons? Check. Able to be taken out by depriving her of Vitamin D? Check. Playability? *crickets* Moving on.
Marrow

Ch’od

To be fair, visually, Ch’od is pretty striking. The alien has a vaguely reptilian/oceanic face with a green, imposing body reminiscent of the Hulk. And he’s a member of the Starjammers. Who are the Starjammers? They’re a band of space pirates led by Cyclops’ dad who protects the Shi’ar Empire. The Shi’ar? The Shi’ar are a humanoid race with feathers instead of hair. …I lost you at space pirates, didn’t I? (Also: Ch’od is one letter away from chode. Coincidence?)
Chod

Ahab

What if we created a character based on a Herman Melville icon and gave him a harpoon and a peg leg, and crafted a backstory in which he hunted mutants in the future? What, too on the nose? Ahab’s greatest notoriety comes from his role in the comic book storyline X-Men: Days of Future Past, but I highly doubt he’ll appear in the film adaptation of that story. And if he does, I will watch the entire run of Sex and the City for my shortsightedness. As far as the action figure is concerned, Ahab comes with a harpoon. For harpooning mutants, I guess? Sure, let’s say that.
Ahab

Wolverine (5th edition)

We can hardly talk about X-Men action figures without giving a shout-out to the world’s favorite Canadian killing machine– next to Bryan Adams. I think it’s a law or some such. Wolverine is the Barbie of the X-Men action figure set. Any version of Wolverine you can think of has most likely been made into an action figure? Wolverine in his yellow costume? Done. Wolverine as Patch? Boom. Wolverine as Tybalt in a stage production of Romeo and Juliet? Check. As such, it’s little wonder that ToyBiz produced a version of Wolverine from his government ops days. Quick questions, though. One, how is gold armor stealthy? Also, why does Logan have a knife? He has adamantium claws. Wolverine, thy name is redundancy.
Stealth Wolvie

Sauron

You’ve just watched The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Your mom tells you she’s found an action figure of Sauron at a thrift store. Kick ass! Sauron owns or pwns or whatever it is that the kids say. Mom walks into the room with an action figure of a green, anthropomorphic pterodactyl that blink-and-you-missed-it appeared on an episode of the X-Men cartoon. Life has no meaning.
Sauron

Kylun

What if a writer combined the beauty of Paul Mitchell hair, the countenance of Victor from the Beauty and the Beast television series, and the novelty of swords? What you get is Kylun, who apparently was meant to capitalize on the badassery of Wolverine and the furry subculture. But, as the action figure packaging states, Kylun has twin striking swords, so there’s that.
Kylun

G.W. Bridge

Some action figures are meant for greatness. Some action figures have greatness thrust upon them. And then yet others have “rapid fire guns” and a name that would make characters from the New Gods cringe. But hey, G. W. Bridge used to battle Cable. And everyone loves Cable, right?
GW Bridge

Quark

Wanna know how to tell that ToyBiz was reaching for characters to fill a toyline quota? Quark doesn’t even his own Wikipedia entry. There’s just a note that he’s associated with the X-Man Longshot. If my claim to fame is that I had a tacit connection to Longshot, I’d choke myself with my own underwear.
Quark
Jed W. Harris-Keith
Jed Harris Keith is a pop culture junkie, but insists he can stop whenever he wants. His spirit animals are Jim Halpert from “The Office” and Jeff Winger from “Community”. (Nobody has the heart to tell him those are characters from a TV show.) He currently resides in Camarillo, California, with his wife Colleen and their two bassets, Otto and Igor.

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3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyukiby

3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/sktech-1.jpg” alt=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d ” title=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki” width=”640″ height=”480″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-22408″/>

3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/sktech-2.jpg” alt=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d ” title=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki” width=”640″ height=”519″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-22409″/>

3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/sktech-3.jpg” alt=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d ” title=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki” width=”640″ height=”480″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-22414″/>

3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/sktech-4.jpg” alt=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d ” title=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki” width=”640″ height=”479″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-22410″/>

3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/sktech-5.jpg” alt=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d ” title=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki” width=”640″ height=”480″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-22411″/>

3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/sktech-8.jpg” alt=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d ” title=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki” width=”640″ height=”480″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-22417″/>

3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/sktech-7.jpg” alt=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki optical illusion illustration drawing 3d ” title=”3D Illusion Sketchbook Drawings by Nagai Hideyuki” width=”640″ height=”480″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-22413″/>

<iframe width=”640″ height=”480″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/CsB6mzZLNUU” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Playing with light, shadow, and perspective, Japanese artist Nagai Hideyuki creates these stylized optical illusions using the entire spread of his sketchbooks. Once propped against a wall and viewed from the perfect angle his illustrations seem to leap off the page creating a visual effect similar to an MC Escher drawing. See many more examples on his website, Facebook, and deviantART. (via visual news)

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