b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'> | World's Amazing Facts

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Without Photoshop: the most successful photographs

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Sunday, November 3, 2013 by nETMAN · 0

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Indian man Gets pregnant

type="html">In the city of Nagpur, India, Sanju Bhagat’s stomach was once so swollen he looked nine months pregnant and could barely breathe. Bhagat felt self-conscious his whole life about his big belly. But his problem erupted into something much larger than cosmetic worry one night in June 1999.


An ambulance rushed the 36 year-old farmer to the hospital. Doctors thought he might have a giant tumor, so they decided to operate and remove the source of the bulge in his belly. The surgeon Dr. Ajay Mehta said that usually he can spot a tumor just after he begins an operation. But Dr. Ajay encountered something he had never encountered while operating on Bhagat.
As he cut deeper into Bhagat, gallons of fluid spilled out� and then something extraordinary happened. “To my surprise and horror, I could shake hands with somebody inside his belly!” he said. “It was a bit shocking for me.” Dr. Ajay just put his hand inside and he said there are a lot of bones inside. First, one limb came out then another limb came out. Then some part of genitalia, then some part of hair, some limbs, jaws, limbs, hair.
Inside Bhagat’s stomach was a strange, half-formed creature that had feet and hands that were very developed. Its fingernails were quite long. At first glance, it may look like Bhagat gave “birth.” Actually, Dr. Ajay removed the mutated body of his Bhagat’s twin brother from his stomach.
Bhagat, they discovered, had one of the world’s most bizarre medical conditions known as fetus in fetu. It is an extremely rare abnormality that involves a fetus getting trapped inside of its twin. The trapped fetus can survive as a parasite even past birth by forming an umbilical cord-like structure that leeches its twin’s blood supply until it grows so large that it starts to harm the host, at which point doctors usually intervene.
According to Dr. Ajay, there are less than 90 cases total recorded in medical literature. Fetus in fetu happens very early in a twin pregnancy, when one fetus wraps around and envelops the other. The dominant fetus grows, while the fetus that would have been its twin lives on throughout the pregnancy, feeding off its host twin like a kind of parasite.
Usually, both twins die before birth from the strain of sharing a placenta. However, sometimes, as in Bhagat’s case, the host twin survives and is delivered. What makes his case so unusual is that no one suspected Bhagat had a twin inside him for 36 years.
Bhagat said he was very much relieved after his operation. He was not interested in knowing what Dr. Ajay did to him or seeing what he had removed from his abdomen. “He didn’t want to see it because it was looking very ghastly” Dr. Ajay said. Today, Bhagat is in good health and can lead a normal life.

Saturday, June 15, 2013 by nETMAN · 0

So You've Been Poisoned by Your Greatest Enemy

Where am I?

This is Cracked. You're in one of our probably critically acclaimed advice columns.

How did I get here?

The mechanics of how all this works are poorly explained. Suffice it to say, you are here, and this probably won't end well for you.

I'm feeling really confused right now. And kind of lethargic.

You sound like you're hungry. Try eating something.

I was eating breakfast in bed. I can barely touch it.

Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Shifty-looking hash brown aside, that looks pretty edible. You must be pretty sick.

That's weird. You know what it sounds like? Like you've been poisoned.

But I don't feel pain, or sick to the stomach.

No, not food poisoning. I mean like proper, cloak-and-dagger poisoning.

Holy shit!

Exactly. Are you, or have you pissed off, a 16th century duke?

Wikimedia Commons
Alas!

What? No!

Well, that's good news at least, in that we won't have to resort to bloodletting or drinking the tincture of milk thistle and stewed cat to cure you. You can go to the hospital.

Can't you help me?

I'm afraid not. The only poison facts I know are really more Poison facts.


Which will be of limited help here, and really, in all other situations as well.

Are you sure you can't help? I'm feeling really weak now.

I don't know. Are you feeling really uncomfortably sexual too?

No.

Yeah, so we're not dealing with exposure to Poison then. So no, I can't help. Why can't you get to the hospital? Or do you not want to go to a hospital? Do you have a gerbil in you?

What? No. There are no hospitals around. I'm at one of those mountain lodges, and the only road up is snowed in.

Christ, where are you? The Shining? Or have you just checked into an Agatha Christie novel for the weekend?

I work for a record label, asshole. It's a junket/team building thing. Are you going to help me or not?

OK. Whatever it is, it doesn't sound like the poisoning is that severe, yet. But it could get worse. We should probably get you to vomit up whatever you ingested. That should buy you some time. Stick some fingers down your throat.

Ra Boe via Wikimedia Commons
Not those two.

AGHJGSHGJ.

Is it working?

AGHJGSHGJ.

I heard you the first time.

Wikimedia Commons
No, not those ones either.

AGHJGS ... It's not working.

OK, so it seems you've got a gag reflex that, while certainly an asset in some human endeavors, is not so helpful here. Do you have any salt?

I don't have any salt here. And I'm ... shit ... I can't move. I'm fucked.

Don't give up on me, you beautiful son of a bitch! OK. Think. We need something that will disgust you, right to your decrepit core. OK. Imagine your parents doing It. It.

Ugh.

Right. And they are doing It, and doing It comprehensively, and then, right at the, uh, summit of their love ...

Jesus.

... they both scream out your name.

BLEAAGHGHHHHGHHHAHAGHAACHAAAACHAAAAAACHHHHHHHHH.

That get it?

What is wrong with you?

Oh, I've got a whole list of these for an unrelated project. So, imagine your grandpa has a tub of expired mayonnaise and a poor sense of personal boundaries ...

Photos.com/Getty Images
Yeah. Imagine.

No. That's fine, thanks. So am I safe now?

Not at all. We've maybe bought you some time, but a lot of the poison has been absorbed by your body already. If you can't get to a hospital, we really need to find you the antidote for this.

How?

We're going to need to figure out who poisoned you. If anyone's going to have the antidote, it will be them.

Really? Why would they have the antidote?

Best practice, really. Any time you deal with a poison, it's always wise to have a supply of the antidote on hand. OK then. At this mountain retreat, are any of the other guests really shifty looking? A footman with an unplaceable accent, or a mysterious British officer using a knife to pick his teeth?

I haven't seen any cartoon spies around here, no.

Hmmmm. OK. You're there with work people? Have you stolen any big clients lately? Or slept with anyone's spouse? Or slept with a client's big spouse?

Wikimedia Commons
Yes. Finally, an appropriate combination of fingers.

Uhhhhhh. Ooooooh.

A-ha! Who was it?

In the hot tub last night. I was drinking. There was a lady there. Ladies.

Plural? Go on, son!

Thanks. And, well, one thing led to another ...

And you ended up mutually yelling out your parents' names?

BLEAAGHGHHHHGHHHAHAGHAACHAAAACHAAAAAACHHHHHHHHH.

Sorry about that. Well, there you go. Who were these ladies? Co-workers?

They were the wives and girlfriends of one of our clien- Oh shit.

What? Who was it? Who's the client?

Poison.

HAHAHAHHHA AHAH AHHAH HAH HA HHAHAHAHHA!


HAHAHAHHHA AHAH AHHAH HAH HA HHAHAHAHHA!

Fuck you.

And where was Poison during all these hot tub shenanigans?

In bed.

This was well past their bedtime, I take it.

Oh shit. They're like our biggest ... well ... mediumest client. I could lose my job over this.

Also, they poisoned you for accidentally cuckolding them.

I don't think Poison poisoned me.

Of course they did! They've been in a band called Poison for 30 years! You know how many gag gifts they've gotten? Fake novelty bottles with skull and crossbones on them, full of whiskey. Coffee table books on Amazonian toxins. Roll after roll of Mr. Yuck stickers to put on their cocaine baggies. They are probably all sorts of well-read on the subject of poison. I bet they've got suitcases full of crazy crap.

They do have a lot of suitcases. They said they were for Bret Michaels' bandannas, but how many bandannas could he need?

CharleyGallay/GettyImagesEntertainment
Michaels, seen here in one of his "dressier" bandannas.

See? In those suitcases lies your salvation. What you need to do is bust into their suite and confront them. Can you get out of bed yet?

I can, yeah. Not moving too quick though. I ... hey!

What?

My room didn't have a set of doors there. This is a suite! This isn't my room at all.

So where are you? Open the doors.

-the sound of the doors opening-

It's Poison's suite.

Are they there?

Yeah, they're all in the sitting area.

What are they doing?

Reading the newspaper. Jesus, there are a lot of bandannas here. Bret Michaels just asked if I enjoyed breakfast.

Do it now! Accuse them of Poisoning you.

They're all just laughing at me.

Vomit on them!

What?

You are in the next room as your grandpa begins seducing your long-dead childhood pet. Grandpa has trouble with volume control, so it is easy to hear through the walls, the pillow, your skull. He begins spreading mayonnaise over himself. Over everything.

BLEAAGHGHHHHGHHHAHAGHAACHAAAACHAAAAAACHHHHHHHHH.

Did it work? Did you barf all over Poison?

I did, yes. They don't seem that upset.

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images Entertainment
This is real bush league as far as Bret Michaels is concerned.

Claim there's worse to come if they don't give you the antidote! Say you are sorry for accidentally bedding every one of their wives and girlfriends, but that nothing justifies taking a man's life!

They seem pretty upset about that.

Well, yeah, it can be upsetting having your moral failings pointed out to you.

No, I mean the cuckolding bit. They look like they didn't know about that.

But they were trying to poison you ... wait.

What?

You were hungover when you woke up, right? Headache?

Yeah.

You take any aspirin? Ibuprofen?

Yeah, a couple. Well. A couple and one. And then one more.

And you didn't notice this wasn't your room.

Oh shit.

You stumbled, half-blind, into a bathroom that wasn't your own, and accidentally gobbled a handful of pills, didn't you?

Oh shit!

Well, there you go. You "poisoned" yourself on someone else's muscle relaxer or blood pressure medicine or something.


Because nothing says rock and roll like "low-sodium diet."

So what do I do?

Congratulations! You're no longer poisoned! Should you require any further guidance, please consult our guide, "So You're About to Get Your Ass Kicked by a Glam Metal Band Whom You've Cuckolded and Also Vomited On."



Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and has vomited on Quiet Riot and Ratt, but never Poison. Join him on Facebook or Twitter to discuss this matter further.

by nETMAN · 0

22 Hidden Downsides They Don't Show in Superhero Movies



Superheroes' lives aren't all spandex and destroying cities -- they have downsides also. We asked our readers to show us the worst parts about being superpowered. The winner is below, but first the runners-up ...


by nETMAN · 0

Pubic Hairstyling Contests: The Worst Marketing Idea Ever

Summertime is here, ladies, and we all know what that means: killer pool parties, driving with the top down, and shaving your "lady lawn" into ridiculous shapes! At least that's the sentiment over at Schick Quattro for Women, a product burdened with the Herculean task of finding new and exciting ways of encouraging women in a public forum to decorate their mons pubis.

And given that they're saddled with job pressures comparable to those of a door-to-door merkin salesman, it's unsurprising to discover that the folks at Schick have completely cracked under the stress. The evidence? The "Prune for June" initiative, a pubic-hair-shaving competition that manages to make no sense whatsoever.

Schick Quattro
"I'm Don Draper, you're Don Draper, we're all Don Draper!" -the Schick ad team, minutes before they were all fired

Yup, the contest goes like this: To start, any lady over the age of 18 is eligible to choose from one of five "topiary" styles to best reflect her own personality, from "The Bare-Muda Triangle" to a disconcerting lightning shape lifted from Nazi porno movies:

Prune for June
They were going to go with "The Selleck," but he threatened to press charges.

Just in case you're having trouble picking a suitable hairdo for your crotch, they've also gone ahead and paired each pubic cutout with a spunky attitude and style to go along with it. For example, "The Flash" is the rebel of the group ...

Prune for June
"AH-AHHHH! He'll shave every one of us!"

... while "The Heart Breaker" is apparently Zooey Deschanel.

Prune for June
"You're also the worst Planeteer."

After you've correctly chosen what personality best reflects your genitals, Step 2 is to create a Pinterest board based on your selected shape. No, that doesn't mean you have to collect images of vaginas from the Internet and post them to Pinterest (that's what 73 percent of Tumblr is, after all). In this case, you merely have to go with stuff that reminds you of meticulously shorn vaginas, we guess. So if your pubic hair is shaped like a lightning bolt, you'd probably want to post pictures of Doc Brown or electric chairs or something like that.

Afterward, strangers as young as 13 years old (according to the official rules) will vote for their favorite assortment of photos that bring to mind pubic hair -- Hoover Dam, Thomas Edison, Mjolnir -- and the winners will come away with various prizes that are also vaguely themed around their pubic preference. For example, if you chose the heart shape, then you're clearly some sentimental cry-factory, so you get a flower pillow and ice cream holder so you don't freeze your pretty little hands while watching Drew Barrymore movies and eating Haagen-Dazs on the couch.

Pinterest
You also get the complete Reese Witherspoon Criterion Collection on Blu-ray.

And of course, if you raze your junk into a star shape, then you must like stars, so you get a bunch of shit with stars on it because, well, you like astronomy or astrology or something.

Pinterest
Although technically, we guess those are actually vagina shapes.

Other prizes make less sense -- what does the hat the lawyer wore in Jurassic Park have to do with the Bare-Muda Triangle style? Why does "The Landing Strip" get a big pillow with a D on it? Of course, this free-association contest itself is fundamentally flawed, since there's no way to verify if the participants are in fact adopting the styles, if contestants are shaving with Quattro razors, or if this promotion was the result of a bunch of MBA students who went to a Senor Frogs with a wipeboard and scrawled "SOCIAL MEDIA + VAGINAS = [crude drawing of Uncle Scrooge's money bin, with Launchpad McQuack piloting a biplane in the background]."

In any case, we can't wait for the inevitable men's version from Gillette, "Shave Your Dick for Dickcember."

by nETMAN · 0

Friday, June 14, 2013

5 (Thankfully) Extinct Giant Versions of Modern Animals

As we've pointed out before, a lot of the animals we see today used to be much larger in olden times. Like, a LOT larger. Also, a lot meaner, hungrier, and ripped-straight-from-our-nightmares-ier. So, in case you've been sleeping well these past few months, here's a brand-new set of prehistoric colossi to help you stare at the ceiling all night, being thankful that mankind showed up so late in the evolutionary parade. Otherwise you could unexpectedly run into ...

#5. Megapiranha taranensis, the Giant Piranha

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Modern piranhas are scary enough in their own right. If you have no sense of self-preservation and decide to swim in one of their rivers, these bastards will teach you never to do so again, at the not-unreasonable cost of toes, genitals, or whatever other chunks of flesh look appetizing. But not all that many people have actually died at the hands of the tiny, modern version of these ravenous machines.

That's why the idea of taking these little balls of hate and turning them into humongous slimy chainsaws with bites powerful enough to crush bone is a popular trope among direct-to-video horror movies. Which is funny, because nature beat us to the punch a good long time ago. Behold:

Via Silk666
We can't be the only ones who insert the sound of angels singing when we see a big scary mouth open like that.

That is Megapiranha, which lived 8 to 10 million years ago in the rivers of South America and grew to a meter in length, four times that of the cow skeletonizers of today. And if it ever finds out we gave it a lazy-ass name like "megapiranha," it'll find a way to revive itself and tear us to shreds in one or two bites.

Via Prehistoric-wildlife.com
Pretty sure this diagram is mistaken on the whole "swimming with man-eaters" thing.

See, not only was Megapiranha huge, but its bite was among the strongest in history, with a force-to-body-weight ratio unmatched by even the mightiest dinosaur. Whereas modern-day piranhas peak at a bite force of 70 pounds, a Megapiranha is estimated to have bitten with a force of 1,000 pounds.

To further illustrate how insane that is, a T. rex could deliver a bite force of just over 3,000 pounds, roughly three times that of a Megapiranha. Only thing is, the T. rex weighed seven tons. The Megapiranha? Twenty pounds, maybe 25 if it started slacking off at the gym. If it were as big as T. rex, it probably could've chewed up an Apatosaurus and swallowed it whole, while barely breaking a sweat.

And here's our friend's bite when compared to other feared creatures of the sea:

Via Oceanminds.com
There were 47 more entries, but the Megapiranha ate them all.

See how no other fish comes close? Precisely. It's a damn good thing humans hadn't been invented yet, because we probably wouldn't have lasted two years before evolving into steaming chunks of piranha shit.

#4. Giant Birds of Prey

Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images

One thing we rarely have to worry about today is giant birds of prey swooping down and flying away with our children. That's mainly because there are no Haast's eagles around. But that is a very recent development.

Via Badassoftheweek.com
This guy is building one from memory.

The average Haast's eagle had a 10-foot wingspan. Its gigantic claws would impale, rip, and tear anything it deemed delicious; that something was usually quite big and meaty, like the moa bird. If the below picture doesn't look impressive to you, try to keep in mind that the moa it's about to munch on are 10 to 12 feet tall:

Via John Megahan
My God, it's already eaten their arms off!

What else did it eat? Apparently, us. The Haast's eagle definitely lived among humans, up until 1400 or so. So yes, a mere 600 years ago, these things roamed the skies, snatching our babies, and maybe even our mommies and daddies. Here's a comparison between the Haast's talons and a modern eagle, if you want to imagine them clamping down on your neck:

PLOS via Wikipedia
Damn, it's more than 10 cinnamon long!

New Zealand folk tales speak in hushed whispers of giant man-eating birds ruling the land, and these stories have all but been proven to be about Haast's eagle. It was only after the Maori tribe hunted its primary food source -- the moa -- to extinction that Haast's eagle met its own demise.

Of course, if you keep rewinding the clock by millions of years, you find murderous birds getting bigger, and stranger. You could, for instance, step out of your time machine and find yourself running from Gastornis:

Via BBC
Or finding a way to kill it, because just one hot wing from that bastard would feed a whole Super Bowl party.

That ridiculous dinosaur/dodo hybrid stood over 6 feet tall, could in no way fly with those stupid little stump wings, and had a keen taste for meat.

Giant birds like these were among the Earth's top predators after the extinction of the dinosaurs, gulping down our poor mammalian ancestors in the forests of Europe some 50 million years ago. If they'd tried bringing one of these bastards back to life in Jurassic Park, the audience would have been laughing their asses off, right up until this Gastornis severed Jeff Goldblum's head with one effortless snap of its beak.

Via Everythingdinosaur
OK, we'd still be laughing, but in a horrified sort of way.

#3. Megalania prisca, the Giant Lizard

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Komodo dragons of today are not to be fucked with, reaching 10 feet in length and weighing up to 150 pounds. Also, they're quite poisonous and can very much kill you. Now take one of those things and double its size. Then make it anywhere from five to 30 times as heavy. That's the Megalania, aka the giant ripper lizard. And us modern-day humans just missed them.

Via Thecryptozoologist
What a shame; they looked playful.

As recently as 40,000 years ago, Megalania patrolled the Australian Outback, living up to its "ripper" name with little difficulty. And while anyone who knows their history laughs at the idea of humans and dinosaurs walking the Earth at the same time, your Australian ancestors experienced something pretty damned close -- it's likely the earliest human settlers in the area ran into these monsters, and then promptly ran away. As well they should have.

And unlike today's Komodo dragons, whose saliva may or may not be somewhat poisonous, Megalania were absolutely venomous, and it was potent as hell. If the soft marsupials of the time ever questioned who ruled the roost, Megalania and its toxic spit was more than happy to remind them. Again and again, if need be.

Via Wikimedia Commons
And, as shown here, they could live for tens of thousands of years without skin or internal organs.

Now remember: All of this occurred 40,000 measly years ago. As far as history is concerned, we crashed the party a mere millisecond after these gigantic fuck-yous from Mother Nature stepped out for a smoke. They were here so recently, in fact, that some people think they still exist. Those people better hope to God that they're wrong. With the seemingly infinite number of murderous creatures that Australia currently sports, do we really need a real-life poisonous Smaug making some grand return to ensure our final days on Earth are completely unpleasant?

Friday, June 14, 2013 by nETMAN · 0

5 Hilarious Ways Corporate Twitter Accounts Go Wrong

How many times have you rolled your eyes this week at some dumbass corporate ad on Twitter or Facebook or any one of a billion other social media knockoffs? It's always the same plastic attempt to appear like they fit in with the Internet crowd, while displaying a shockingly transparent lack of understanding of what we're actually like. I have to admit, though, that as much as I bitch about them, they're truly my favorite part of Twitter. They just try so hard, and it's hilarious to watch them continually fail over and over when ...

#5. They Desperately Try to Avoid Saying Anything Controversial

Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

When Twitter and Facebook first started to get big, companies came out of the woodwork like fucking roaches to nab up their accounts because, though nobody quite understood why, everyone was told that this was the next big thing. You had to have a Twitter account, and if you didn't, you'd be left in a pile of freshly fucked bankruptcy. Of course, when they got those accounts, they had no idea what to do with them, so most companies ended up with a sad, limp dick of a page with a few employees giving them a "Like" or a follow because they felt they had to. Like a hand job from a piteous, menstruating housewife.

The ones who did escape the ever-crushing sphincter of failure realized that the only way an account can survive is by utilizing the "social" part of "social media" ... you know, what it was actually fucking made for. And that meant being interactive with its followers, and not just posting up sales notices and company advertisements in hopes that hordes of inescapably crazy people would embrace them, regardless of their content. Here's the problem with that level of corporate interaction:

Via @Walmart

What in the unholy who gives a fuck? What kind of vapid, pointless bullshit is that? Did they seriously try to drum up Wal-Mart buzz by asking what flavor of milkshake people like? And who the fuck calls a milkshake a "chocolate milk treat," let alone puts additional ice in it? This kind of intellectually neutered exchange is a direct result of Wal-Mart's corporate oversight. See, a business that big can't afford to offend anyone for any reason, no matter how small. So all the life and interest is stripped out of every topic you can imagine, until the only subjects left to talk about on a social level are ones normally reserved for 85-year-old nuns.

Now understand that complaining about it doesn't mean that we want them making racist comments or taking part in the "rape joke" debate. But imagine them trying to have an actual conversation with, say, a Game of Thrones fan about the show. They couldn't talk about many of the more controversial scenes because they're mostly fucking, incest, severed dicks, throat-slitting, and giving birth to shadow demons. Content aside, if you talk about a certain game, CD, or movie, now other companies who have merchandise in your store can claim that you're unfairly pushing competing products. So any attempt at an acceptable conversation ends up as:

Via @Walmart

Now, understand that most "viral tweets" -- a phrase that's so bad, it actually proves the existence of Satan -- gain popularity because they're controversial. Some are extremely witty phrases that no one else has thought of before. You can cross most companies off of that list because creativity isn't their thing. Some are edgy and push the boundaries of good taste. Ah, there's the "can't offend anyone" hurdle, so you can count them out of that tactic, too. But these businesses rely on viral advertising to promote their brand and make the account worth it. So how do they do it without those extremely important tools?

The same way 13-year-old attention whores do it on Facebook:

Via @McDonalds

#4. Trolls Flock to Every Tweet

Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images

I'm going to admit something right off the bat because I can't consider myself a man if I'm not up-front with my faults. I have as much hypocrite in me as any human on this planet, and one of the bigger ways I double-talk is that I'm known for bagging on trolls while occasionally dipping into that well, myself:

Via @Toyota

Now, given, I don't do it much to regular people anymore because I'm still making a lifelong effort to shed my douche skin, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to stop fucking with company Twitter accounts. It's just so damn much fun, and it's so easy. I think the biggest reason people do it is because even though there's obviously a person behind each of those tweets, it's still a big, faceless, emotionless corporation, and as many right hooks as you throw at their chin, they just keep on smiling and taking it. It's like an infinite ammo cheat. And the ammo is handfuls of your shit.

Now, to my credit, I generally reserve my trolling for when they really deserve it. For instance, take a look at this small exchange and tell me that the guy talking to Windows isn't a company shill:

Via @Windows

That's only a small clip. The actual exchange goes on forever, and it's all worded in that "I am most definitely a manager, and I am trying to sell you a product" tone. Even if he's not a company shill, I still wanted to punch that dude's dick off every time I read another one of his "I'm pretending to be human" responses. So I threw a little shot at them, and fellow Cracked Addict (that's what I'm calling Cracked fans from now on) Ben Denny jumped in for a nice little tag-team backhand.

Via @Johncheese

Though we don't take it as far as, say, the people who create an entire account dedicated to following only one store, and then using that account to just bag on them every free moment that they had.

Via @Ratchetbluberry

#3. They Keep Inventing New, Awful Forms of Spam

Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Think about this for a second, because I find this hilarious from a certain perspective. OK, say that @Cracked suddenly started posting shit directly to you in a way that was invasive and uninvited. You could always block them, but you're sure that they're doing this to everyone and not just you, so you do your duty as a good Internet citizen and report them for spam. Twitter even has a dropdown "Report for spam" button to make it quick and easy for you:

Twitter

Now, take the same exact situation, only this time Cracked paid Twitter for the opportunity. Now, it's a "Promoted Tweet." Don't get me wrong here; I'm not bitching about it. I fully understand how ads work, and I am a capitalist to my core. But I find that whole setup to be funny as hell. "Don't let those assholes get away with that. Report them for spam, and we'll ban them. Oh, wait, they paid us -- these guys are cool."

The point is that companies have to be invasive to a certain degree in order to sell merchandise. A store that just sits back in silence, never running ads or reminding you about their name isn't going to last very long. But they all know that they can only go so far before advertisement turns into harassment, and then they become your enemy.

Via @Johncheese

I'm fine with either of the above ads. Given, I'm more likely to troll the one in my actual feed if it's stupid, but they're both well within acceptable levels of invasiveness. But what's not even remotely acceptable is what I'm about to show you, and it's starting to become an actual thing. Check this shit out:

Via @Walmart

Via @Walmart

I blurred out the names in that so those poor bastards don't get tons of dick pictures sent to them by crazy people, but nowhere in either one of those screenshots did any one of those people mention Wal-Mart before they inserted themselves into the conversation with an ad. No, the person who was running the Twitter did a search on "Call of Duty" and started sending out CoD spam to anyone who mentioned it, uninvited and unpaid.

And that, kids, is what we're headed for. It's the modern day version of cold calling. It's a digital door-to-door salesman, and these dumbasses don't realize that when they start pissing people off by doing this, they're going to get exactly one advertisement in the door before the recipient blocks them. Hopefully they learn that lesson quickly before the advertising world fucks up yet another easy money online market by not just crossing the line, but diving over it headfirst and tackling the person who drew it.

Now, I keep picking on Wal-Mart in this article, but in the interest of fairness, I did see them do one thing that I thought was really cool, and if they continued doing it, they might even put a dent in that whole "voted worst customer service" problem that they can't seem to break. And that exchange was this:

Via @Walmart

No, I'm not saying that they should get a crew working on sending out grocery list reminders to people. It's the gesture that they got right. Small things like this go a long way for customers, and if they can make the effort to do things like that on occasion, they're taking steps in the right direction.

by nETMAN · 0

4 Commonplace Technologies That Every Movie Still Gets Wrong

Hollywood has a long history of using cutting-edge technology to produce some of the most eye-popping visuals you'll ever see while simultaneously telling stories filled with a complete misunderstanding of everyday technology.

For every incredible creature that couldn't exist without CGI wizardry, there are dozens of times when everyone behind the scenes is absolutely baffled when it comes to digitally recreating something simple, like...

#4. Fake Websites

There are a lot of soda options out there, but if you know someone who, as a choice they made entirely on their own and not against their will after a threat of physical violence made by a low-life in clown makeup, chooses Faygo over Coke or Pepsi, there's a good chance you don't like that person. Soda preference isn't the main reason you don't like them, but it's just one annoying grain of sand within the Sahara Desert that is your distrust of them.

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If these men offered your child a spray of Faygo to the lips, would you let that happen?

Watching a character from pretty much any movie or show surf the Internet is the same thing. Maybe you're really invested in the ongoing tales of Sam and Dean from Supernatural. All that fan loyalty grinds to a halt for a moment when they need to research their Monster-Of-The-Week. And they don't Google it; no, they Search The Web it...

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Jeff Winger on Community is a sarcastic asshole whose natural charisma adds to his cool guy mystique. Too bad his preference for Searchsies.com over any real world search engine makes him look like an out-of-touch grandpa who's about to enter his social security number as a search term.

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And those cops on Law and Order could solve a couple rapes and a homicide case before lunch if they weren't using a Chinese Google knockoff ...

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It's not just search engines. It's everything on the Internet.

Want to befriend someone in the Supernatural universe? Find them on BFFLink.net, a social networking site that somehow gained in popularity in spite of its third-world-dot-net status.

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If you want to watch an Internet video on Castle, you can head over to YouWillViewIt.com, which seems to have been launched circa 2006 and abandoned by its owners circa early 2006, but people just kept posing stuff to it ...

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But They Have to Do It Because ...

Google will probably sue them if they use their logo, or the Bing people will soil their pleats and bitch about how it's unfair that Google gets all that free publicity, even though Google is so ubiquitous it's a verb now and "Binging" probably describes the acts committed by an obscure group of fetishists who fuck-dressed as '90s-era Matthew Perry, as if there were any other era of Matthew Perry and if there were anything else you could do in that state of dress other than get pussy.

#3. Horribly Produced Newscasts

Since the financial crisis hit, news organizations had to cut corners, in some cases getting rid of entire news desks or shutting down altogether. So, the big news networks doubled down on technological fanciness to make up for a lack of real reporting. Newscasts in fictional TV shows were apparently hit even harder.

The characters in the new Kevin Bacon show The Following get their news from a network newscast that appears to be broadcasting in front of a green screen in the producer's basement, surrounded by boxes filled with the remains of abandoned hobbies ...

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On Arrow, the only news program anyone watches has the same production value as a North Korean propaganda video ...

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Even the newscasts on Arrested Development went from being filmed in a studio with a physical set in the first three seasons ...

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... to a set so fake the desk is probably a binary code/balsa wood-blend in season four.

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The old saying "Dress for success" applies to more than just clothes. If you want people to take you seriously -- especially in a profession like news reporting, where seriousness reigns supreme -- you have to put your best foot forward. That starts with not looking like a movie villain who has commandeered the airwaves to deliver a scary yet theatrical threat to blow up the moon.

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In these worlds filled with newscasts that have low production values, you have to wonder how many corners news programs are cutting elsewhere. If all they can afford is a desk and a green screen, how much are they spending on reporting?

But They Have to Do It Because ...

After running a cost-benefit analysis, Hollywood has determined that physical backgrounds have no business being around humans. Wood, a few nails, and some paint is too much to ask when you can just put some fake stuff on a green thing to give a news anchor that trustworthy cable-access-preacher-at-2 a.m. feel.

by nETMAN · 0