Tag Archives: Pics

Happy Birthday, Grumpy Cat: Today Is the Worst

The Internet’s favorite sourpuss turns 1 on Thursday, and we bet she is extra miserable on this merry occasion.

So how do you celebrate the birthday of a cat that hates everything? Misery loves company, of course. Besides, everyone knows birthdays are actually the worst, unless you’re 7 and theme parties — no, your toga party doesn’t count — are still considered cool.

There is so much hype that comes with birthdays, and it usually fails to meet expectations. So, here are 10 reasons why birthdays are simply terrible — which may just turn Grumpy Cat’s permanent frown upside down.

Happy birthday, Grumpy!

1. Surprise Parties: Good Intentions, Too Much Anxiety

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, jackscoldsweat

2. Most of Us Will Have to Go to Work

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, AVAVA

3. Getting Older Stinks

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, SteveLuker

4. Useless Gifts You Can’t Return … Or Are Just Too Lazy To

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, miriam-doerr

5. Facebook Friends Don’t Even Have Time for You

Image courtesy of Reddit, Vakattack

6. Your Family Forgets to Call

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, PolenAZ

7. Birthday Clowns

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, lisafx

8. No One Shows Up to Your Party

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mediaphotos

9. People Show Up, But Your Party Is Lame

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, craftvision

BONUS: 10 Terrific Grumpy Cat Tributes on Etsy

Hubble Snaps Photo of ‘Christmas Ornament’ Nebula


It’s the time of year when even the scientists at NASA get into the holiday spirit. Last year, the space agency’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer snapped an image of a cosmic Christmas wreath for the holiday season.

Not be outdone, the venerable Hubble Space Telescope delivered holiday cheer in the form of this image of NGC 5189, a nebula that — if you’re brimming over with holiday cheer or just squinting a little — resembles a very merry Christmas ornament wrapped in a festive ribbon.

You can take a trip through the cosmos to zoom in on the nebula just like the Hubble did in the short video below.

Is the “ornament” interpretation meeting astronomers — and we suspect NASA’s PR wonks — more than halfway? Yeah, probably a little more than half, but come on — ’tis the season. You can afford to be that generous, right?

Either way, we can all agree that the beauty of the image on its own is enough to make you smile.

Image courtesy of NASA

This article originally published at Geekosystem

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/12/19/christmas-ornament-nebula/

Aghast Over Beijing’s Pollution? Look at Pittsburgh 60 Years Ago


The photographs and measurements coming out of Beijing these days are horrifying. You can see the brown clouds from space, and Chinese media have even been talking up the problem.

I’ve heard from some Americans saying, “Why don’t they do something about this? How can they live like this?” Etcetera. To an early 21st century American, particularly one living in northern California or a relatively pollution-free Washington, DC, it seems crazy to live with such bad air.

But it was not always so.

As America became an industrial power during the 19th century, Pittsburgh emerged as the seat of metalworking, iron and then steel. This was a city powered by coal. Soot and smoke covered the city. There was no blue sky. Travelers from around the world visited Pittsburgh to see the wonder of American capitalism. The stories they tell are like — exactly, like — the ones you hear today about China. (This is a story that I covered in some detail in my book.)

A wry southerner observed, “If a sheet of white paper lie upon your desk for half an hour you may write on it with your finger’s end through the thin stratum of coal dust that has settled upon it during that interval.”

Another traveler recounted, “Every body who has heard of Pittsburgh knows that it is the city of perpetual smoke, and looks as if it were built above the descent to ‘the bottomless pit,'” that is to say, hell. And yet, this dirty power also happened to make a lot of people a lot of money. It was said, “He whose hands are the most sooty handles the most money, and it is reasonable to infer is the richer man.”

Everyone knew that the smoke covering their homes and clothes and trees was bad. But it made a certain group of people a lot of money. And so they fought pollution controls. And those people had friends.

So, while the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (granted, a less august institution back then) declared the health hazards of smoke and wondered aloud whether corporations should be allowed to produce what it called such “evil,” a Pittsburgh doctor maintained that soot and smoke “only go throat-deep” and said that fire and smoke “correct atmospheric impurities.”

The politics of how this works are pretty simple. The smoke and the soot are something we recognize now as an externality. A cost of doing business that the business doesn’t have to pay because they can dump it on society. Chinese citizens and activists and assorted air-breathers will have to get the polluting companies to internalize these costs. The polluting companies don’t want to internalize that cost. Here’s Chicago’s smoke inspector (yes htere was such a title and in this case, he was named F.U. Adams) in 1896 laying out the rhetorical positions of the two camps:

Viewed from the standpoint of the Smoke Inspector, the 1,600,000 people of Chicago are divided into two classes—First, those who create a smoke nuisance; Second, those who are compelled to tolerate a smoke nuisance. One class has radical champions who maintain that smoke is an irrepressible necessity; a concomitant of the commercial and manufacturing supremacy of Chicago; that smoke not only is not unhealthy, but that it is an actual disinfectant, and that the low death rate of the city can be largely attributed to the prevalence of smoke; that the smoke ordinance and its enforcement are aimed at the interests of the Illinois coal operators; that the advocates of smoke abatement are visionary sentimentalists, and in a general way they are emphatically opposed to any agitation on the subject.

The other side has partisans no less radical, and equally emphatic in voicing the story of their wrongs. They declare that the enforcement of the smoke ordinance is a farce; they demand that soft coal be excluded from the city; they insist that its consumption entails an annual damage greater than the difference in cost between soft and hard coal; they declare that the smoke nuisance is a positive menace to the health of citizens, that it has resulted in an alarming increase in throat, lung and eye diseases; they point to ruined carpets, paintings, fabrics, the soot-besmeared facades of buildings and to a smoke-beclouded sky, and demand that the Smoke Inspector do his plain duty under the law.

It is impossible to reconcile the radical partisans of these two classes. It is fortunate that not many of our citizens are so radical on either side of this most important question. There exists a growing contingent, around which is crystallizing a sentiment that it is practical and possible to abate the smoke nuisance without endangering the stupendous interests involved. The most intelligent and active members of this contingent are drawn from the ranks of those formerly largely responsible for the smoke nuisance. They now oppose smoke for the same reason that they once defended it.

They have made the discovery that it is cheaper to abate a smoke nuisance than to maintain one. And by reason of this discovery the smoke nuisance in Chicago will be a relic of the past before the close of the present century.

Ah, you beautiful visionary sentimentalists! My asthma thanks you. But man, F.U. Adams was optimistic. Change takes a long time. Pittsburgh, for its part, did not enact smoke controls until 1946! Yes, 1946! And they didn’t really get a handle on the smoke problem until well into the 1950s. That’s, oh, 120 years after all those travelers decried the place as hell with the lid off. I mean, this is what Pittsburgh looked like at noon, the lights all on because so little sunlight could penetrate the pollution:

This is what passed for fresh air.

Until finally, one day, after a century of agitation, activists got smoke control measures passed. The sky started to clear.

The fundamental struggle of any kind of pollution control is trying to get the polluters to internalize the costs of their pollution. Because if they don’t, the rest of us have to pay more. We — i.e. all of society — subsidize their businesses through increased health care costs, declining values of certain kinds of housing, toxic land or water or air. And the only reason they get away with it is that tracing the line of causality back to them — even when the air looks as disgusting as it does in these photographs — is just that difficult. They hide their roles in the complexity of the system.

So, next time you see one of the photos of Beijing’s pollution and say, “Geez! The Chinese should do something about this!” Just know that it took American activists over a century to win the precise same battle, and that they’re losing a similar one over climate change right this minute.

Image courtesy of NASA

This article originally published at The Atlantic

Read more: http://mashable.com/2013/01/16/beijing-pollution-pittsburgh/

The Internet, Chairs Pose for Eastwooding Photos


Eastwooding has taken over the interwebz — and there are pictures to prove it.

Fans of the meme posted photos of empty chairs alongside the hashtag #eastwooding, which was inspired by actor Clint Eastwood’s ten-minute chat with a chair at the Republican National Convention. The chair, an “invisible Obama” was meant to be a stand-in for the president.

While some photos simply feature fingers pointing to empty chairs, others get a bit more creative.

One pic, tweeted by @RunBoris, shows a man sitting at a dinner table, his arm presumably around the invisible shoulders of invisible Obama next to him.

Another photo, tweeted by @Neckelhead, shows a young toddler sitting on an empty chair — or rather, on the president’s lap.

What do you think of these #eastwooding photos? Have you taken any? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo wall courtesy of Slidechute

Woof! Meow! 25 Animals Dressed Like Other Animals


19 Kids Imagine What the iPhone 6 Might Look Like

Jony Ive, your stark Apple aesthetic could use a kid’s imagination.

Minimalism, curvy and sleek? Borrrring. We asked 19 talented kids — and future Apple designers — to show us what they think the iPhone 6 will look like. A few even offered insights on features we should expect from the revamped gadget.

So when are we getting our Cat iPhone, Apple?

UPDATE, Sept. 9, 3 p.m. ET: Sadly, there are three new iPhones, none shaped like cats or monsters.

17 Cats That Just Can’t Deal With This Week

You may think the life of a cat is easy, but you’d be dead wrong.

Though they’re much cuter about it, these cats still feel the harrowing reality of the return from a long weekend just as much as any human. Some take out their frustration on a roll of paper towels and some prefer to hide in a brick wall’s crevice.

Let these cats take you to the end of the workday. If they can do it, so can you.

Top 10 GIFs of the Week


Arr! The Complete Guide to Celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day


In honor of the scurviest day of the year — Talk Like a Pirate Day — we’ve spiked the Watercooler with grog. Just kidding, but we do have the complete guide to celebrating that will shiver yer timbers.

This year marks the spot of the 10th anniversary of Talk Like a Pirate Day, according to the official website.

“What once was a goofy idea celebrated by a handful of friends has turned into an international phenomenon that shows no sign of letting up,” the site writes.

To celebrate, we’ve gathered 10 swashbucklingly fun ways to celebrate like a true pirate. We’re not only showing you how to talk like a pirate — by the end of this guide, you’ll also look and act the part. Whether it’s updating your profile picture, emailing co-workers or DIY tattoos, this guide is the treasure chest you were looking for.

Special thanks to Captain Annie Colbert of the U.S.S. Watercooler for assisting with this post.

1. Talk the Pirate Talk

Obviously, Talk Like a Pirate Day is all about the lingo, mateys. The website gives a good rundown of pirate terms, from the basics to advanced — there are even pickup lines.

Here are a few terms to know:

  • Ahoy!: “Hello!”

  • Avast! : A sense of surprise — stop what you’re doing and give it attention. “Wow!” or “Check it out!”

  • Arrr!: Never argh, which is a sound of disgruntlement. There are a few things which translate as “arr,” such as “yes,” or “I agree.” It can also be used as a term of contentment, or recognizing another pirate’s cleverness.

  • Lad/Lass: A younger boy or girl.

  • Matey: A companion or friend.

  • Savvy: A sense of understanding. “Once ye read ’tis guide, ye’ll be scurvy pirate savvy.

  • Smartly: Do something quickly. “Instagram me treasure smartly — and put a toaster filter, me matey!

  • Speaking of smartly, if you don’t have time to brush up on your pirate jargon, Post Like a Pirate will do it for you. It will even tweet your translations straight to Twittarrr.

    2. Look the Pirate Part

    Sad because your company won’t allow you to wear a three-cornered hat and eye patch to work? Don’t be! That’s what Photoshop is for. And if you’re going to talk like a pirate, you should look like one too.

    We’ve included a few pirate pieces to jazz up your avatar or profile picture. Add a hook, a sword, a hat or go all out.

    Be sure to share your creation with us by using the hashtag #MashMateys on Twitter, Instagram or Google+.

    3. Update Your Facebook

    The most hardcore of pirates are probably already using this feature, but you can change your language on Facebook to pirate. Go to your general settings and select “English (Pirate)” to join in on the fun.

    Bonus points for anyone who updates their cover photo too.

    4. Email Your Coworkers

    Now that you have the pirate lingo down — or have at least made good use of the translator — it’s time to let your colleagues know that you’re serious.

    Pirates have to yell over choppy waters, sails blowing in the wind and other rowdy pirates on the deck. You can’t yell in an email, but you can take advantage of the caps lock key.

    5. Pillage Your Office Kitchen for Snacks

    By now, you’ve surely worked up an appetite.

    Go ahead and raid the office kitchen for nourishment. Or just take a quick GIF break.

    6. Pirate Art

    Want to impress your pirate friends without using the lingo? Add some ascii art at the end of an email where your signature would normally be.

    Images courtesy of ASCII Art and Chris

    7. Pirate Tattoos

    No need to spend money and hours fighting back tears at the tattoo parlor — you can make them all yourselves!

    Jon Barnes shows you tips and techniques for drawing your own tattoos, using markers and imagination.

    8. Parrots

    Pirates considered parrots to be souvenirs of the sea. They were exotic, brightly colored and could be trained to speak.

    It’s less common for most of us to have a spare parrot lying around. Unless you already have one as a pet, consider improvising, like these guys.

    Images courtesy of Reddit, c9silver, Sharpwriter, oniaberry

    9. Pirate Grog

    Every pirate should celebrate the end of the day with a bottle of rum — but, we’re not really pirates, so let’s drink responsibly.

    Pirates actually drank grog, which was a special concoction of alcoholic brews. It was like a weak beer with rum in it. To improve the taste, modern versions of the drink are often made with hot water, and sometimes lemon juice, lime juice, cinnamon or sugar.

    If you’d rather not try grog, there are tons of other great beverage recipes — both alcoholic and nonalcoholic. Cheers, mateys!

    10. Playlist

    Finally, every pirate needs a source of entertainment while spending hours on the sea.

    Plug in your headphones, and enjoy Mashable’s sea-worthy picks for Talk Like a Pirate Day.

    Image courtesy of Nick Humphries

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/09/19/talk-like-a-pirate-day-guide/

19 Brain-Popping Costume Ideas Involving Balloons

Don’t be fooled by the astronomically high prices of Halloween costumes — there is a better way.

Armed with only a package of balloons, a balloon pump and a little (OK, a lot) of patience, you’ll have all you need to make a one-of-a-kind costume.

For a costume that will truly pop your pals’ brains, take in a little inspiration from these buoyant costume creations.