Giant squids were often feared by sailors and pirates alike, particularly the mighty kraken. Crafted out of fine bronze, this ear cuff resembles the commonly feared kraken, and requires no piercings to be worn. Sold on Etsy.
What could possibly be better than a pile of LEGOs, each tiny piece so full of potential? How about LEGO bricks made of mouthwatering chocolate? Yep, that’ll do it. These awesome, completely functional and 100% edible Chocolate LEGO bricks are the work of Japanese illustrator and designer Akihiro Mizuuchi.
The bricks are made by pouring melted chocolate into precisely designed molds. After the chocolate has cooled, the edible LEGOs can be popped out of the molds and used just like regular LEGO bricks. That is, until you’re overcome by the urge to start eating them.
Now we’re one step closer to living in a Land of Chocolate.
Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler Appreciation Post
Reid Wiseman is a national treasure.
From Gay Monopoly to Twinkees and Trolls: View our collection of gay and lesbian board games from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.
I’ve watched this at least 200 times
[A gorgeous picture of the sky, portrait orientation. The top half is a dark blue (almost indigo); the bottom half is a wild flurry of cumulus clouds, glowing orange and silver-gold against a turquoise background. In front, a few dark purpley-grey clouds skit across the image.]
My friend refers to himself as this on a regular basis. Figured I’d make it official with embroidery floss!
First time trying embroidery! Quite a lot of fun, even if I did stab myself.
This town in Russia is called Zheleznogorsk.
Their flag and coat of arms is a bear splitting the atom.
That is all.
*kicks down door, knocks over end table, vase crashes to the floor*
No that is NOT all, because Zheleznogorsk is really interesting.
It was a secret city, established in 1950 in the middle of Nowhere, Siberia for the purpose of researching nuclear weaponry and producing massive quantities of plutonium, the facilities for which were hidden inside a hollowed-out mountain. It appeared on no maps, and had no census data. Although more than 100,000 people lived there at one point, satellite imagery would have shown only a fairly small mining town. The mountain complex contained 3,500 rooms and three plutonium reactors, which were kept cool by one of the mightiest river in Siberia. The space had been excavated by tens of thousands of gulag slave laborers, who removed more rock from inside the mountain than was used to build the Great Pyramids. Protected under the granite peak of the mountain, these facilities would survive a direct nuclear attack.
No one called it “Zheleznogorsk.” Officially, it was “Krasnoyarsk-26,” which is something like naming a city ‘Arizona-17.’ Residents traveling outside the city called it Iron Town, if they had to refer to it at all. They were under strict instructions never to reveal to anyone the actual business of Krasnoyarsk-26.
And life there was fantastic. People living and working in the secret city received some of the best wages in the Soviet Union. There were sports stadiums, public gardens, a movie theater, and the shortages notorious in the rest of the USSR were unknown. The best nuclear scientists in Russia lived in a sealed-off utopia.
A third of all the nuclear weapons produced in Russia during the Cold War were powered by fuel from Zheleznogorsk. At the time, the image of the great Russian bear ripping an atom apart wouldn’t have seemed very funny at all.
I love the history side of Tumblr
UM, SO. MY GRANDFATHER ACTUALLY BUILT THIS TOWN, AND HELPED RUN IT FOR MANY YEARS.
He was a (Jewish) university student with a degree in electrical engineering (he volunteered for military service after his dad was killed in WWII and served during wartime even though he was underage and medically prohibited from serving in the military. He faked his papers and went to “avenge his dad” at 17.)
Anyway, after the war he started uni and graduated with a Master’s in engineering 5 years later, in the early 50s. He was then due to receive his mandatory 3 year assignment (as all Soviet uni students did - higher education was free, but you spent your first three years working wherever they sent you), except instead he was tapped by the KGB, for reasons he wasn’t clear on until his death (he has several relatives declared Enemies of the State during Stalin’s purges, and he was Jewish, so not exactly a prime candidate for top secret work.)
Anyway, they sent him to the middle of nowhere, Siberia, where he lived in a tent in the wilderness with a few other guys, and was in charge of building a city. It took over a year before any of his immediate superiors even moved out there, because it was literally in the middle of a snowy forest. My grandfather was in charge of making a city plan, laying roads, building houses, building the nuclear facilities, all of it. Eventually he and tent-mates moved into temporary houses, and then eventually real houses.
He wasn’t a nuclear scientist, he worked on the logistical side of the city, but he continued to run it until he left. They were in charge of all the infrastructure, including work inside the nuclear reactors. He was involved in an accident once, where a “minor” bomb exploded and knocked down a bunch of protective walls and he was in the hospital for a while, with radiation poisoning among other things.
Some of the most gruesome stories my grandfather used to tell were about supervising the prisoners who were extracting rock from the mountain. It was not only slave labor, it was also a death sentence. They were not given safety equipment and the rock dust would quickly settle in their lungs. Since they had nothing to lose the prisoners did everything to prolong or fuck up the process of carving the mountain. They’d set clever traps that would only be discovered months later and delayed construction. To be clear, tampering with this system, or with the fates of the prisoners, was considered treason, punishable by death. Similarly, any serious fuck up in constructing the town and facilities my grandfather was in charge of, would have similarly meant a conviction for treason and a potential execution for my grandfather.
Eventually on one of his vacations back home my grandfather met my grandma, they wanted to get married but she had to get security clearance before they let her move to a secure zone. This was actually a huge problem, and my grandparents lived apart for months when my grandpa had to go back to work and my grandma wasn’t allowed to join him. You see, my grandmother, who was 11 when WWII broke out, had to account for every single day during the war to prove she had actually been in a concentration camp the whole time and hadn’t been aiding the Germans and their allies (my grandmother was Jewish). If even one day was unaccounted for she’d be considered too risky to let into a place like Krasnoyarsk-26. She had to produce documents, witnesses, etc.
Eventually my grandparents were reunited, and life in Krasnoyarsk-26 was indeed pretty awesome. They had everything, no expense was spared. My grandmother, who had a teaching degree, became the teacher of the small school they eventually established for the children of the residents.
Probably my favorite story is how my uncle was born. My grandmother’s relatives obviously didn’t know anything about where she was, but she did write letters and tell them she was pregnant with her first child (she was also the firstborn, so it was the first grandchild for the family). Her mother, my great-grandmother, insisted on coming over to help her during and after the birth, as otherwise it was just my grandparents living on their own in their little apartment, and my grandfather would obviously not get any paternity leave.
This was strictly forbidden, no unathorized people were allowed into the town, and my grandfather wrote to his mother-in-law telling her as such. This did not even slightly deter my great-grandmother, who, among other things, managed to pull 5 little girls through Nazi concentration camps all on her own. She completely ignored my grandfather, packed her bags, went to Krasnoyarsk (the actual, non-secret city) and started asking questions about this mysterious Krasnoyarsk-26 and where she might find it. Eventually she actually managed to figure it out and showed up at the gates of Krasnoyarsk-26 asking for my grandfather. Since he was well known and well liked my grandfather was alerted to deal with the problem, and my great-grandmother made it clear to him that she wasn’t leaving. He had to sneak her in through a secret passage, basically making a long journey in the snow, and eventually illegally brought her into the city. This is probably my favorite story about my great-grandmother.
Eventually my mom was born, and as a child started having health issues. She got sick a LOT and the doctors told my grandparents that she wouldn’t survive another Siberian winter. My grandmother took her back to the south of Ukraine, to live with family, and my grandfather had to find a way to quit his job and join them. You have to understand you didn’t just quita top secret nuclear facility in the Soviet Union. No rules applied here, there were no workers’ unions. You worked there until your services were no longer needed.
My grandfather explained the situation to his superior, and his superior literally pulled out a map of the Soviet Union and said “point to any place on this map and I will find a sanatorium for your wife and children where they can live as long as they like, at the state’s expense, and enjoy every comfort and top notch medical treatment. We can do that for you, but you have to stay here.”
My grandfather refused and said he wouldn’t stay without his family, and his family couldn’t live here anymore, so. They actually eventually did let him go! He counted himself exceptionally lucky.
And then of course when he came home to Ukraine and was reunited with my grandmother he found that because the work had been top secret, it was like his record didn’t exist, and antisemitism in the real world was so severe that no one would give him a job as even a lowest level engineer. He spent months going to interviews, sending his paperwork everywhere and trying to cash in every favor he could just to get any kind of work. Eventually a friend from uni set him up somewhere, with a lower wage and a lower level position than he deserved going purely by his years of experience, nevermind the kind of work he actually did.
I only found out about all this in bits and pieces, and the majority of it started making sense in my head when my grandfather started sharing more, closer to when he died. I actually had no idea about any of this until I joined the military and became an intelligence officer. My family always used to laugh or not get why I couldn’t tell them things, but my grandfather suddenly started displaying a lot of sympathy and understanding for my position.
"There are secrets I signed my name to that I’ll never tell anyone," he used to say. And i’d say "but grandpa, it’s been 60 years! It’s all been declassified, besides!" And he’d say "that doesn’t matter. I signed my name and I gave my word. I can talk about what daily life was like, but I’ll never talk about happened in the classified facilities. Not even when they make shows about it on television. I’ll never betray the promises I made."
One part that was super fun/surreal though was comparing classification and information security protocols with my grandpa. “Oh did you do that as well? How interesting!”
OMFG> Your family have the best (worst?) stories.
[Life with/out a cat: A cute comic illustrating doing things with cats and then doing the same thing with a cat in the way. “Cats for constant companionship: mixtapecomics.com/journalcomic copyright 2013 Rachel Dukes]
After a discussion last week with several of my cartoonist peers (and at the behest of Steve Bissette): I want to talk about image theft and uncredited content on social media. I’m only going to speak from personal experience (and only about the one image posted above) but I hope that this example will show the disservice this causes to any artist whose artwork is edited and reposted without credit.
[Disclaimer: I post all my work online for free. I want people to read, enjoy, and share my work. I have no problem with people reposting my work if it’s credited and unaltered. (That way new readers can find their way to my site to read more.) My problem is when people edit out the URL and copyright information to repost the images as their own for fun or profit.]
Below, I’ve listed the sites where my comic was posted and how many times it was viewed on / shared from each of those sites. (The following list was composed from the first ten pages of Google.) Let’s take a look at the life of this comic over the last 11 months.
On January 23 (2013) I posted the comic on my journal comic website, Intentionally Left Blank, and on my corresponding art Tumblr (where it currently has 5,442 notes). The same day, it was posted (intact, with the original URL and copyright) to Reddit. (There, credited, it has received 50,535 views.)
The Reddit post alone was exciting but on January 24, someone posted an edited version of the image (with the URL and copyright removed) to 9GAG. That uncredited posting has been voted on 29,629 times and shared on Facebook 22,517 times. That uncredited image caught on and spread like wildfire:
January 25: LOLchamp (39 comments. Views unknown.)
January 26: WeHeartIt. (With the 9GAG ad at the bottom. Views unknown.)
January 26: Random Overload (2 Facebook likes. Views unknown).
January 26: CatMoji (41 reactions. Views unknown.)
January 26: The Meta Picture (1,800+ Facebook likes. 6,000+ Pintrest shares)
February 5: damnLOL. (929 Facebook shares. Views unknown.)
February 7: LOLhappens. (1,400+ Facebook shares.)
February ?: LOLmaze (121 shares)
February ?: LOLzbook (37 likes and 37 shares).
On March 25, I was lucky and this comic was featured in a Buzzfeed post “36 Illustrated Truths About Cats.” The comic was featured alongside work by a 35 other artists who I admire and aspire to be. (Exciting!)
Buzzfeed was able to trace the uncredited image back to me and listed a source link to my main website but still posted the uncredited version of the image. The post currently has 6,000+ Facebook shares, 14,000+ Facebook likes, and 727 Tweets. Ever the optimist, I’ll count those numbers in the “credited views” column.
The problem with Buzzfeed posting the uncredited image and only listing the source underneath was: people began to save their favourite comics from the article and repost them in their personal blogs without credit. (13, 3, and 60 Facebook likes, respectfully.) I’m mentioning this not to target Buzzfeed or the individuals reposting, but to show the importance of leaving the credits in the original image.
March 30: FunnyStuff247. (47,588 views.)
March 31: LOLcoaster. (1 Facebook like. Views unknown.)
April 5: ROFLzone. (1,200+ Facebook shares. Views unknown.)
April 26: LOLwall. (70 Facebook likes. Views unknown.)
July 23: The uncredited image was chopped into four smaller pieces and posted on the Tumblr of TheAmericanKid, where he sourced it to FunnyStuff247. (124,786 notes and featured in #Animals on Tumblr.)
Aug 21: Eng-Jokes.com. (87,818 views and 41,400+ Facebook shares.)
There were 14 other sites which listed uncredited versions of the image within the first 10 pages of Google, but they were personal blogs so I’m not going to include them here.
One additional website I haven’t mentioned was Cheezburger, who originally posted the uncredited version of comic on January 23; but later modified it to the credited image after I contacted them. They didn’t contact me when they made the change but the image currently has 2,912 votes and 4,700 Facebook shares. Let’s be optimistic and count those as credited views and shares.
That brings us up to the current views and shares of the comic. Now let’s do some math.
I’ve removed the comments and reactions (because they could already be accounted for in views). I’ve left in votes, however, because some sites list votes instead of views.
Taking into consideration that Tumblr notes are made up of both likes and reblogs, let’s be conservative and say the Tumblr notes are twice as high as they should be. (That every single person that has viewed the image on Tumblr has liked the image and reblogged it.) Dividing the Tumblr notes in half, that leaves us with:
Posts using the credited image:
2,721 Tumblr notes
0 Pintrest shares
14,000 Facebook likes
10,700 Facebook shares
Posts using the uncredited image:
62,393 Tumblr notes
6,000 Pintrest shares
2,085 Facebook likes
347,984 Facebook shares
Adding those up and treating them all like views (assuming that every shared post was viewed once):
The original (unaltered, credited/sourced) version of the comic has been viewed 81,595 times.
The edited, uncredited/unsourced version of the comic has been viewed 588,310 times. (That’s over half a million views. Seven times more than the original, credited version.)
What does that mean for me as a creator? On the positive side, I created something that people found relatable and enjoyable. I succeeded at that thing I try to do. But, given the lack of credit, it also means that 88% of 669,905 people that read this comic had no chance of finding their way back to my website.
This was a successful comic. I want to be able to call this exposure a success. But those numbers are heartbreaking.
Morally, just the idea of taking someone’s work and removing the URL and copyright info to repost it is reprehensible. You are cutting the creator out of the creation. But worse yet, sites like 9GAG are profiting off the uncredited images that they’re posting.
9GAG is currently ranked #299 in the world according to Alexa rankings. As of April of this year, their estimated net worth was around $9.8 million, generating nearly $13,415 every day in ad revenue.
As a creator of content that they use on their site: I see none of that. And I have no chance of seeing any kind of revenue since readers can’t find their way back to my site from an uncredited image.
I don’t want to sound bitter. The money isn’t the point. But this is a thing that’s happening. This isn’t just happening to me. It’s actively happening to the greater art community as a whole. (Especially the comics community. Recent artists effected by altered artwork/theft off the top of my head: Liz Prince, Luke Healy, Nation of Amanda, Melanie Gillman, etc.) Our work is being stolen and profited off of. Right this second.
I do my best to see the positive in these events but the very least I can do as a creator is stand up in this small moment and say “This is mine. I made this.”
Something need to be done by the community as a whole: by the readers as well as the creators. We need to start crediting our content/sources and reporting those who don’t. Sites like 9GAG need to be held accountable for their theft of work. If you see something that’s stolen: say something to the original poster, report the post, or contact the creator of the artwork.
If you have an image you’d like to post but don’t know the source: reverse Google image search it. Figure out where it came from before you post. If you like it enough to share it, it means there’s probably more where that came from.
Oh hey look, another comic of ours was stolen by BuzzFeed (linked to in this post, under “36 Illustrated Truths About Cats.” )They hotlinked to ChaosLife, too, which is really fucking sickening — a hotlink basically taxes our site traffic without giving us any ad revenue - in essence, we pay more for our site server for the traffic, but get nothing in return. BuzzFeed Not Only Makes Profits Off These Articles, But They Also Pay Their Staff For The Articles.
They Are Paying Their Staff to Steal Your Content.
We’re currently in talks with BuzzFeed about paying us, thanks to a Tweet by Erika Moen fueling them to pay her for her comic’s use, as well. They said they’ve sent a check. They’ve stolen almost 10 of our comics over just this past year for their “articles.” Most are uncredited.
ARTISTS: If BuzzFeed STAFF MEMBERS (not users, just Staff) use your work in an article, even credited, their rate is $50 per unfair use of your comic. Contact BuzzFeed right away if your work has been unfairly used. I know it’s definitely not a lot of money (and not anywhere close to our commission prices), and not even worth what the ad revenue would have gotten if the comics hadn’t been stolen, but instead simply linked to, but it’s a way to get them to stop doing this shit.
Now, go forth and get your money. Because demanding that we get paid (even if we don’t wind up getting paid) is holding them accountable, and in a lot of ways, it will make them and sites like 9GAG think twice about their shitty theft practices.
I’m tired of being quiet and I’m tired of playing nice with sites that don’t benefit creators, but instead pocket the money for themselves.
The more I hear about websites like BuzzFeed and 9GAG stealing and profiting off of other people’s hard work, the more it makes me sick to my stomach. If those stats above are anywhere close to accurate, then we need to put an end to all of this as soon as possible.
People! Please! Don’t support websites like 9GAG and BuzzFeed with your page views! And don’t let them get away with art theft!Just don’t go to buzz feed… they’re part of the problem when it comes to not only art theft but “news” and information in general. And 9gag is the shitsmear of the internet. Please, be better than this..
Crow: CROW YES!
[Photos: Corvids pulling tail feathers of (much larger) birds of prey.]
American Ballet Theatre corps Kaho Ogawa 10 pirouettes