World’s Largest Jäger Bomb Train

This is the undisputed Jägertrain world record, in December 2010, Dan & Sean Kelly broke their own Jägertrain world record along with 6 other staff when they successfully completed a train of 3024 Jägerbombs at Walkabout Cardiff in December 2010.

Via: UniqueDaily

Advertisements

Rube Goldberg Machine: Big Bang to Apocalypse

This record-smashing Rube Goldberg machine developed by engineering students at Purdue University takes you on a journey from the Big Bang to the Apocalypse in 244 easy steps — culminating in the watering of a flower.

Via Nerd Approved

Throwing down the Gauntlet

In case you missed our Urban Knights shopping cart jousting, here’s what went down: Real Arters designed costumes, picked up their shields, jumped into shopping carts, and sped toward each other for an epic battle. Many tried, but only one team walked away with all the glory.

Check out the photos from the event here!

Via: Real Art Blog

Hop Aboard the Lawn Mower Beer Train

Via: Neatorama

I weep for loss of the long-cherished liberties of our republic. It’s like you can’t avoid getting harassed by the police whenever you go driving a lawn mower down the road towing a train of ten shopping carts, each of which is filled with beer, held together by a hundred-foot extension cord. While drinking a beer.

What is this country coming to?

The Rebellious History of Pinball

Pinball was banned from the early 1940s to the mid-1970s in most of America’s big cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where the game was born and where virtually all of its manufacturers have historically been located. The stated reason for the bans: Pinball was a game of chance, not skill, and so it was a form of gambling. To be fair, pinball really did involve a lot less skill in the early years of the game, largely because the flipper wasn’t invented until 1947, five years after most of the bans were implemented. Up until then, players would bump and tilt the machines in order to sway the ball’s gravity. Many lawmakers also believed pinball to be a mafia-run racket and a time- and dime-waster for impressionable youth. (The machines robbed the “pockets of schoolchildren in the form of nickels and dimes given to them as lunch money,” New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia wrote in a Supreme Court affidavit.)

NYPD Held Prohibition-Style Raids on Pinball. In New York, the pinball ban was executed in a particularly dramatic fashion. Just weeks after Pearl Harbor was attacked, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia issued an ultimatum to the city’s police force stating that their top priority would be to round up pinball machines and arrest their owners. La Guardia proceeded to spearhead massive Prohibition-style raids in which thousands of machines were rounded up in a matter of days, before being dramatically smashed with sledgehammers by the mayor and police commissioner. The machines were then dumped into the city’s rivers.

Although pinball was illegal in New York, it did not disappear entirely — it just moved behind curtains to seedy pornography shops, in places like Harlem and Greenwich Village. And the police were still raiding illegal pinball operators through the 1970s.

Pinball production changed during World War II, much of America’s manufacturing infrastructure switched over to the war effort. The pinball industry, which was a major user of copper wiring, was no exception. During the war, few new games were made. Instead, pinball suppliers began selling so-called conversion kits, which would allow pinball operators to transform a machine’s artwork to a fresh theme. These conversion themes often took the form of wartime motifs, such as the patriotic “Victory in the Pacific.”

Because pinball was illegal for so long, it became a symbol of youth and rebellion. If you watch a movie or TV show that was either produced or takes place during this period, virtually any time pinball makes an appearance, it is for the purpose of portraying to the audience that a particular character is a rebel. For example, the Fonz is regularly seen playing pinball in “Happy Days” episodes. And when “Tommy,The Who’s pinball-wizard-themed rock opera album came out in 1972, pinball was still banned in much of the country. The album’s use of pinball is largely misunderstood by today’s audiences, who may view the deaf, dumb and blind pinball wizard as quirky. In all likelihood, The Who was using the game to portray the titular character as anti-authoritarian.

Filmmaker Richard Linklater makes use of this symbol in a significant number of his movies, with rebellious or outcast characters seen playing or talking about pinball in virtually every one. And in “The Simpsons,” Sideshow Bob once proclaimed, “Television has ruined more young minds than pinball and syphilis combined.”

In 1976, the New York City pinball ban was overturned. The coin-operated amusement lobby (which represented the pinball industry) eventually succeeded in earning a City Council hearing to re-examine the long-standing ban. Their strategy: prove that pinball was a game of skill, not chance, and thus should be legal. To do this, they decided to call in the best player they could find in order to demonstrate his pinball wizardry — a 26-year-old magazine editor named Roger Sharpe. Fearful that this hearing might be their only shot at overturning the ban, the industry brought in two machines, one to serve as a backup in case any problems arose with the primary machine.

Suspicious that the pinballers had rigged the primary machine, one particularly antagonistic councilman told them that he wanted them to use the backup. This presented a problem: While Sharpe was intimately familiar with the first-choice game, he had never played the backup. As he played the game, surrounded by a huddle of journalists, cameras and councilmen, he did little to impress City Council’s anti-pinball coalition. So he made a final Hail Mary move that, to this day, he compares to Babe Ruth’s famous called shot in center field. He pulled back the plunger to launch a new ball, pointed at the middle lane at the top of the playing field, and boldly stated that, based only on his skill, he would get the ball to land through that middle lane. He let go of the plunger and it did what he said. Almost on the spot, the City Council voted to overturn the ban.

When asked Sharpe what he thought would have happened if he had missed the shot. After thinking about it for a few hours, he got back to me: “I’m not sure pinball would be legal today.”

Pinball is still illegal in some places. Just a few years ago, Nashville, Tenn. overturned its ban on children under 18 playing, or even standing within 10 feet of, a pinball machine. And, to this day, it is illegal to play pinball on Sundays in Ocean City, N.J.

Hugh Hefner collects pinball machines and has cooperated with pinball companies for at least three Playboy-themed pinball machines over the years. A former editor at Playboy told me that the magazine’s editorial offices had a Fireball pinball machine in the ’70s.

In 1999, Williams Pinball was the largest pinball company in the world. But it was also part of a larger, publicly traded company that demanded higher profits than the games were producing. And so the bosses gave the pinball division one last chance to save the company — and its jobs. It was to create a new game that would bridge the gap between pinball and video games. The result was Pinball 2000, and it was a strange hybrid of the two types of games. Instead of relying on physical targets, the system projected holographic characters on the screen that would interact with the flying ball. The new game was considered a modest success, and two Pinball 2000 games were produced. But it wasn’t enough for Williams’ parent company, which nonetheless pulled the plug on the entire pinball division.

The best-selling pinball machine of all time is still “The Addams Family,” which came out in 1991. Just one company still makes pinball machines and they’re all made in the United States. Every new pinball machine comes from one Stern Pinball factory in the Chicago suburbs, where factory workers assemble several thousand parts, mostly by hand.

The Santa Claw

Have you ever wondered what happens to Santa’s leftover gifts? The ones that never appeared on Christmas wish lists. Well…nothing. Until now. This year the Fat Man sent his friends at Real Art all the unused presents, and we gave them a home in The Santa Claw.

Yep we said claw. We built the biggest claw game ever. And you—or anyone in the entire world—can play the game from your own computer. Best part…if you win, we’ll send the leftover Santa goodies straight to your door.

Visit www.thesantaclaw.com for all the details. Check out the prizes, leather chaps, Dokken records, hand-held crossbows, t-shirts, Lenticular Sacred Heart Jesus, games, balls, models, scooters, skateboards and much much more. Log in now, create your customized avatar and be prepared for a clawsome good time!

Kori no Suizokukan – Japan’s Frozen Aquarium

As a way of battling the summer heatwave in Japan this year, Kori no Suizokukan has created a frozen aquarium that helps keep visitors cool while browsing the exhibit.

Kori no Suizokukan is located in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture and features around 450 specimens of around 80 species of marine wildlife, all captured at a nearby sea port. Visitors can enjoy a brief break from the scorching sun and admire all sorts of fish, crabs or octopuses, as well as unusual objects like action figures, bottles of sake, or flowers, all embedded in huge blocks of ice.

The Frozen Aquarium was inaugurated, in Kesennuma’s fish market, in 2002, and uses flash-freezing technology to conserve fresh specimens and keep them looking so good.

The frozen aquarium is a welcome tourist attraction in the heat but, visitors can only spend a few minutes inside. Temperatures inside the aquarium reach -20 degrees Celsius, a special suit is needed to keep people from becoming part of the exhibit themselves. Without these special suits, visitors would start feeling the effects of hypothermia after about five minutes.

Via: OddityCentral Photos via Crave

Hollywood Sign Saved

Via: The Presurfer

The famous Hollywood sign has been saved from being spoiled by property development by a last-minute donation from Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner. He gave $900,000 to the fund which was set up to stop the site being developed.

The Hollywood sign is owned by the city, but the property around it belongs to a group of Chicago-based investors. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger described the news as ‘the Hollywood ending we hoped for.’ Governor Schwarzenegger said Mr Hefner’s donation and a $500,000 matching grant brought to an end a $12.5m fundraising campaign.