last updated: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 09:23:17 -0400
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Islamist fighters have carried out atrocities on "an unimaginable scale" in months of fighting with Iraqi forces who have also killed detainees and shelled civilian areas, a U.N. official said in an emergency debate on the conflict on Monday. Iraq's human rights minister, Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani, told the session that Islamic State militants, "oozing with barbarity", threatened his country and the world, but did not immediately respond to allegations against state troops. Islamic State has grabbed large areas of Iraq and neighboring Syria, declaring a cross-border caliphate and driving hundreds of thousands from their homes. At least 1,420 people were killed in Iraq in August alone, U.N. figures showed on Monday.
Everyone has a bad day at work now and then. But if you have one of these 15 Most Stressful Jobs in the World, even one bad day can get you or someone else killed. From EMT to Coal Miner to Ice Road Trucker, these are the jobs that will keep you up at nights!
last updated: Sun, 31 Aug 2014 23:48:11 -0400
last updated: Sun, 31 Aug 2014 20:52:10 +0000
The Spellbinding Mathematical GIFs Of Dave Whyte
Whyte, a Dublin-based PhD candidate studying the physics of foam, tells Colossal's Christopher Jobson "his first geometric gifs riffed on computational modules he was exploring while in undergrad."
last updated: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:27:04 GMT
Pakistani protesters clash with police, soldiers secure state TV
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani soldiers and paramilitary forces secured the headquarters of the state television channel PTV in Islamabad on Monday after a crowd of anti-government protesters stormed the building and took the channel off the air.
last updated: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 03:00:09 -0400
Though he’s earning recognition as a serious actor on FX’s The Bridge , to many, Matthew Lillard is still Stu from Scream or Stevo from SLC Punk! — and that’s fine with him.
Matthew Lillard as Daniel Frye on FX's The Bridge.
Whether it was imbuing a teenage murderer with comic timing and wit in Scream, or waxing poetic to the camera as blue-haired punk rocker Stevo in SLC Punk!, Matthew Lillard has always helped transform his characters into vibrant, fully developed people. His impassioned, spazzed-out performances were a hallmark of the '90s, even in films that haven't stood the test of time.
There were hints of dramatic potential scattered throughout his roles, but only in recent years — in 2011's The Descendants and now on FX's The Bridge — has Lillard been given a platform to fully explore his acting range. Still, Lillard, now also a screenwriter and director, regrets nothing about his trajectory. At 44, he knows that who you have been shapes who you are now.
"My career has never been a career of, 'We need Matthew Lillard,'" the actor said, seated in a small neighborhood market in Pasadena, Calif., near where he lives with his wife and kids. He suggested the meeting place, an intimate locale where he is a daily fixture. "My career is, 'We can't find the guy. I guess bring in Lillard,'" he said. "I'm not the guy people go looking for. I'm the guy that ends up getting the job and makes the part good."
Throughout Lillard's career, he has rarely been directly offered roles but has always proven himself in the audition room. Until the past few years, when he got the gig of alcoholic journalist Daniel Frye on The Bridge and began actively pursing screenwriting and directing, Lillard has been the "best friend," the joke-cracking second gun to the leading man. But Lillard's ability to passionately embrace any opportunity presented to him resonates throughout his entire filmography, even in the films he can now say weren't any good.
"There's nothing in my past that's too terrible," he said almost proudly, his lanky body curled into a chair by the market's counter. As he spoke, he chewed his way through a pulled pork sandwich with added bacon (despite the waitress's insistence that he was going to die). "Look, I did In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. It's the worst movie I ever made. But I turned in one of my favorite performances. My wife is like, 'I can't even watch it,' but it's one of my favorite things I've ever done."
As Stu in the gruesome but darkly comedic climax of Scream.
Acting wasn't a childhood dream for Lillard, who grew up in Orange County, Calif. It was something he fell into at age 13, primarily because he wasn't good at anything else, but it became an overwhelming passion. He acted throughout high school and after a short time at a junior college called up his parents and told them he needed to quit school. "I distinctly remember saying to my mom, 'Look, I can always go back and get my degree,'" he said. "But I never want to look back at my life when I'm old and say I wish I'd given it a shot.'"
Lillard was so intent on pursing acting that he took the advice of a photographer in the Valley and changed his name. "I'll never forget," he laughed. "When I got my first headshots, they were like, 'You should change your name. What's your middle name?' My first three credits on IMDb are 'As Matthew Lyn.' It's more a porn star name than anything else."
Lillard's first ever onscreen appearance was a commercial for now-defunct clothing store Miller's Outpost, but his big break came in 1990 when a 20-year-old Lillard scored a gig as the host of a Nickelodeon skateboarding show called SK8 TV.
"I remember saying to my mom and dad, 'We should go to Disneyland because when this hits I'm going to be so famous that I'm going to be swamped and my safety is going to be an issue,'" Lillard said. "I took them out to breakfast at Denny's as a celebratory gesture. I was like, 'I'm going to be super famous after this.' They looked dumbfounded, like, Really?"
Fame didn't arrive until later, despite Lillard's eagerness for recognition. He scored his first movie role in John Waters' 1994 film Serial Mom. When it was released Lillard would walk around outside movie theaters hoping to be identified as its star. He didn't realize at the time that success as an actor comes gradually rather than all at once, ideally building up to longevity rather than transient celebrity.
"You think if you're famous then you can do another movie," he noted. "The reality is that no matter if you get a job, that job will never satisfy you. Because the minute you get that job, you need the next job. It's really about the endurance of a lifetime of being an artist."
“A word after a word after a word is power.”
Town Hall Seattle / Via youtube.com
Imeh Akpanudosen / Via Getty Images
Henry S. Dziekan III / Via Getty Images
Blaues Sofa / Flickr / Via flic.kr
BuzzFeed / Patrick Smith
YouTube user Katrina Dewees uploaded this video entitled "Anybody Afraid of Spiders?" last week. DO NOT WATCH IF YOU DON'T LIKE SPIDERS.
Pearl Lagoon is a hard place to get to. First, you must secure one of the seats on the small, puddle-jumping prop planes flown by La Costeña, the only airline serving Nicaragua’s notoriously isolated Mosquito Coast. The flight from the country’s capital, Managua, to Bluefields, a motley port town and the area’s major metropolis at about 50,000 people, takes just one hour. That is, when it leaves on time; schedules are the stuff of fantasy here. Its cost is prohibitive for many in this, one of the poorest regions in the second-poorest country in the hemisphere. Often, the only way in or out of the coast is a combination of bus and boat that takes eight or more hours if everything goes smoothly, which it rarely does.
Freda Moon / BuzzFeed
From Bluefields, at the mouth of the Escondido River, a small fiberglass motorboat called a panga is crammed with passengers and cargo, everything from watermelons to Snow White piñatas. A roaring outboard propels the panga through maze-like channels of mangrove forest, passing fishermen in dugout canoes. In one, you might see an indigenous Miskito man with an oar in one hand, a cell phone in the other. Passing another, the boat might be weighed down with fishing nets, construction materials or, inexplicably, a small herd of raggedy mutts.
For generations, the Mosquito Coast was a refuge. Both indigenous and Afro-Caribbean, it was populated by six distinct ethnic groups who were never colonized by “Spaniards,” as many here still call the Spanish-speaking, Catholic mestizos who make up the majority of the country and with whom they’ve had a contentious relationship for centuries. Despite a recent influx of mestizo settlers, the coast is an autonomous territory, with its own government and culture. Costeños speak a mix of English, Creole, and indigenous dialects, eat curry-laced seafood stews, and listen to country music, a product of years of trade with Texas and Louisiana. The region was famously depicted in Paul Theroux’s novel-turned-movie Mosquito Coast, which starred Harrison Ford as a misanthropic mad inventor seeking to tame the place and civilize its people. American journalist Stephen Kinzer once described it as “a Caribbean island that, by some geological catastrophe, drifted toward Central America and found itself part of a foreign nation.”
Freda Moon / BuzzFeed
In Pearl Lagoon, there are no banks, no supermarkets, a couple of paved roads, and one skyscraping cell tower. But there are a half dozen churches, and the largest, most incongruous house in town — a place that resembles a McMansion in the Southern California suburbs — is owned by a woman who locals say made her money off the drug trade. The people here are fishermen and subsistence farmers. They go to sea to work on cruise ships and commercial freighters. They live in villages of stilted clapboard, concrete, or cinder block houses on large, undefined lots with ancient mango trees in the yards.
Just off the coast is an archipelago of coconut palm-capped islands known as the Pearl Cays. They’re tiny little things (the largest is 26 acres), and they’re ecologically fragile. With abuse or bad luck, an entire island can disappear in a matter of years. They have been a stopover for explorers and pirates, smugglers and narco-traffickers. But for as long as anyone here can remember, the cays have also been communal — uninhabited, but well-used by the neighboring mainland villages. They were the highway rest stop of the Mosquito Coast’s sea-centric culture, a place where fisherman and travelers could come ashore, escape a storm, stay the night. “We saw the cays as things people use for fishing and coconuts and making coconut oil,” says Wesley Williams, a historian and guesthouse owner in Pearl Lagoon. “We never wanted to think about selling the cays.”
Yet 15 years ago, after the arrival of an enigmatic foreign businessman, that’s what happened. Seven Pearl Cays would end up on the international private island market, and were then purchased by a cast of eccentric, far-flung characters: a British Playboy Bunny and her family, with a reality show crew in tow; a New Age dandy from New Zealand with an identically dressed brood and aspirations for jet-setting fame; a French inventor who dreamed of owning his own sportfishing resort.
They came, and they built. But almost as soon as they arrived, the protests began. The islands were constitutionally protected communal lands, the people of Pearl Lagoon argued. One of the country’s most well-known human rights lawyers, a tenacious U.S.-trained attorney named María Luisa Acosta, took on the case. Weeks later, her husband was found tortured and murdered. Acosta fled the coast, and the people of Pearl Lagoon went quiet. In the years since, the men who Acosta believes ordered the killing remain free, and these specks of Caribbean real estate have been transformed.
The story that people here tell of what is happening to their islands — and to Acosta — is surreal and tragic. Yet it follows a trajectory familiar in the often bleak world of indigenous and minority land conflicts, where developers can operate like the plundering colonial regimes of centuries past. As a report published earlier this year by the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs describes it, foreign investors are gobbling up indigenous lands like never before, triggering forced displacement in an “ever-expanding development frontier.”
Now, more than a decade later, with the facts of her murdered husband under review by the human rights arm of the Organization of American States, in Washington, D.C., Acosta believes she might accomplish something rare in the world of alleged land murders: She may finally get justice.
Photograph by Freda Moon for BuzzFeed
Among celebrities and the ultra-wealthy, the appeal of remote, private islands is obvious; in place of the historic moat and drawbridge, there is a warm sea. But to actually live full-time on even the most amenable private island means being separated, literally and profoundly, from every relationship you value except those you can take with you. It takes a certain kind of person to make the leap from fantasizing about owning one's own island to actually buying, and moving, and living on one.
Tropical-Islands.com / Via Web Archive
Yet if it weren’t for this fairly primal attraction, a bland website called Tropical-Islands.com would not have thrived as an early player in what has become a booming trade in private islands. When it first appeared in 1999, it had what was then a standard, no-frills design, complete with bubble fonts in shades of dull blue and drop shadow. Its tagline advertised “Your own KINGDOM in today's developed world.” But the site’s sparse white pages of plain-text hyperlinks took visitors to images of the Pearl Cays. Even in small, grainy digital photos, they were spectacular.
The property descriptions were clumsy, but the prices, starting at $105,000, hit a sweet spot: just high enough to suggest legitimacy, but still so low as to seem like a tremendous bargain. In total, seven of the eighteen cays were listed. Among their selling points was the potential for a name change (“Stay in History forever... Live on an island named after your preference!!”) and the low cost of living “due to inexpensive labor.”
Courtesy of La Prensa
The man behind the website was a dark-haired entrepreneur named Peter Tsokos. El Griego, as he’d come to be known in Nicaraguan media, arrived on the Mosquito Coast in the 1990s. He was apparently from Greece, and had at some point moved to the United States, where he seems to have spent time in Texas and Florida and gained citizenship. Nicaragua was not the first place Tsokos had purchased property; he had also been south, to Costa Rica and Panama. Beyond those vague contours of a biography, themselves difficult to confirm, little about him was known.
In Bluefields, Tsokos heard about a talented Creole attorney from Pearl Lagoon named Peter Martinez. With his help, Tsokos began making deals with people who had tenuous ties to Pearl Lagoon but who possessed some claim to the islands. One family lived in Miami. Another was on Corn Island. Another was in Bluefields. If you ask five people in Pearl Lagoon, you’re likely to hear five different versions of how Tsokos acquired the Pearl Cays.
At some point, Martinez approached the community’s seven-member council of elders for guidance. A hotel owner in Pearl Lagoon suggested he bribed them. Bill McCoy, a former fisherman who now works with the Wildlife Conservation Society, remembers it this way: “He made a big offer to these people. He said, ‘We’re providing jobs. We’re going to help build and fix schools and churches,’” McCoy recalls, adding, “They all agree because he makes things so pretty.”
Still others say that the offer was a trick, that the titles themselves, some of which were more than a century old, were fabricated, and that Tsokos paid a pittance for them: $36,000 for all seven. Martinez rejects all of this. “It was a private legal sale supported with all legal documents,” he says. He won’t say how much the cays were sold for, though he says it was more than $36,000. “The price he paid is the price the sellers asked for,” Martinez says.
Once the deals were made, the conflict began. “That’s when people start stirring up,” McCoy recalls. “People start saying, ‘We should have never done that.’”
The Bunny Girl
Jayne Gaskin is still proud to have been among Tsokos’ first buyers. She now lives in London, where she recently returned after years in Nicaragua, but she remains attached to the Pearl Cays — so attached, in fact, that she had them tattooed on herself. She has less affection, however, for the local people, whom she describes as lazy, ignorant, and untrustworthy. “They drink,” she says, with her characteristic, casual racism, “and you can buy them with a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of beer.”
In a recent telephone interview, Gaskin could also be cagey and defensive. At one point, her daughter, an aspiring actress, grabbed the phone and angrily objected to questions about the legal status of the cays. Later, the daughter said that she would “crack down” on people who post “lies” about them on the internet. “We will have to sue people,” she says. “We have incredibly good lawyers in Managua.”
It is understandable that the Gaskins would be trepidatious. While they may have left Nicaragua behind, their financial future remains tied to the Pearl Cays.
British media and the reality show that Gaskin would star in described her as a former Bunny Girl, the scantily clad variety of waitress and hostess, but she was reluctant to discuss her personal life, saying only that when she bought the island in 2000, she was a housewife who had become disillusioned with England and “just wanted to get away from the rat race.” “You just sort of dream of living on a tropical beach — don't you? — when you look out on a cold winter’s day.”
Tropical-Islands.com / Via Web Archive
She landed on Tropical-Islands.com and saw Lime Cay, a 9.5-acre island with typical Caribbean good looks: a patch of verdant green outlined with white sand and surrounded by sea the color of a swimming pool. Photographed from the air, it was the shape of a lopsided heart. “The many tall majestic coconut palms are a true indication of fresh sweet water,” its description read. “This cay can adapt perfectly for a residential estate.” The list price was $299,000.
Gaskin sold her Hampshire house and most of her belongings. With her partner of seven years Phil Broadhead (he adopted her last name at some point) and her three children, who were between 8 and 13, they moved to the Mosquito Coast. A producer for the reality show No Going Back, about Brits who make a big move abroad, heard about the Gaskins. Jayne made a great character — gaudy and brash, with the look of an aging porn star — and her island, which she promptly renamed Jaynique, was as telegenic as they come (it would later be used as the location for Spain's Survivor-esque reality show, Supervivientes).
The show, which was initially a single, stand-alone “documentary” in No Going Back’s first season, stood apart from other episodes of the show, where the drama was most often derived from the petty challenges of, say, a gut renovation on a French Chateau. The Gaskin storyline, in contrast, was so shocking that it warranted a follow-up four months later. Though the family appeared on British Channel 4 only twice (in January 2002 and then again in April), they were still being discussed in online forums years later, with viewers posting questions about what had become of the family.
In the opening moments, Jayne, Phil, and the kids stood on the rugged bluffs of the English coast near their longtime home in Hampshire, looking expectantly out to sea. Jayne was bundled in a white fur coat, her bottle-blonde hair (later dyed red) falling from beneath a massive white fur hat. She looked like a snow cone. An ominous voice-over foreshadowed the story to come: “Their dreams turn into a nightmare and 12 months later, their lives are shattered.”
In one early scene in Nicaragua, the family went shopping for a panga, and Jayne insisted it be painted hot pink. In another scene, the family was at a gun shop, where one of the boys playfully pointed an enormous firearm at his 8-year-old sister. Jayne, looking on, wore a skintight silver bodice overflowing with cleavage. When the family finally arrived at their new home, there were long days of clearing, cleaning, and building. During their off hours, the kids raced hermit crabs, Jayne walked the beach topless, and Phil worried about their dwindling budget. Life on Jaynique had its challenges, but the family was, in their way, making it work.
Then, Jayne began sleeping with a local man that she and Phil hired to help with construction. When the man, Teodoro, began sleeping with the cook, Jayne banished him from the island. But the drama wasn’t confined to Jayne’s love life: Tension was building over the Gaskins' presence in the Pearl Cays as community leaders began questioning the legality of their ownership of Jaynique.
At one point in No Going Back, the camera crew followed the family into a tense meeting at the small concrete office of Pearl Lagoon’s mayor, where they tried to convince him that their arrival would help relieve the coast’s desperate poverty. “This is hope,” Phil said. “This is the future. This is like Belize 25 years ago. They had nothing and then, everything.”
The mayor wasn’t moved. “The properties of the people — the indigenous people — cannot be loaned, cannot be given,” he said sternly. The cays, he told them on camera, are a kind of sacred entitlement that must be passed down from generation to generation. “We will not give up our fight,” he said.
The battle intensified. McCoy, the Wildlife Conservation Society worker, had been hired to monitor hawksbill nests on the islands, and while working one day, he was arrested and jailed for trespassing. “I had to sign something that said I would never go back to the cays,” he recalls. A petition circulated complaining about the cutting of mangroves and vegetation that protected the island from erosion. Soon, a demonstration was organized, and a fleet of pangas ferried protesters from Pearl Lagoon to the Gaskins' doorstep. Then-President Arnoldo Alemán even got involved, and he, too, came to the island with an entourage and television news cameras in tow, promising to help the locals reclaim their lost cays.
Through all of it, the Gaskins were defiant. Phil accused the protesters of being “racist” against whites, while Jayne promised nothing short of armed resistance. “I’m not just going to walk away,” she said to the No Going Back camera. “I want the island. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. That’s what it would be. All-out war.”
The bluster backfired. Late one night, the family was kidnapped by four armed men, placed on a motorboat, and told they were being held for $1 million ransom. The kidnappers wore masks, but the family recognized the voice of their leader: Teodoro, Jayne’s former lover. Phil fought back, dousing one of the men with gasoline from the panga’s outboard motor. The boat was set ablaze, and the Gaskins waded deep into the mangroves, where they hid overnight. The family survived, but Phil developed a life-threatening respiratory infection. “The only way I can escape this island is in my dreams,” he told the reality show crew afterward.
María Luisa Acosta
Freda Moon / BuzzFeed
Good things come in small, extremely attractive packages.
Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy — 5'4"
Daniel Radcliffe — 5'5"
Mireya Acierto / Getty Images
Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy — 5'7"
4chan attempted to encourage women to share their own nude photos using the #LeakForJLaw hashtag on Twitter. It didn’t work.
4chan, the website that appears to have coordinated the publication of hacked celebrities' nude photos, attempted to get ordinary girls to take and share their own nude photos to stand in “solidarity with Jennifer Lawrence”.
Danny Moloshok / Reuters
The 4chan users coordinating the Twitter hashtag #LeakForJLaw commented that it would be the "worldwide trolling of a lifetime". Here is the 4chan post in which an anonymous user discusses the idea:
Here's another 4chan thread in which another user comments that the trend idea is "genius".
A lot of everyday weirdness, but very few nudes.
“I’m just some little kid from California who plays the guitar and sings.”
Standridge just rediscovered this footage, and edited it down from 90 minutes to highlight some scenes of the future star at around 17 years old, fiddling with her hair, performing in front of a small crowd in Oregon, crying over her parents, and calling herself a "pizza face."
Through the power of SOCIAL MEDIA!!!!
Frustrated father Will Reid has uploaded the first in a series of instructional videos directed towards his children.
Tired of trying to get his kids to do work around the house to no avail, Will has figured out the perfect way to teach them in the 21st Century:
First lesson? Changing the toilet roll!
How the ’00s heartthrob and former Something Corporate frontman made space for himself while keeping his fans close.
David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed
Even though he's playing a sold-out show in Central Park in 24 hours, Andrew McMahon doesn't look like a rock star. At a divey bar in North Brooklyn wearing beat-up jeans and tattoo sleeves, he passes easily as a regular — not an 18-year veteran singer-songwriter with two bands, seven albums, and thousands of performances around the world under his belt.
The 31-year-old frontman of cult favorite pop-punk bands Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin has never had a radio hit or broken through as a household name. But now, nearly two decades into his career, he's making a play to change all that.
Formerly the pretend boyfriend to a generation of high school girls too cool for Dashboard Confessional but too mainstream for Hawthorne Heights, these days McMahon is going solo with a new act called Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. Instead of writing unrequited love songs about finding his punk-rock princess, he's singing about getting older and looking back.
That creamy filling…oh sweet lord, I’m drooling.
This. THIS. Is a Hostess Cupcake in all its glory.
Flickr: 91499534@N00 / Via Creative Commons
First the ingredients for the "cake" part of the "cupcake" get mixed together into cocoa-y goodness.
Then the batter is set into this machine...
What’s the Swedish word for “frustration”?
The higher the hair, the closer to metal heaven..
Like say, you could alter an oversized Crüe shirt into a tube top.
The Pomeranian, most famous for his role in Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse”, has made it into Guinness World Records for being the fastest dog on two paws.
Jiff succeeded in breaking both records on the first try; he completed the 10-meter hind leg race in 6.56 seconds, and the 5-meter front paw race in 7.76 seconds.
"When Jiff first walked into our offices, we weren't even sure he was real!" Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday said. "He looks like a living, breathing cuddly toy. He might be tiny but he's got a huge personality, and his wealth of talents can't be doubted."
Jiff's records are the first reveal in the 2015 edition of Guinness World Records, which unveils its 60th-anniversary issue this September.
The struggle in your pockets is so real right now.
When you've realized you spent way too much money over the weekend:
When that direct deposit hits:
When you realize college is a joke:
When you're tryna flex:
Is this real life?
Republican Rep. Peter King of New York is no fan of tan. The conservative member of Congress from Long Island blasted President Obama for wearing "a light suit, light tan suit" to talk about the threat of ISIS on Thursday.
"There's no way any of us can excuse what the president did yesterday," King said of President Obama on NewsMaxTV. "When you have the world watching... a week, two weeks of anticipation of what the United States is gonna do. For him to walk out — I'm not trying to be trivial here — in a light suit, light tan suit, saying that first he wants to talk about what most Americans care about the revision of second quarter numbers on the economy. This is a week after Jim Foley was beheaded and he's trying to act like real Americans care about the economy, not about ISIS and not about terrorism. And then he goes on to say he has no strategy."
King said Obama's comments and actions showed "foreign policy was not a major issue" for President Obama.
Here's the suit:
Larry Downing / Reuters
You may THINK you know, but you have no idea. This is: a really hard quiz.
Pietro Sedda creates one-of-a-kind art that would make Salvador Dali proud.
Pietro Sedda is a tattoo artist based in Milan.
He specializes in Surrealist art.
Usually using faceless portraits as his canvas.
Showing what is happening within someone, instead of what they look like.
New book Cosplay World explores the evolution of costume play, a small curiosity in Japan that became a global phenomenon.
Yaha Han as Camilla from the anime film Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.
Judith Stephens / Cosplay World / Prestel
Men and women have been dressing up as their favourite characters from anime, films, games, manga, TV, and books for over 100 years.
Kamui as Wonder Woman.
Darshelle Stevens / Cosplay World / Prestel