Entry by kidrawk
Entry by kidrawk
Posted on November 27, 2018
John Carpenter’s iconic horror film “Halloween” celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Few horror movies have achieved similar notoriety, and it’s credited with kicking off the steady stream of slasher flicks that followed.
Audiences flocked to theaters to witness the seemingly random murder and mayhem a masked man brought to a small suburban town, reminding them that picket fences and manicured lawns cannot protect us from the unjust, the unknown or the uncertainty that awaits us all in both life and death. The film offers no justice for the victims in the end, no rebalancing of good and evil.
Why, then, would anyone want to spend their time and money to watch such macabre scenes filled with depressing reminders of just how unfair and scary our world can be?
I’ve spent the past 10 years investigating just this question, finding the typical answer of “Because I like it! It’s fun!” incredibly unsatisfying. I’ve long been convinced there’s more to it than the “natural high” or adrenaline rush many describe – and indeed, the body does kick into “go” mode when you’re startled or scared, amping up not only adrenaline but a multitude of chemicals that ensure your body is fueled and ready to respond. This “fight or flight” response to threat has helped keep humans alive for millennia.
That still doesn’t explain why people would want to intentionally scare themselves, though. As a sociologist, I’ve kept asking “But, why?” After two years collecting data in a haunted attraction with my colleague Greg Siegle, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh, we’ve found the gains from thrills and chills can go further than the natural high.
Studying fear at a terrifying attraction
To capture in real time what makes fear fun, what motivates people to pay to be scared out of their skin and what they experience when engaging with this material, we needed to gather data in the field. In this case, that meant setting up a mobile lab in the basement of an extreme haunted attraction outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
This adults-only extreme attraction went beyond the typical startling lights and sounds and animated characters found in a family-friendly haunted house. Over the course of about 35 minutes, visitors experienced a series of intense scenarios where, in addition to unsettling characters and special effects, they were touched by the actors, restrained and exposed to electricity. It was not for the faint of heart.
For our study, we recruited 262 guests who had already purchased tickets. Before they entered the attraction, each completed a survey about their expectations and how they were feeling. We had them answer questions again about how they were feeling once they had gone through the attraction.
We also used mobile EEG technology to compare 100 participants’ brainwave activity as they sat through 15 minutes of various cognitive and emotional tasks before and after the attraction.
Guests reported significantly higher mood, and felt less anxious and tired, directly after their trip through the haunted attraction. The more terrifying the better: Feeling happy afterward was related to rating the experience as highly intense and scary. This set of volunteers also reported feeling that they’d challenged their personal fears and learned about themselves.
Analysis of the EEG data revealed widespread decreases in brain reactivity from before to after among those whose mood improved. In other words, highly intense and scary activities – at least in a controlled environment like this haunted attraction – may “shut down” the brain to an extent, and that in turn is associated with feeling better. Studies of those who practice mindfulness meditation have made a similar observation.
Coming out stronger on the other side
Together our findings suggest that going through an extreme haunted attraction provides gains similar to choosing to run a 5K race or tackling a difficult climbing wall. There’s a sense of uncertainty, physical exertion, a challenge to push yourself – and eventually achievement when it’s over and done with.
Fun-scary experiences could serve as an in-the-moment recalibration of what registers as stressful and even provide a kind of confidence boost. After watching a scary movie or going through a haunted attraction, maybe everything else seems like no big deal in comparison. You rationally understand that the actors in a haunted house aren’t real, but when you suspend your disbelief and allow yourself to become immersed in the experience, the fear certainly can feel real, as does the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment when you make it through. As I experienced myself after all kinds of scary adventures in Japan, Colombia and all over the U.S., confronting a horde of zombies can actually make you feel pretty invincible.
Movies like “Halloween” allow people to tackle the big, existential fears we all have, like why bad things happen without reason, through the protective frame of entertainment. Choosing to do fun, scary activities may also serve as a way to practice being scared, building greater self-knowledge and resilience, similar to rough-and-tumble play. It’s an opportunity to engage with fear on your own terms, in environments where you can push your boundaries, safely. Because you’re not in real danger, and thus not occupied with survival, you can choose to observe your reactions and how your body changes, gaining greater insight to yourself.
What it takes to be safely scared
While there are countless differences in the nature, content, intensity and overall quality of haunted attractions, horror movies and other forms of scary entertainment, they all share a few critical components that help pave the way for a fun scary time.
First and foremost, you have to make the choice to engage – don’t drag your best friend with you unless she is also on board. But do try to gather some friends when you’re ready. When you engage in activities with other people, even just watching a movie, your own emotional experience is intensified. Doing intense, exciting and thrilling things together can make them more fun and help create rewarding social bonds. Emotions can be contagious, so when you see your friend scream and laugh, you may feel compelled to do the same.
No matter the potential benefits, horror movies and scary entertainment are not for everyone, and that’s OK. While the fight-or-flight response is universal, there are important differences between individuals – for example, in genetic expressions, environment and personal history – that help explain why some loathe and others love thrills and chills.
Regardless of your taste (or distaste) for all things horror or thrill-related, an adventurous and curious mindset can benefit everyone. After all, we’re the descendants of those who were adventurous and curious enough to explore the new and novel, but also quick and smart enough to run or fight when danger appeared. This Halloween, maybe challenge yourself to at least one fun scary experience and prepare to unleash your inner superhero.
Updated on November 20, 2018
Cracked pays people to make smart memes. Visit the Photoplasty and Pictofacts Workshop to get in on it.
Entertainment is big business. Or possibly small business. We actually weren’t sure, so we asked our readers to show us interesting, surprising facts about the business that we call show. And we gave cash to our favorite stats.
The winner is below, but first, the runners-up:
Entry by kidrawk
Entry by PParker
Entry by Andrea Meno
Posted on November 6, 2018
Antoni Porowski, the culinary king of Queer Eye, is participating in Netflix‘s surprise Halloween horror anthology, Don’t Watch This.
For a special spoof short, he’s recreating Christian Bale‘s amazing tighty whitey performance in American Psycho! This does indeed make us shiver!
Ch-ch-check out the teaser (below)!
[Image via Netflix/YouTube.]
Updated on August 28, 2018
The sum isn’t quite “Infinity,” but it’s a lot.
Johansson topped the magazine’s annual list with $40.5 million in pretax earnings in the year that ended June 1. She was followed by Angelina Jolie ($28 million), Jennifer Aniston ($19.5 million), Jennifer Lawrence ($18 million), and Reese Witherspoon ($16.5 million).
The figures include endorsement deals away from the big screen, explaining in part why Aniston (Aveeno, Smartwater, Emirates airline) ranks near the top of the money-making marquee, Forbes reported.
Rounding out the top 10 were Mila Kunis, Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett, Melissa McCarthy and Gal Gadot.
“La La Land” star Emma Stone, who earned $26 million to top the list in 2017, tumbled out of the top 10, Reuters noted.
While Johansson’s hefty windfall bodes well for women in Hollywood, not all the news was good. Just two women surpassed $20 million, compared with three in 2017 and four in 2016.
Johansson, who plays Marvel’s Black Widow, is keeping the money train running with another upcoming turn in the “Avengers” superhero series and a planned Black Widow spinoff.
She topped Forbes’ 2016 rankings of “top-grossing” male and female actors. Her movies’ box office, including “Captain America: Civil War,” earned $1.2 billion worldwide.
Forbes’ 2017 list of the highest-paid actors and actresses showed a wide gender gap, with the top 10 men actors hauling in nearly three times what the top 10 women earned. The 2017 list was topped by Mark Wahlberg, with $68 million.
Updated on August 21, 2018
Wyatt Russell walks into a room and its almost too easy to make assumptions about him. Luckily, he upends nearly all of them.
The star of AMCs big-swing summer series, Lodge 49, which debuts Aug. 6, towers a few inches above a tall-and-thin six feet, with hair down to his shoulders, a scruffy beard, and a languid surfer beach drawl to complete the stereotype of the SoCal beatnikwhich he plays very well, but hardly fills.
No, this is the son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, and his foray into Hollywood would seem a formality had the 32-year-old actor not spent the majority of his life rejecting the family business in pursuit of a career as a hockey player.
When we meet in Beverly Hills to discuss his new series, which is also his first leading role, the person we encounter is not the strung-out stoner his looks might betray, nor is it the entitled heir to Hollywood royalty you might expect from a person with as much celluloid history in his bloodstream.
Instead, the Wyatt Russell we meet is as wide-eyed and enthusiastic as a breakthrough actor experiencing the spoils of Hollywood for the first time, but with the self-awareness and intelligence of a person who knows how brutal the industry can actually be.
Maybe thats because, for all the ways hes seen his mother, father, and half-siblings Kate and Oliver Hudson navigate the business, hes also churned through perhaps the only industry more ruthless: professional sports. Before he started seriously pursuing a career in acting eight years ago, he had spent over a decade as a promising hockey goalie, until an injury set him on a new path.
Its perhaps fitting, then, that Russells debut as a leading man is in a TV series as unconventional as Lodge 49. As Russell tells it, he wouldnt have it any other way.
The official logline for Lodge 49 describes it as a modern fable, centered on Russells character Dud, a lost soul trying to rebuild his life after a surfing injury, the death of his father, and crippling debt have left him homeless. One day, while spelunking for treasures with a metal detector on the beach, he discovers a lost ring that takes him to the doorstep of Lodge 49, a dusty fraternal order which offers cheap beer and strange alchemical philosophies.
So what you have is this unusual mix of a series about this eternal optimist, Dud, who is either blind to the fact that hes hitting rock bottom or manifests a trampoline from optimistic delusion to bounce him back up again. He lands at a Masonic Lodge, of sorts, that provides a lifeline yet espouses just enough woo-woo philosophy to make you fear: Is Dud in a cult?
Nonetheless, for all the talk about this six-foot surfer boy with Hollywood lineage in the starring role, its because Russell so intrinsically telegraphs a glass-half-full kind of gumption that the tonal gymnastics of the show sticks the landing. More, that it still feels at home on AMC, a network that has pretty much defined its brand in dark, disturbing drama: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, or The Walking Dead.
Ever exuberant, Russell sees a throughline.
Everybody starts from an honest place of who they are: Don Draper, Walter White, and Dud, he says. It may be easier to utilize a character who has darkness in them because you can find a lot of interesting qualities in those people. Its harder to find the interesting qualities in optimism, because its not something that we necessarily gravitate towards in our everyday lives, especially in our 24/7 news cycle where, constantly, what grabs our attention is negativity.
So bless Duds gumption. And, really, Russells, too.
This isnt a profile about the little boy who grew up on a movie set, and whose scrapbook of school-play star turns hinted that hed one day follow his parents footsteps all the way to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In fact, he tells me, despite his familys careers, Russell only recently after many years of thinking it wasnt, began to think of acting as a fantastic way to make a living.
He lived in Santa Monica until he was 15 before moving to Vancouver to play hockey, at the advice of coaches who saw Russells potential. Kurt and Goldie moved with him. (The reasons that Russell emerged a well-adjusted Hollywood kid should be apparent.) Cute side story: Kurt Russell once told The New York Times that he took the role as coach of the heroic 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team in Disneys Miracle in homage to Wyatts passion.
After two years of playing college hockey at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, he headed to Europe to go pro, first in Germany and then in the Netherlands. His stories from that time are about as wild as youd expect from a guy in his twenties touring tertiary European cities with busloads of hockey players. I lived with a heroin addict named Harm," he told The Ringer last year. That was the life experience, watching somebody shoot up heroin while youre eating potatoes he made."
A series of groin injuries and a broken hip, exacerbated by cramped bus rides and the general body wear-and-tear accrued by a goalie, brought an early end to his hockey career. It dropped Russell smack-dab in the throes of a mid-life crisis a good 20 to 30 years before most men find themselves at a similar crossroads: Alright. What now?
While recuperating from his injuries in Groningen, Netherlands, he binged movies. Maybe, he thought, hed direct. He had acted in one film before throwing himself into hockeya scene in his fathers film Escape from L.A. when he was 10and, more than a decade later, still remembered that he didnt like being in front of the camera.
I liked playing hockey and being a goalie because it was numbers related, he says. Youre either the best or youre not. Its numbers. You have the best goals-against average and save the most pucks and win the most games, or you dont. Its not subjective. So going into this world, I didnt like the subjectivity of it because it meant that other people were going to put what they thought about you onto you.
Consider his decision to try his hand at auditioning, then, a whimalbeit the most epic of whims, one perhaps buoyed by his familys pedigree. His first audition was for a role in Captain America: The First Avenger. He didnt get that one, but he started getting others. There was Law & Order: L.A., Cowboys & Aliens, and his first big breakout, a part in 22 Jump Street.
Early on, though, there was a pattern. In 2010s High School, he played Drug PSA Stoned Teenager. In This Is 40 he was Flirty Hockey Player. As his roles expanded, the type he was cast as didnt necessarily follow suit, whether its a spaced-out pitcher in Richard Linklaters Everybody Wants Some!! or a backpacker roped into a video-game horror show in an episode of Black Mirror. Lodge 49, too, sees Russell working in that mold again.
But take a closer look at those projects hes been cast in, and whats impressive is not so much that hes been routinely cast as a surfer-stoner-laid-back-bro, but that each time he has, it has been in wildly diferent genres.
In the last year, hes starred in Blaze, a biopic of country musician directed by Ethan Hawke, finished work on Overlord, a World War II/sci-fi hybrid produced by J.J. Abrams, and was cast in The Woman in the Window, a thriller adapted by Tracy Letts, directed by Joe Wright, and starring Amy Adams. Then theres Lodge 49, a prestige cable drama that escapes tonal definition.
Its been 7 or 8 years since I started doing it, Russell says, of acting. For the first time now I probably just last year felt like I might be able to do certain things.
He remembers getting cast in High School as a hippie-like stoner because he knew how to play guitar.
From that, you gain confidence to say, Well, I did that, I can do a different version of it, he says. I found myself always trying to find the different version of the guy you had done before. Because thats the way it works. Somebody sees you in something that they like you in, and they go, Oh he would be great in this. Its up to the actor to give it dimension. Inside the dimension you give it, sometimes somebody else sees an aspect of that dimension and says, I bet you they could do that.
In the early episodes of Lodge 49, there are distinct themes that emerge. Russells favorite is the way that the show honors the blue-collar population of Long Beach: the plumbers, pool servicemen, and trade workers who give the area life. More, it shows that the emotional weight stressing a family business can be as important, and as volatile, as the finances.
The character of Dud doesnt just miss his father, he misses the normalcy that the family businesspool cleaningprovided. Russells own family business operates from an obvious extreme in relation to Duds, but he understands, especially in these last few years, the comfort that comes from normality.
Yes, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawns actor son can refer to the family business as normal.
It did seem normal to me because they never made what they did abnormal, he says. They never made themselves abnormal. They never looked at themselves like, Im special because I do this.
The normalcy of who we are came from the core values of who my parents were when they grew up and transferred it into their parenting styles for the way we are. Its definitely not a normal thing, to do this. People can get caught up in it. Its hard not to sometimes.
When we talk, Russell is wrapping up a week that had him travel back and forth between Los Angeles and New York four times. Hes engaged to Search Party scene-stealer Meredith Hagner, whom he met while shooting the indie Folk Hero & Funny Guy. And hes promoting his first leading role, an achievement some might rule destiny given who his parents are, but that others might rule unlikely, given the unique story of the actor who sits before me. An actor who still cant help comparing things to hockey.
Theres almost nothing else thats truly numbers-related, he says. That game was. Thats what special about sports in a way. Its an equalizer. This is not that. I didnt think about Im going to be a leading man, because I just wanted to do something that made me as happy as hockey did.
Now, hes doing it.
Posted on August 14, 2018
MoviePass announced they’d be raising their monthly prices, and not allowing customers to access new Blockbuster movies. The internet lashed out with hilariously fiery jabs at the service.
Updated on July 31, 2018
What is that saying about life and art again?
Elon Musk has sent engineers from his SpaceX and Boring Company teams to assist with the rescue efforts of the boys’ soccer team stuck in a cave system in Thailand.
Twelve boys and their soccer coach have been trapped in the cave system since June 23, when a Monsoon turned what was meant to be a short hike into a crisis that has gripped the world.
SpaceX & Boring Co engineers headed to Thailand tomorrow to see if we can be helpful to govt. There are probably many complexities that are hard to appreciate without being there in person.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2018
Engineers and rescue teams from around the world have reportedly poured into Thailand to assist the Thai government. Time is of the essence since more flooding rains are expected over the weekend, and oxygen in the caves may be running low. But the extremely narrow, flooded sections of the cave have already proved treacherous and even deadly for rescuers.
Now, Musk has offered to lend his expertise in drilling holes, and general engineering smarts and resources, to the effort.
Boring Co has advanced ground penetrating radar & is pretty good at digging holes. Don’t know if pump rate is limited by electric power or pumps are too smal. If so, could dropship fully charged Powerpacks and pumps.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 5, 2018
Musk first floated plans for how he would help rescue the team on Twitter in response to a plea for help from Twitter user @MabzMagz. He initially deferred to the Thai government, but nonetheless offered to help.
I suspect that the Thai govt has this under control, but I’m happy to help if there is a way to do so
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 4, 2018
Then he posited several ideas including offering Boring Co. resources for “ground penetrating radar” and by providing fully charged Powerpacks and pumps. Musk engaged in a back and forth with the founder of a Thai engineering company about various strategies including an inflatable tube. The Thai engineer wrote that he had helped connect Musk’s companies with the Thai government. Then, Musk confirmed that his team was on the way.
Maybe worth trying: insert a 1m diameter nylon tube (or shorter set of tubes for most difficult sections) through cave network & inflate with air like a bouncy castle. Should create an air tunnel underwater against cave roof & auto-conform to odd shapes like the 70cm hole.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2018
It’s hard not to draw comparisons between our real-world eccentric inventor polymath Musk, and the fictitious character Tony Stark/Iron Man. With Musk springing into action to literally help trapped children on the other side of the world, the Marvel Universe and the real world seem to be merging.
But it’s also good to know that when the lives of children are in danger, our own universe is capable of deploying super-human efforts. Good luck, to Musk and all the other rescuers on the scene.
Updated on July 24, 2018
The next season of American Horror Story is paying off a promise seven years in the making!
The official Twitter account of the FX hit shared the title of season 8, which is…
We already know this is the long-awaited crossover between season 1’s Murder House and season 3’s Coven, but the first promotional images give a BIG little clue as to how it ties in.
A post shared by American Horror Story (@ahsfx) on Jul 20, 2018 at 12:18am PDT
Presumably this answers the question of which Jessica Lange we’ll see in this one, as the adorable widdle antichrist was last seen being sat by Constance.
[Image via Instagram.]
Posted on July 17, 2018
For the last five years, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been working tirelessly to preserve footage of the nuclear tests conducted by the United States between 1945 and 1962. The effort is led by nuclear physicists Dr Greg Spriggs and all the films are scanned, reanalyzed, and then made available to the wider public on the laboratory’s Youtube channel.
Last week, the lab released its largest batch of movies yet, with around 250 videos from eight different series of tests that cover a period of roughly a decade. The earliest of which was Operation Upshot-Knothole in 1953 and the last one was Operation Dominic, which took place in late 1962.
Operation Dominic is particularly significant as it happened during one of the tensest periods of the Cold War, after the Cuban Bay of Pigs invasion. It was the single biggest testing program conducted by the United States and the last of its atmospheric testing, only a few months before the US and the Soviet Union signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963.
This wasn’t the first time a ban on testing had been broached, though. In 1958, representatives of the US, the UK, the Soviet Union, Canada, and France among others agreed on a test ban; all countries were willing to suspend testing on a year-by-year basis and it would hold as long as no one resumed testing. Before this was finalized, however, most continued testing under various guises. In the US they were able to perform over 70 tests with Operation Hardtack 1 and Operation Hardtack 2. The footage of several tests from these operations is available to view in this new batch.
Testing was officially resumed by the USSR in 1961, including the Tsar Bomba the most powerful nuclear device ever designed. The US followed two weeks later with another operation featured in this release of footage: Operation Nougat that ran between 1961 and 1962.
In the same year, the US conducted another series of tests for smaller devices. This was known as Operation Sunbeam. The series of tests included a “portable” atom bomb, Davy Crocket, one of the smallest nuclear devices ever created.
Among the new footage, the team has included new videos from Operation Castle, which featured the most powerful device ever donated by the United States, as well as Operations Teapot from 1955, and Plumbbob – one of the longest and most controversial test series held in the US – from 1957.
Spriggs has stated in the past that this footage is deteriorating quickly so this work is very important. It keeps a record of a pivotal historical period in recent history and the footage also contains valuable scientific information about the explosions. It is also a stark reminder of just how powerful and destructive these weapons really are.