features

10 insanely realistic Sims and Sim City creations

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Virtual reality isn’t real enough for some Sims and Sim City fans.

The simulation video game franchises let users simulate real life, creating human-like characters and helping them live their daily lives. Gamers can control nearly everything, from custom-building characters to designing the homes around them.

Some particularly skilled gamers need more, though. A character or a home isn’t enough — they want to build entire worlds

Gamers have taken inspiration from fiction, creating Sims versions of shows like Seinfeld or Orange Is the New Black, while others have made completely new worlds in Sim City, like the perfect, gargantuan Magnasanti Read more…

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How ‘coming out’ has evolved, and why it still matters

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“For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a powerful personal essay, published Thursday in Businessweek. “Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me.”

While Cook’s sexual orientation has been rumored for years, he hadn’t acknowledged it to the wider public. But, as he further explains in his piece, he wanted to speak up now in order to help inspire others who may be coming to terms with their own sexualities

Notably, Cook didn’t use the phrase “coming out.” His essay shows how much the concept and action of coming out have drastically evolved. Read more…

More about Apple, Features, Social Good, Gay Rights, and Human Rights


What Halloween looked like in 1980s New York City

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The New York Village Halloween parade is America’s only nighttime parade. The parade route stretches for more than a mile, up Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue.

In addition to elaborate costumes, the event features giant puppets manipulated by several puppeteers and bands. Each year, parade themes draw upon extensive research into the symbolic language and meanings underlying celebrations and rituals.

Today the event sees around 2 million spectators, plus over 60,000 costumed participants. The 2014 grand marshall is actor and TV personality Whoopi Goldberg.

The parade dates back to 1974, when Greenwich Village puppeteer and mask maker Ralph Lee asked his children and friends to wear the 100+ costumes he had accumulated through his work. Read more…

More about Photography, New York City, Features, History, and Halloween


5 DIY and safe hangover cures to try this weekend

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You can run, but you can’t hide from a hangover. Damn if we haven’t tried

Everyone has a remedy they swear works for them, from chewing garlic, to rubbing a lemon on your armpit, to drinking more (a.k.a. the hair of the dog)

Though there’s no cure-all medicine yet for hangovers, there are plenty of ways you can assuage the booze-infused assault that comes after a night of heavy drinking. But first, you have to understand the nature of a hangover

“The most significant thing that’s going on in your body is inflammation,” says Dr. Jason Burke in an interview with Mashable Read more…

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1930s British portraiture by renowned photographer Edwin Smith

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Hailed by poet Sir John Betjeman as a “genius at photography” and by photographer Cecil Beaton as “an understanding and loving connoisseur of his subject,” Edwin Smith (1912–1971) captured the essence of the places, landscapes and buildings he photographed.

But some of Smith’s finest work is portraiture

For a short period he worked as a Vogue fashion photographer, but went later focused his lens on British communities comprised of miners, dockers and circuses.

Smith was sought after by publishers. In the 1950s he was commissioned by Thames & Hudson for a series of books, among them English Parish Churches (1952), English Cottages & Farmhouses (1954), Scotland (1955), England (1957) and The Living City: A New View of the City of London (1957) Read more…

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The coded world of Russian prison tattoos

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Arkady Bronnikov is regarded as Russia’s leading expert on tattoo iconography. He was a senior expert in criminalistics at the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs for over 30 years

As part of his duties he visited many correctional institutions of the Ural and Siberia regions, where he interviewed and photographed thousands of convicts. He regularly helped solve criminal cases across Russia by using his collection of tattoos to identify culprits and corpses. Read more…

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8 free emoji apps beyond what’s pre-loaded in your phone

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Move over, standard emoji keyboard — smartphone users have many more options.

If you’re tired of expressing yourself with the same old emoji, it’s time to check out what else is out there. From 3D-animated emoticons to emoji text, there are several new and creative ways for you to get your message across

We’ve rounded up eight free specialty emoji apps that will take your conversations to the next level

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

BONUS: 5 Emoji Meanings That Might Surprise You

Read more…

More about Apps, Features, Emoticons, Tech, and Apps Software

11 eye-popping bars from around the world

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It’s time to ditch your local dive bar

All over the world, people are knocking back shots and cocktails in unique bars with crazy themes and decor

In Sweden, libation lovers can head to the famous Icebar, a locale carved completely out of ice and snow. Patrons in Iceland can visit the Northern Lights Bar, a gorgeously modern spot with floor to ceiling windows, perfect for viewing the astral phenomena it’s named after. Pop over to England and check out Mr. Fogg’s, a deliriously kooky bar inspired by the Victorian era. Sport your monocle and prepare to call everyone “old chap” upon entering

From bizarre themes to lush interior design, here are 11 unbelievable bars all over the world Read more…

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‘Doctor Who’s’ scariest monsters were made of plywood and glue

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Doctor Who, the BBC-produced science fiction series, was controversial from the moment the first episode aired at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, 1963. The show follows an eccentric time traveller as he journeys through time and space.

Considered too violent and frightening for children, the programme was deemed by the BBC to be its most violent production

The Daleks, a recurring alien race in the series, were one of the show’s most frightening adversaries. Soon people widely used the phrase “hiding behind the sofa,” which referred to children who watched from behind the family couch.

Pre-CGI, every humanoid (and not-so-humanoid) alien costume contained an actor. The BBC hired specialist model-makers to create the costumes, though BBC budget constraints did not allow the use of elaborate prosthetics. Read more…

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How to take iPad photos without annoying everyone

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Until now, shooting photos with your gigantic iPad was considered taboo. Not to mention, it looks ridiculous

But now that Apple has armed its latest iPads with powerful cameras, many will begin to rely on the tablet to capture life’s most memorable moments. So, how do you whip out your bulky tablet to take photos without being a jerk?

Below, we’ve rounded up five smart tips to consider when you snap photos with your iPad.

1. Be prepared for questions when you bring it out in public.

The Emily Post Institute, an etiquette source, advises not to bring out your iPad unless you’re ready to play show-and-tell. Get ready for people to stare and ask questions, like, “Can I see it?” and “Can I touch it?” Read more…

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