In honor of National Pumpkin Day, take a look at some artfully carved jack-o’-lanterns on display at Rise of the Jack-o’-Lanterns, a 1/4-mile walking trail filled with over 5,000 hand-carved illuminated Jack-o’-lanterns in La Canada Flintridge, Calif.
He's 'lurking in the shadows,' according to a new song
Some might be taken aback if accused of being a cannibal, but not a one Shia LaBeouf.
In a new video by singer-songwriter Rob Cantor, dancers and singers fly across the screen in a dramatically recounted battle between an unnamed character and Shia LaBeouf. The 28-year-old is “lurking in the shadows,” “killing for sport” and “eating all the bodies,” the song goes. But if that weren’t weird enough, the music video ends with LaBeouf giving the performance a standing ovation.
It’s all very strange, but then again so is Shia LaBeouf.
Cowboys fans are EVERYWHERE
Football fandom may seem obvious — Titans fans live in Tennessee, Seahawks fans live in Seattle — but as this interactive map from Twitter shows, the geographic makeup of NFL loyalties is actually pretty complicated.
To create this map, analysts determined which NFL team has the most Twitter followers in each county across the nation. Some of results make perfect sense, but other aspects of the map are pretty surprising. The Cowboys, for example, not only dominate Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas, but have pockets of fans just about everywhere.
There are several different ways to compare and contrast fan bases — so if you’re watching a football game right now, we recommend waiting till halftime to play around with the map.
Fun party game+ READ ARTICLE
It’s hard enough to impersonate one celebrity well enough to impress friends and family. Imagine doing 25.
Meet actress and singer Christina Bianco, who sang CeeLo Green’s “Forget You” like 25 different celebrities at the Hippodrome in London on Sept. 7. Each time a star’s name is called out, she switches voices. Watch her go from impersonating Drew Barrymore to Kristin Chenoweth to Bette Midler, all in one breath. Her Celine Dion, Penélope Cruz, and Bjork impressions are especially spot-on.
Bianco is also known for singing Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in the voice of famous divas like Demi Lovato and Adele, with YouTube videos that have racked up nearly 5.6 million and nearly 7 million views respectively.
Come to think of it, this might make a fun game for your next party.
And you thought sexy human costumes were strange
The era of a “hot” dog costume consisting of a dachshund wrapped up in a bun is over. Welcome to an age in which people dress up their pets in sexy Halloween costumes.
For Pumpkin, a Labradoodle, his risqué 2013 ensemble came complete with fake human cleavage.
A Snooki costume might seem blasé for a person, but the tightly fitted leopard print top secured Pumpkin the first place prize for “most creative costume” at a local London pub, according to owner Michelle Husserl. “I didn’t think about it being sexy, more funny if anything, but I guess sexy costumes [for dogs] are the way forward!” she says. “He’s used to being dressed up since he was a puppy, but the cleavage he kept clawing at. He was very confused about it.”
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend $350 million on their pets’ Halloween costumes in 2014, which is up from $220 million in 2010. Unfortunately the NRF doesn’t calculate how many of those pet costumes show a little extra leg.
“I don’ think we have any plans to go that specific,” says NRF senior director Kathy Grannis. “I’ll be honest, I had no idea that that existed in this world. I was shocked.”
But, as Grannis notes, there is a person-to-pet consumer trickle-down effect, providing pups with blueberry facials and other human-only luxuries. So, considering the sexy Halloween costume complex has mostly jumped the shark — there are actual sexy shark, crustacean and even whale costumes — maybe it was only a matter of time until dogs got their sexy Halloween costumes, too.
“[Our sexy] pet costumes are just an extension of what the consumer was already doing on social networks, we saw that gap, and we jumped on it,” says Alicia Brockwell of California Costume, the manufacturer of Pumpkin the Labradoodle’s Snooki outfit.
“The costume is actually called ‘The Lady is a Tramp,’ and people really love putting that on a pitbull,” she says. “One thing about the sexy costumes, is that people love putting them on the most rugged, tough dogs.”
California Costume’s Pup-A-Razzi line has other sexy offerings, including a gold-cone bra called the”Pop Queen” (just think Madonna) and a “Silver Screen Siren” (Marilyn Monroe).
“It’s no secret that sex sells and Hollywood is the capital of plastic surgery so it made sense to include those features where we could,” vice president of marketing and design Christopher Guzman says. “Why not give your pet what he or she has secretly been craving, at least temporarily, fake boobies!”
Costumes that feature fake cleavage come in four different sizes, ranging from extra small to large.
“The hardest part about the breastplate is maintaining the integrity of it when shipping,” Brockewell says. “So we have little tutorials and give product training where if you take a warm hairdryer, it can actually warm it up and get it to the right roundness and buoyancy as needed. Because it is a soft material so it can sit comfortably on the dog.”
Brockwell believes that the company manages to be ridiculous without crossing the line to insulting: “No one looks at it and says ‘oh I can’t believe you’re degrading this dog’s honor!'”
Grannis, of the National Retail Federation, agrees.
“Halloween is a holiday based on discretionary fun,” she says. “If there are a lot of creative people out there who think that Fido and Fluffy would look great as a sexy maid, you know, God bless ‘em for it.”
And they do:
Even Walmart stocks French Maid costumes for dogs.
Garrett Rosso, founder of New York City’s 24-year-old Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade, has seen the full evolution of the sexy dog costume. The 1990’s were a simpler time. “It was all about the three M’s: Marilyn, Marlene and Madonna — oh and maybe a Chip ‘n Dale,” he says. In the last decade, however, people have upped their game.
“We had a bull dog dressed up as Katy Perry with boobs and a wig — it was a little startling,” says Rosso, who was a TIME design director before opening dog obedience training facilities. “Last year, I saw a Great Dane as Lady Gaga doing the twerking dance and a whole convention of 50 Shades of Grey.”
Matching owner/pet companion costumes are a big hit. He has seen dressed dogs in thousands of dollars worth of leather clothing, made to match their owner.
“Dogs have kind of become our giant companions, our best friends, our entrée into a healthier lifestyle,” Rosso says. “And I think Halloween is just a day when you can show off your best friend.”
And who doesn’t love a best friend who knows how to show some leg? All four of them.
Here’s a fun trick you can play on attendees’ coronary health at your upcoming Halloween party: Give ‘em deep-friend candy corn.
The recipe comes from one of our favorite fryers of things, Amy over at the blog Oh Bite It and the concoction is surprisingly simple. You can whip up these little sugar bombs with nothing more than candy corn, a roll of Pillsbury Seamless Crescent Dough and a little touch of powdered sugar “for dusting.”
Plus, you know, a giant pan full of artery clogging frying oil.
If any candy could use some help, it’s candy corn and frying it is definitely the way to go. As Amy points out on the site, each one contains a “warm, sweet and slightly chewy colorful Nougat that has transformed into just a shadow of that seasonal, sad, tooth-buster of a treat it used to be!”
Plus, they certainly beat the Necco Wafer crusted pumpkin seeds I was going to serve at my party.
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At these historic bars, spirits aren’t just on the drink menu—they’re making noises in dark corners and downing patrons’ glasses
Here’s one way to ensure a bar will be haunted: open it in a former morgue. That’s the case with Captain Tony’s Saloon in Key West, FL, also a former speakeasy, where you may find yourself sipping gin and tonic next to a grave—or a ghost.
“Ghosts tend to go to places they frequented when they were alive,” says California-based Loyd Auerbach, author of A Paranormal Casebook: Ghost Hunting in the New Millennium. “Consequently, places like bars, where people gather for social reasons or for other personal reasons, are often the target sites for the disembodied.”
Every city seems to have a haunted bar and an intriguing story behind it. The ghostly presence can often be traced back to an erstwhile love affair or, sadly, the result of a grizzly murder. In Austin, TX, the victim of a bar fight has been causing mischief at The Tavern for decades, changing the TV channels or banging dishes in the kitchen. And outside of Las Vegas, a gambler killed when caught cheating still roams the poker tables at Pioneer Saloon.
Still, some ghost tales are taller than others. Jim Fassbinder, who leads ghost tours in San Francisco, says: “There’s a bunch of haunted bar stories out there mostly promoted by barkeeps who know a well-told ghost story keeps ’em drinkin’ and gets the barkeep a tip.”
Not so at Stone’s Public House in Massachusetts, where paranormal experts confirmed eerie happenings the owner had noticed. It’s one of our picks for the most haunted bars in the nation—and you might want to consider a nice tip, after all, if you want to keep the resident spirits happy.
The charmingly ramshackle interior of this old sailors’ drinking spot in SoHo is still the preferred haunt of at least one sailor, Mickey. He likes the ladies, as female patrons and employees have complained of being goosed by Mickey. And he also likes his drink; regulars have been perplexed to find pint glasses suddenly empty. In September 2014, there was a ghost sighting by a waitress’s boyfriend. They were sleeping in an upstairs room (the space used to double as an inn), and she woke up in the middle of the night to find him transfixed. When she asked what her boyfriend was doing, he said, “I’m just saying hello to the strange man standing in the corner.”
As the site of a former morgue, Captain Tony’s Saloon happens to be one of the few spots you can sip a gin and tonic next to an actual grave. There are, in fact, two here. Oh yeah, there’s also an old tree growing through the roof of the bar; according to legend, it was used to hang criminals. So it’s no wonder that bathroom doors become mysteriously locked on their own or that people regularly feel strange sensations while having a drink here.
The 18th-century building that houses this Bourbon Street bar is brimming with ghostly intrigue. There’s E.J., who apparently sits at the bar. There’s the woman who sometimes appears in the mirror. And then there’s Jean Lafitte himself, a former pirate who ran a smuggling business here in the 18th century—and who may have used this bar to hide his stolen loot. Patrons have apparently seen his apparition standing in a corner scowling and smelled a trace of his tobacco.
It’s a bold move to build on a former Native American burial ground. Yet that’s where the Jury Room sits. Since 1831, this spot has been popular with drinkers, including the spectral kind. Regulars and employees have talked of seeing a tall shadowy man roaming the premises. Workers claim that objects regularly fly off of shelves, and one person even saw a pitcher of beer being poured by itself.
When a bride-to-be tripped at the top of the steps and died after breaking her neck, she ushered in a ghostly era for this Hoboken bar. Since the incident in 1904, employees have regularly seen a lady in white hovering near the steps. Note to any betrothed couples: don’t get married here.
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He will share his musings about the universe and existence
Today is a big day for social media. First, Queen Elizabeth II sent her first tweet, and now Stephen Hawking has posted his first Facebook message. Though the world-renowned theoretical physicist officially joined the site on Oct. 7, he didn’t share anything until today:
Hawking’s plunge into the infinite social media abyss is certainly well-timed. The Theory of Everything, the film about the scientist’s personal and professional life, comes out in just a few weeks.
Something tells us Hawking’s FB game will be pretty strong. While everybody else offers updates about what they ate for breakfast, Hawking will give us brilliant musings about the magnificence of the universe or whatever.
Read next: Queen Elizabeth II Sends Her First Tweet
Also that she's not friends with Ellen DeGeneres+ READ ARTICLE
The latest video in this genre features Jayci Underwood, who spends nearly six minutes lamenting the fact that she did not emerge from her dental procedure as Nicki Minaj. She thought the doctors were going to give her Minaj’s butt and face, and also change her ethnicity. She’s really bummed this doesn’t happen. In fact, she’s bummed about a lot of things, like the fact that she isn’t friends with Ellen DeGeneres. “Ellen DeGeneres is generous,” she wails. “That’s literally her name. And I love her.” Underwood is also bummed out because she thinks her lips make her look like Jay Z — until she realizes this might help her befriend Beyoncé.
A Dallas man’s Ebola-themed Halloween decorations are going viral.
Dressed in a protective suit, James Faulk set up biohazard barrels and bags of “biowaste” surrounded by yellow caution tape in front of his University Park house and wrapped the second-floor balcony in white tape that says “quarantine.” The decorations are supposed to mimic the scene outside the apartment complex where Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola in the U.S., stayed when he fell ill.
Faulk told the Associated Press he’s trying to lighten the mood, as residents in the Dallas area are on edge after two of Duncan’s nurses contracted the virus as well — though one was determined to be free of the virus Friday morning.
The question is whether it’s too soon to make light of the virus in general.