Attempting to Set the World Record for Most Frida Kahlo Lookalikes in One Place: It Happened in Dallas

Fun fact: The Dallas Museum of Art and the Latino Center for Leadership Development celebrated Frida Kahlo's 110th birthday last week. And the festivities were capped off with an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Frida Kahlo in one space.

According to the rules of Frida Fest, to participate in the record attempt, individuals had to provide their own costume, and make sure their costumes included the following elements:

  • A unibrow drawn onto the face joining the eyebrows. This can be done with make-up or by sticking hair.
  • Artificial flowers worn in the hair, a minimum of three artificial flowers must be worn.
  • A red or pink shawl.
  • A flower-printed dress that extends to below the knees on all sides; the dress must not have any slits up the side.

Notes NPR, there's "no official word yet on whether a record was set, but prior to Thursday, there didn't appear to be another record-holder listed in the Guinness World Records."

You can see a gallery of 44 photos on the museum's Facebook page. Enjoy.

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Gongora and Kathy Tran — at Dallas Museum of Art.

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Gongora and Kathy Tran — at Dallas Museum of Art.

via Neatorama

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When a Cat Co-Authored a Paper in a Leading Physics Journal (1975)

Back in 1975, Jack H. Hetherington, a physics professor at Michigan State University, wrote a research paper on low–temperature physics for the respected scientific journal Physical Review Letters. Before sending it off, Hetherington asked a colleague to review the paper, just to make sure it covered the right bases. What happened next Hetherington explained in the 1982 book, More Random Walks in Science:

Before I submitted [the article], I asked a colleague to read it over and he said, 'It’s a fine paper, but they’ll send it right back.' He explained that that is because of the Editor's rule that the word "we" should not be used in a paper with only a single author. Changing the paper to the impersonal seemed too difficult now, and it was all written and typed; therefore, after an evening’s thought, I simply asked the secretary to change the title page to include the name of the family cat, a Siamese called Chester, sired one summer by Willard (one of the few unfixed male Siamese cats in Aspen, Colorado). I added the initials F D in front of the name to stand for Felix Domesticus and thus created F D C Willard.

The editors eventually accepted the paper, "Two-, Three-, and Four-Atom Exchange Effects in bcc 3 He." And the ruse lasted until, remembers Hetherington, “a visitor [came to the university and] asked to talk to me, and since I was unavailable asked to talk with Willard. Everyone laughed and soon the cat was out of the bag.” (Pun surely intended.) Apparently only the journal editors didn't find humor in the joke.

Above, you can see F.D.C. Willard's signature (a paw print) on the front page of the article. The website, TodayIFoundOut, has much more on this enchanting little story.

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Dog Crashes a Performance of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, in the Ancient City of Ephesus: The “Cutest Moment in Classical Music”

A quick one for all dog lovers out there. Last week, while performing Mendelssohn’s 'Italian' Symphony No.4 in the ancient city of Ephesus, members of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra noticed something strange out of the corner of their eyes: a dog wandering on stage, mid performance, and taking a seat, right at the feet of the first violinist. The short clip above comes from Turkish pianist Fazil Say, who called it the "Cutest moment in classical music." Hard not to agree.

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Stevie Nicks “Shows Us How to Kick Ass in High-Heeled Boots” in a 1983 Women’s Self Defense Manual

Yesterday, on Twitter, Priscilla Page reminded us of the time when "Stevie Nicks showed us how to kick ass in high-heeled boots in her bodyguard's self-defense book," calling our attention to the little-known 1983 book, Hands Off!: A Unique New System of Self Defence Against Assault for the Women of Today.

The book itself was written by Bob Jones, an Australian martial arts instructor who doubled as a security guard for Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Joe Cocker and other stars. And it featured what Jones called "mnemonic movements"--essentially a series of nine subconscious/reflexive self-defense moves (like a swift knee to the groin). See Jones' website for a more complete explanation of the exercise routine that also provided, he notes, a great cardio workout.

Stevie Nicks agreed to take part in a photoshoot where she would help demonstrate the nine mnemonic movements. Jones recalls," This lady was a professional: in two hours I had a hundred of the most magnificent photos ever offered to the martial arts, and just one would make the cover [above]."

"On this day of the shoot I was standing in my martial arts training uniform, wearing my Black Belt. Then Stevie appeared, her hair done to resemble the mane of a lion. She was psyched up for some serious photographing. Stevie wore her familiar thick-soled, thick-heeled, knee-high brown suede kid leather boots. High roll-over socks appeared over the top of these elegant Swedish boots and hung tentatively around her knees." "In these kicking-style photographs the sun also made her dress partially see-through: just enough to be artistically interesting."

Hands Off is now long out of print. But you can find a series of images from the book on the Voices of East Anglia and Dangerous Minds websites.

via Priscilla Page/Coudal

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This adventure in modern shopping is brought to you by Clickhole.

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How Henry David Thoreau Revolutionized the Pencil

Last Thursday was National Pencil Day, which commemorates, according to The New York Public Library (NYPL), "the day in 1858 when Philadelphia immigrant Hymen Lipman patented his invention for a pencil with an eraser on top, creating the conveniently-designed pencil we know and love."

Of course, Lipman's invention didn't take place in a vacuum. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, American inventors were hard at work, trying to find ways to make improvements to the pencil, whose history traces back to 1564. During those early days of our republic, "American pencil-making was in sorry shape," writes NYPL. "Poor materials made domestic pencils smudgy and frail, in comparison to their superior British counterparts, which were made of purer graphite." So the pressing question became: how to improve the quality of the graphite? Enter Henry David Thoreau, America's great essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist and tax resister. And apparently innovator too:

Seeking employment after studying at Harvard, [Thoreau] worked at his father's pencil factory, which Edward Emerson -- son of Ralph Waldo Emerson -- recalled as being somewhat better than the typical American pencil factory at the time. Still, Henry David Thoreau aspired to improve the family business, so he hit the books at the Harvard College library to find out more.

...Having no knowledge of chemistry, Henry David nevertheless came up with a formula to make a pencil rivaling that made in Europe. It was the first of its kind in America.

Soon, Thoreau pencils were taking over the market, and the family's business grew and grew. Thoreau pencils were awarded twice by Mechanic Associations and gained a local reputation in Boston for their quality. Ralph Waldo Emerson himself praised them. News of Thoreau's pencils spread quickly, and soon, Petroski writes, they were "without peer in this country."

Add an eraser to Thoreau's pencil, and you've got Hymen Lipman's patent for the pencil you're pretty much using today. You can see pictures of Thoreau's pencil over at The New York Public Library.

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via NYPL

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Take a 360 Degree Tour of Miniature Models of Famous Landmarks: From the Taj Mahal to The Great Wall of China

Pretty cool item. A new exhibition in New York, called "Gulliver's Gate," shrinks the world's most famous sites--everything from the Taj Mahal to The Great Wall of China--into miniature versions of themselves, roughly 87 times smaller than the original. In the video above, you can take a 360 degree tour of parts of the exhibition. Click on the clip, swirl around, and check out the tiny creations. It's particularly neat if you try it on your phone.

Below, find an introduction to the project and don't miss their behind-the-scenes footage.

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