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Birth of a warrior: Ten weeks in basic trainingOpen in a New Window


On a cold February night in 2013, I found myself standing on a bus at Fort Benning in South Georgia staring into the faces of dozens of U.S. Army recruits. The silhouette of the stiff-brimmed hat of the drill sergeant against the dim interior of the bus marked the beginning of a new documentary photography project.

About six months prior, I had relocated to Atlanta from New York City and was still trying to find my place in the Deep South. As soon as I set foot on Fort Benning, I was captivated. I had no personal military experience, but I was struck by the sheer size of the base. It was its own city with unique rules, language, codes and community. Read more...

More about Military, Us World, Us, Pics, and Soldier


Syrian activists: ISIS group destroys ancient Palmyra archOpen in a New Window


Syrian activists said late Sunday that ISIS militants have destroyed a nearly 2,000-year-old arch in the ancient city of Palmyra, the latest victim in the group's campaign to destroy historic sites across the territory it controls in Iraq and Syria.

The Arch of Triumph was one of the most recognizable sites in Palmyra, the central city affectionately known by Syrians as the "Bride of the Desert," which an ISIS group seized in May. The monumental arch sat atop the famed colonnaded streets of the ancient city, which linked the Roman Empire to Persia and the East.

More about Isis, Us World, Palmyra, Triumph Arch, and Heritage Sites


7 indie game treasures worth playing on Xbox OneOpen in a New Window


The Xbox One has been in living rooms and gaming setups around the world for almost two years now. And while Microsoft has worked with many big name studios and franchises in that time, curious gamers will find that the Xbox Store is actually filled with the work of smaller operations and independent studios

Thanks to the ID@Xbox program, independent game creators can share their work with even bigger audiences. Here are some of the best indie games that you can play on the Xbox One today

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

More about Entertainment, Gaming, Contributor, Indie Games, and Xbox One


'Bridge of Spies' review: Spielberg's spy movie sinks into a schmaltzy boreOpen in a New Window


When Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks get together the results can be harrowing and epochal like in Saving Private Ryan or they can be desultory and dull like in The TerminalBridge of Spies sits at an unsatisfying spot in between; a bridge, if you will, between a gripping Argo-esque crowdpleaser and a surprisingly schmaltzy bore.

We open during the chilliest period of the Cold War, when British-born Soviet spy (Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel) was captured by the FBI. Spielberg's in terrific form with this opening sequence, with numeric codes on tiny pieces of paper hidden inside hollow coins, snuck in and out of public parks on a painter's easel. (Man, international intrigue was a lot cooler before smartphones and computers made everything so un-cinematic). Read more...

More about Movie Reviews, Tom Hanks, Entertainment, Film, and Steven Spielberg


4 thoughtful Tinder alternatives for finding love in AsiaOpen in a New Window


SINGAPORE — Online dating is booming across Asia, and Tinder is far from being the only option.

According to a survey, half of Singaporeans in 2013 said they were looking for love online, compared with 25% in 2009

Asian dating app makers say there remain cultural nuances that influence the way people here use online dating apps. For instance, there appears to be a stronger emphasis placed on privacy and establishing in-person connections than on casual, no-strings-attached meet-ups that tend to accompany quick swipes to the right

Here are how some apps plan to get a bigger share of the Asian dating pie. Read more...

More about Singapore, Asia, Social Media, Work Play, and Tinder


Sam Smith's video for Bond song 'Writing's on the Wall' finally releasedOpen in a New Window


The much-anticipated video for Sam Smith's Bond theme "Writing's on the Wall" hit YouTube on Sunday and the build up was worth the wait

Like most Bond-associated music videos, the clip is peppered throughout with dramatic moments from the upcoming Spectre film. But Smith's contribution to the visual complement to the song stands on its own. The singer delivers an incredibly emotional performance from a number of locations that closely mirror the spy movie aesthetics of Spectre

At one point in the video, Smith even sheds a tear. (Catch that, Hollywood? Acting chops, too!)

And in case you had any doubts, part of this video is about British swag, as Smith delivers one of his most powerful moments in front of an epic series of Union Jack flags Read more...

More about James Bond, Music Video, Entertainment, Music, and Video


Alicia starts to make her comeback in ‘The Good Wife’ season 7 premiereOpen in a New Window


Spoiler Alert: Plot points in the Season 7 premiere of The Good Wife are discussed below

Let’s be honest: Season 6 of The Good Wife was kind of a disappointment, especially when compared to the show’s excellent and turbulent Season 5. The good news? The Good Wife returned Sunday with a premiere that hit the reset button and feels a bit more like classic Good Wife

“Bond” is a satisfying season opener that finds its characters adjusting to the new status quo and sets up a season about redemption

Last season ended with the fiendish Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox) knocking on a recently disgraced and unemployed Alicia Florrick’s door and asking if she wanted partner with him. Meanwhile, Peter Florrick was considering entering the presidential race and Kalinda left the show (I’m still not over that faked, final Alicia-Kalinda scene — actually, let’s not even talk about it) Read more...

More about Television, Fall Tv, Entertainment, Tv, and The Good Wife


Wait, WHO just showed up on 'Last Man on Earth'?Open in a New Window



Before I continue: This post contains spoilers for Sunday's episode of The Last Man on Earth. Scratch that — this post is nothing but spoilers for Sunday's episode of The Last Man on Earth.

First, a brief recap: Season 2's second episode begins as bleakly as last week's premiere ended. Phil is alone in the burned-out mansion that used to be his Tucson headquarters; Carol is alone at a gas station in Nowhere, Oklahoma; Mike, Phil's brother (a.k.a. Jason Sudeikis), is still alone in space, presumably, although we can't be sure because he doesn't get any screen time this week. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Television, Will Ferrell, Tv, and Last Man On Earth


Superstar baby girl strikes a pose as soon as she sees a cameraOpen in a New Window


This little girl knows that you always have to be camera-ready.

Even though she was crying only moments before seeing the camera, this toddler was ready with a red carpet pose as soon as she saw the lens pointed at her. She could easily give A-list celebs a run for their money.

Some babies are born to be stars.

More about Viral Videos, Videos, Babies, Funny, and Cute Kids


In a candidate's job market, the 'war for talent' is realOpen in a New Window


The war for talent is real. According to the U.S. Labor Department’s recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there are currently around 5.8 million job openings — a series high

Couple that with a declining unemployment rate, which currently hovers at 5.1%, and you get the perfect recipe for a candidate's job market

On the other side of the table, employers are finding the recipe more difficult to follow when seeking top performers, especially if the company is missing an ingredient or two — like awesome culture. With attractive and flexible career alternatives popping up every day, the best talent is being lured away left and right, putting pressure on hiring managers to not only find but also hold onto their most impactful employees. Read more...

More about Hiring, Job Search Series, Business, Jobs, and Jazz


Iraqi PM opens Green Zone to all citizens for the first time in 12 yearsOpen in a New Window


Iraq's Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi declared the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad open to all of his citizens for the first time in 12 years Sunday amid efforts to cut spending and appease citizens who have been protesting for basic public services.

Another milestone achievement this evening in line with commitment to reform as the Green Zone in Baghdad is opened to the public

— Haider Al-Abadi (@HaiderAlAbadi) October 4, 2015

Al-Abadi referred to the opening of the Green Zone as part of the "measures promised to our citizens and this opening that we are witnessing points to continued plans to reform — actions which we will not back down from," a statement from his office said, adding that al-Abadi was the first to pass through the newly-opened Green Zone, or the International Zone as it is officially known. Read more...

More about Iraq, Us World, Baghdad, and Green Zone


Oregon church parishioners mourn the dead in the wake of mass shootingOpen in a New Window


Across Roseburg, Oregon, the first Sunday services are being held since a 26-year old gunman shot and killed nine people and injured ten others at Umpqua Community College on October 1

Roseburg, a town of 21,000 in southern Oregon, is a deeply conservative and religious community; if Oregon has a Bible belt, Roseburg lies deeply in its territory. Many citizens have sought spiritual solace since the shooting, which many are calling Roseburg’s 9/11.

The 10 a.m. service at Garden Valley Church, an evangelical church on the eastern edge of town, begins with rock music. The 150 parishioners who were not already standing in the auditorium-like space jump to their feet. Everyone claps to the upbeat rock tempo. Four women and one man stand on the stage; holding microphones, they sing four praise songs in succession Read more...

More about Religion, Us World, Us, Mass Shooting, and Gun Violence


An app for rating people — what could possibly go wrong?Open in a New Window


Yelp for humans? Yes, that exists now

We learned this week about an app called Peeple, where users can review other humans in the same way we review restaurants and hotels online.

Needless to say, there's a lot that could go wrong with this, and we had to break it all down in our newest episode of MashTalk. We also discuss a recent shady decision from Amazon, and we had to call our transportation reporter Nick Jaynes so he could tell us about how cool it was to actually drive the Tesla Model X. (Yes, we're jealous.)

Listen to the episode on Libsyn, above, or on iTunes. You can also subscribe to MashTalk on iTunes by clicking the button below to get our latest episodes instantly. If you like MashTalk, please fill out our audience survey Read more...

More about Amazon, Apps, Tech, Apps Software, and Mobile


NASA just released thousands of high-res Apollo mission photosOpen in a New Window


NASA has just posted thousands of photos taken by Apollo astronauts during their visits to the moon.

The space research agency's Project Apollo Archive made a massive update its Flickr account Sunday, adding a trove of more than 8,000 photos taken during Moon missions from 1969 to 1972.

The photo dump is part of a years-long process, beginning in 2004, when the Johnson Space Center began re-scanning the original Apollo film rolls.

Some of the photos were used on the Project Apollo Archive's website, but demand for higher quality versions eventually prompted Kipp Teague, who runs the program, to upload the whole cache in stunning high-res, he told The Planetary Society. Read more...

More about Space, Nasa, Photography, Science, and Apollo


Historic flooding has caskets floating to the surface in South CarolinaOpen in a New Window


As South Carolina deals with deadly, 1,000-year flooding caused by Hurricane Joaquin this weekend, a strange, grim effect of the deluge is being felt throughout the area: coffins are surfacing and floating in the floodwaters

Photos of the strange phenomenon were posted to social media on Sunday.

@wis10 @WRDW caskets rising due to flood in Springfield SC

— • halesss (@hdubbleu8) October 4, 2015

From: Kim Boston - Caskets floating in the Springfield Cemetery, Samaria Road in Orangeburg#SCFlood #SEFlood

— Daniel Bonds (@Daniel_Bonds) October 4, 2015

More about Flooding, Us World, South Carolina, Coffins, and Caskets


21 not-scary Halloween movies for skittish people to marathonOpen in a New Window


Not everyone wants to deal with nightmares on Halloween.

It would be so nice to curl up on the couch with some hot cider and watch a movie that's still chock-full of spooky fun — but doesn't scare the pants off of you every 30 seconds.

There are still plenty of ways for the easily-scared to get in on the fun of Halloween without fearing the night's festivities. You don't even need a good hiding place.

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

More about Lists, Movies, Halloween, Horror Movies, and Watercooler


'Downton Abbey' recap: Downton, you’re breaking my heartOpen in a New Window


Note: This post contains information about the latest episode of Downton Abbey, which has started airing its final season in the UK. American viewers can watch the final season starting Jan. 3 on PBS.

I keep thinking about the first season of Downton, and the giddy joy it made me feel — from the set, the characters, the bubbling subplots that threatened to explode and form new sources of tension.

I remember laughing out loud with friends at the thinly veiled gibes, gasping when something horrific happened (inevitably to someone kind) and feeling elated when crisis was averted.

We also laughed at the Very British Silliness of it –- it was uniting in the same way that X-Factor was uniting. You could laugh both with and at it. Ultimately, Downton Abbey was bloody good fun, and I had bloody good fun watching it Read more...

More about Uk, Entertainment, Tv, Television, and Downton Abbey


A case of mistaken Facebook identity leads to a marriage IRLOpen in a New Window


It's a match made in Facebook heaven.

Back in 2009, Schuyler Benson of South Arkansas opened Facebook using a flip-phone (oh, how times have changed). To his surprise, he found that he was logged into the account of Celeste Zendler, a woman he had never met.

In 2009 while living in South Arkansas, I used a flip-phone to log into my Facebook account. I opened the browser, went to, and wasn't even given a chance to enter any login information. I was already logged in. I had to make several posts in order to find out I wasn't logged into my own account. Read more...

More about Facebook, Pics, Cute, Weddings, and Conversations


Instagram photos show the crazy flooding in South CarolinaOpen in a New Window


As more heavy rain is expected to pummel South Carolina on Sunday, Columbia residents and government agencies have taken to social media to document the severe flooding in the state capital.

Below, Mashable rounds up some of the most dramatic social media images in the wake of the flooding.

Dam collapse at Semmes Lake on Fort Jackson #staysafe

A photo posted by SC Dept. of Natural Resources (@scdnr) on

More about Flooding, Us World, Us, Climate, and South Carolina


Sleater-Kinney talks fury and friendship at New Yorker FestivalOpen in a New Window


Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss laughed off the idea of Sleater-Kinney being the best rock band in the world at The New Yorker festival on Saturday, but to many — including most occupants of the room — it's true. And the band kind of knows it, too

“When we’re on stage playing, I feel like we’re the best band in the world,” Weiss told New Yorker writer Dana Goodyear, who was moderating the panel. It helps when your bandmates are your favorite musicians.

“The beautiful parts were edged in disgrace and disgust, it bordered right on ugly the whole time," Brownstein writes of the first time she heard Tucker's voice in Hunger Made Me a Modern Girl, which is dedicated to Tucker and Weiss Read more...

More about Music, New Yorker, Entertainment, Conversations, and Sleater Kinney


Transform yourself into a superhero for Halloween, starting with your feetOpen in a New Window



Image: Mashable

Finally, you have the proper footwear for saving the city.

Finding a Halloween costume, or better yet, a good cosplay for Comic-Con, can be both time-consuming and cash-consuming. Luckily, all it takes for a fine pair of footwear for your custom superhero costume is a role of tape (and maybe a friend).

Using colorful duct tape, some plain, flat shoes and a pair of stockings or socks that you don't mind ruining, you're just a few steps away from looking like a real hero.

Pro tip: Even though we demonstrated this tutorial using a on a female model, men can easily customize this for themselves with any pair of plain flat shoes that fit their feet. Don't worry; they'll be perfectly wearable after Halloween (or the convention) is over. Read more...

More about Diy, Halloween, Halloween Costumes, Comic Con, and Watercooler


UCC survivor says shooter spared a 'lucky one' to send a messageOpen in a New Window


ROSEBURG, Oregon — The gunman who opened fire at an Oregon college killed some of his victims after telling them to crawl across the classroom floor and shot one after saying he would spare her if she begged for her life, according to relatives of students in the classroom.

However, Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer spared a student and gave the "lucky one" something to deliver to authorities, according to the mother of a student who witnessed Thursday's rampage.

Authorities have not disclosed whether they have an envelope or package from Harper-Mercer, who Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said Saturday killed himself as officers arrived. But a law enforcement official said a manifesto of several pages had been recovered. Read more...

More about U.S., Us World, Us, Mass Shooting, and World


Unprecedented rains lead to disastrous flooding in South CarolinaOpen in a New Window


Updated at 8:15 p.m. E.T.

Biblical amounts of rain continued to pour down onto the Palmetto State Sunday, sending rivers and creeks rising to record levels while smashing longstanding precipitation markers.

South Carolina officials have asked all state residents to stay home, unless their home is threatened by floodwaters, and restrict their use of 911 to life-threatening situations only. As waters rise, more swift water rescues have been taking place, and dam breaches are occurring around the state, according to news reports.

More about Global Warming, Flooding, Us World, Us, and Climate


Hummingbird bros share a solo cup of sugar water like good bros shouldOpen in a New Window


No hummingbird party is complete without some sweet nectar.

Facebook user Bryan Chapman of Mississippi invited all his hummingbird buddies over for some homemade nectar in a red Solo cup. The bright red color attracts the usually elusive birds.

The thirsty birds were happy to share, so they definitely deserve a high five — if you can catch them.


More about Viral Videos, Videos, Funny, Birds, and Watercooler


Bird throws coins everywhere, officially derailing everyone's laundry dayOpen in a New Window


Some birds just have money to burn.

Eric the bird apparently woke up on the wrong side of the cage this morning. His owner, Sharon Curle, wrote on YouTube that Eric didn't get outside for his walk due to the rain and "everyone suffers."

Well, there goes laundry day.

More about Viral Videos, Videos, Wtf, Cute Animals, and Funny


Driving dog and little boy are the most adorable motorheads on the roadOpen in a New Window


Always keep your paws at 10 and 2.

Daisy the dog loves to drive little boy Oliver around — or rather, she loves to steer. According to the video description on Youtube, Oliver's mom controls the car's acceleration with a remote while Daisy takes the wheel.

Still, Daisy looks like quite the conscientious driver, as long as any cats stay out of the way.

More about Viral Videos, Videos, Dogs, Cute Animals, and Funny


Mighty French bulldog chases two bears who snuck into her yardOpen in a New Window


Never come between a dog and its turf.

A small but mighty French bulldog named Jewels in Monrovia, California took on two, 100-pound bears who wandered into her back yard on Friday.

MUST WATCH: Two 100-pound bears stroll up to a house in California only to instantly regret their decision when they come face-to-face with all 20 pounds of a feisty French Bulldog.

Posted by WSBT-TV on Sunday, October 4, 2015

According to WSBT-TV, the owner had installed cameras recently because the bears had been damaging his property. Perhaps they'll be coming around less often now they know there's a tiny guard on duty. Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Videos, Dogs, Cute Animals, and Watercooler


In Pumpkin Spice Twinkies, an explosion of joyOpen in a New Window


The Philadelphia cheesesteak. The sushi at Sukiyabashi Jiro. The Cronut

Some dining experiences catapult the diner's emotions, dreams and long-forgotten memories

These are the foods, though few and far between, that remind us why food is about more than just the act of eating

Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Twinkies are such a food


As you slip the treat out of its crinkly plastic wrapper, you can almost sense the fourth grade bully of your youth nearby, preparing to give you a swirly before lunch

Aah, sweet nostalgia.

The Twinkie's aroma is heady and intoxicating — a hint of pumpkin, enough cinnamon to cover Australia in a fine dust and a floral scent that is strong yet evasive. A bit like maple syrup and truffles mixed with the way carpet smells after a toddler vomits on it. Then, suddenly, the scent evolves: incense mixed with the vanilla deodorant you used in college Read more...

More about Review, Humor, Halloween, Snacks, and Lifestyle


What to watch (and what to skip) from the 'Saturday Night Live' premiereOpen in a New Window


Saturday Night Live is American comedy's most revered franchise, a reliable laugh machine that's launched dozens of names to stardom over the past 40 years... even though the show itself is, and always has been, famously uneven.

For every sketch that hits, there's one that falls flat; for every classic character, there's one who failed to make an impact. But wouldn't it be great if you knew when to expect the good stuff before you started watching?

Enter "Watch This, Skip That" — a new kind of SNL recap that separates the delightful wheat from the forgettable chaff. We'll begin, appropriately, with this year's season premiere, starring a double dose of Miley Cyrus. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Television, Snl, Saturday Night Live, and Tv


10 incredible dioramas that will make your second grade head spinOpen in a New Window


To make a diorama, one needs an artistic vision, unlimited patience and a penchant for controlling small decorative objects.

While many of us have had to make one of these petite 3D models for school, our poorly crafted papier-mâché volcanos with glitter glue don't compare with the professionally made dioramas below.

Strange Worlds by Matthew Albanese

Strange Worlds is a set of hyperrealistic miniature worlds that highlight the beauty of nature and the skill of the artist's handiwork.

Matthew Albanese

"Wildfire" is one of Albanese's Strange World pieces.

More about Art, School, Pics, and Lifestyle