Wedding Photo Shoot Disrupted By Monstrous Photo Bomber

A couple in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, scored an original wedding photo over the weekend.

Bride Sarina Thompson and groom Cory Brewer were enjoying their wedding photo shoot in an outdoor venue near the Great Smoky Mountains when their photographer Leah Edmondson noticed a large black bear in the background of the shot:

An unexpected guest crashed a wedding in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.



Leah McMahon Edmondson / GypsySoul Photography

An unexpected guest crashed a wedding in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Bear walks down the aisle at Tennessee wedding.



Leah McMahon Edmondson / GypsySoul Photography

Bear walks down the aisle at Tennessee wedding.

Edmondson told HuffPost she and the couple moved away to finish the shoot, but the bear then proceeded to walk down the aisle. She said she wasn’t afraid at all until it began making a “huffing” noise and heading in her direction.

“At this point, I am beyond scared lol. He jacked my heart rate up to Jesus,” Edmondson said.

“Anyway, it was probably the most adventurous photo session I have done,” she added.

Edmondson shared a series of images of her “wedding shoot” on Facebook, calling the uninvited guest a “monsterous photo bomber.” 

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Giphy’s eyeball-melting ‘micro-games’ are kind of genius

In my original Giphy micro-game, “taunting kittay,” an angelic dog pelts a tennis ball at a maniacal cat against a rainbow-colored pulsating heart background. The overwhelming response from my coworkers was that it gave them a headache. Yessss, victory.

Giphy launched a new product called Giphy Arcade on Wednesday. Giphy Arcade is a web-based gaming platform, for mobile or desktop, where users can play and create 10-second, bright, retro-tastic games filled with stickers and sticker gifs from Giphy’s library. 

In Giphy Arcade, you can play games created by Giphy users (and brand partners), like “Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy,” in which you have to keep a giant shrimp aloft and safe from dancing left sharks. The music and bright, ugly graphics are a diabolically great mash-up of ’80s and ’90s arcade aesthetics with classic flash games and internet native meme culture.

Best of all, you can easily create games that live in Giphy Arcade, which you can share and send to your friends. You choose from a few game templates, and then customize them with stickers from Giphy’s searchable database. For example, my “taunting kittay” game is basically Brick Breaker, a game I used to play on my flip phone in high school. Now, in my Giphy Arcade version, the dog is the moving line, the tennis ball is, well, the ball, and those demon cats are the bricks. 

“We drew a lot of inspiration from classic 80’s and 90s games so that the mechanics would be very accessible, even for those who don’t necessarily consider themselves gamers,” Nick Santaniello, a Giphy senior product engineer, told Mashable over email.

Giphy's eyeball-melting 'micro-games' are kind of genius

Giphy Arcade is part of a larger trend in which firms you wouldn’t necessarily think of as “gaming” companies are adding short-form interactive games into their platforms. Snap incorporated Bitmoji games directly into the app and Tinder launched a 5-minute weekly interactive “TV show” called Swipe Night in which your choices affect your matches and Tinder profile. In addition to keeping users interested, gameplay is a valuable, active form of interaction for brands (and the advertisers they court) because it can potentially keep users more engaged than passive scrolling.

After six years in business and $150 million raised in venture capital, Giphy is beginning its march toward profitability. The company launched Arcade with Wendy’s and is considering more brand integrations down the road.

“Our immediate goal for GIPHY Arcade is to get the product to consumers and see how they interact with it,” Santaniello said. “As far as further monetization plans, it’s something we are exploring!”

The fact that the games are branded doesn’t make them less enjoyable. That’s probably because they’re so obviously sponsored in line with the post-ironic attitude of the whole experience. 

That has a lot to do with the simplicity of the games themselves, the warped nostalgia of the graphics and music, and the savvy players who can see branded content coming from a mile away (so why hide it)? Embracing the garishness — whether through flying hamburgers or clashing color schemes — is all part of the fun.

“We wanted it to evoke early 00’s web/flash games and deliberately designed it in way where it doesn’t take itself too seriously,” Santaniello said. 

Perhaps most important, though, is the speed and ease of the experience. The games are between 5 and 10 seconds, and if you don’t figure out how to play immediately, you can re-play until you do, or skip to the next one. In other words, the stakes are incredibly low. 

They’re playable on desktop or mobile (and didn’t even crash my janky iPhone 6), and are vertically oriented for a smartphone. Also, they’re funny.

Creating a game is also surprisingly easy, too. Giphy walks you through a couple steps that end with a game and custom link. First, you choose your game template, which Giphy illustrates through generic, moving shapes. 

Giphy's eyeball-melting 'micro-games' are kind of genius

Next, you customize the elements of the game — for example, your hero and your enemy. For this, Giphy serves up its searchable sticker library. Next you pick from several strobing backgrounds, and then you select an arcade theme song. Finally, you get to title your game, and, voila! That’s it.

Nineties aesthetics are having a moment. Older millennials are drawn to reliving childhood memories, while younger millennials and Gen Z-ers get to revel in the unpolished simplicity of scrunchies and Friends episodes. Giphy Arcade taps into both of those desires. 

The feature’s success will depend on whether it can go beyond a gimmick and become something real people enjoy and use regularly. Santaniello called Arcade a “natural next step” after GIFs, stickers, and animated emoji, saying “microgames allow us to add a challenging, interactive element to Stickers. This is why we made GIPHY Arcade both easily shareable and accessible, so they can quickly be added into any conversation.”

Most of all, encountering something actually fun on the internet is rare enough that Giphy Arcade at least deserves a chance.

What do you think of Giphy Arcade? Make your own game, share it with @Mashable on Twitter, and we’ll retweet you!

Kiss Makes Big Splash By Performing Concert For Sharks

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Having played nearly every corner of the Earth in a nearly 50-year career, the rock band Kiss is taking its show to a new place _ under the sea, where they will perform for great white sharks and eight fans separated from them by a small submarine.

As part of a promotion by Airbnb, the fans and Kiss will travel Nov. 18 in separate boats off the coast of southern Australia. While Kiss stays above board on one vessel, the fans will be lowered beneath the surface of the water from a second boat into the viewing sub in an area known for shark activity.

Using underwater speakers, Kiss will begin playing, and the sound will be audible to the submerged fans and the sharks.

“I was a little taken aback by it, but they explained that sharks are attracted to low frequencies and so they’re attracted to rock ‘n’ roll,” singer and guitarist Paul Stanley told The Associated Press. “Since we’re going to be in Australia, it gives a whole new meaning to doing a concert down under.”

The first-come, first-served event costs $50, which is half the price of Kiss tickets in even the worst nosebleed seats in the last row at Madison Square Garden. Proceeds will go to charity, the company said. Reservations can be made starting at 6 p.m. EDT on airbnb.com/KISS on Oct. 14.

The event will take place in the Indian Ocean off Port Lincoln, South Australia. Kiss will be in full makeup and costumes for the performance, which will be at least four songs.

“I’m not sure how much of us the sharks can take,” Stanley said. “I’m hoping they know ‘Rock And Roll All Nite.’”

Stanley said Kiss bassist Gene Simmons has recovered after having some kidney stones removed recently, and should be ready to perform well before the shark show.

“I tend to think he just ate gravel,” Stanley joked.

The event is part of Airbnb Animal Experiences, and is designed to have people entertain animals instead of the other way around, the company said in a news release.

As strange as it sounds, underwater concerts are not new. The Underwater Music Festival has been held for the past 35 years in the Florida Keys.

The shark show has untapped potential if they want to do it again sometime. After all, what other concert could potentially bring together Great White and Air Supply?

Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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Website peddling 26 million stolen credit and debit cards got hacked

Not even professional digital fraudsters are immune to getting hacked. 

This was made abundantly clear today following a report by Krebs on Security that an online shop offering approximately 26 million stolen debit and credit card numbers for sale was itself the victim of a hack. And, perhaps best of all, the site’s entire purloined library might have been tainted in the process. 

Krebs on Security notes that the carding site in question, BriansClub, appears to have gathered its stolen card numbers over the course of the past four years from both online and physical retail stores. The site’s FAQ page explains that it “[sells] the dumps (track2/track1) with country, state, city, zip information (optional) and CVV2 cards.”

Track 1 and Track 2 refer to different bits-per-inch encoded data on credit cards’ magnetic stripes.

A screenshot of the "dumps" page on BriansClub.

A screenshot of the “dumps” page on BriansClub.

Image: screenshot / briansclub

According to Brian Krebs, the noted cybersecurity reporter who runs Krebs on Security, last month he was sent a file allegedly containing BriansClub’s entire database of stolen cards. Some of the cards in the file matched redacted versions on sale at BrainsClub, lending credence to the claim that the file was legitimate. 

This hack might have simply been a reminder that nothing online is secure — even sites designed to thrive off that insecurity — were it not for what came next. 

“All of the card data stolen from BriansClub,” writes Krebs, “was shared with multiple sources who work closely with financial institutions to identify and monitor or reissue cards that show up for sale in the cybercrime underground.”

In other words, there is a decent chance that a large percentage of these card numbers are now flagged as having been compromised. 

To make this entire situation even more ridiculous, BriansClub was reportedly named after Brian Krebs as some sort of joke. 

Notably, for all those stressing carde out there, BriansClub does claim to offer refunds. “For invalid cards you will get refund immediately,” reads the site’s FAQ. 

We reached out to the BriansClub site admin via its support ticket page for comment on the alleged hack and the possibility that its cards are now worthless. We received no immediate response. 

Perhaps whoever runs BriansClub is too busy processing refund requests. 

How ‘Lady and the Tramp’ Filmed the Classic Spaghetti Dinner Scene With Real Dogs (Exclusive)

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Bible revelation: Richard Dawkins reveals Charles Darwin theory for Noah’s Ark

The theory of evolution by natural selection, first formulated in Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species” in 1859, is the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioural traits. Changes that allow an organism to better adapt to its environment will help it survive and have more offspring. However, Richard Dawkins has shockingly claimed this same idea can be used to prove Noah’s Ark is a myth.

The vessel in the Genesis flood narrative of the Bible is used by God to spare Noah, his family and a selection of the world’s animals from a great flood.

According to the fourth verse of the eighth chapter, following the disaster, Noah’s Ark landed on the “mountains of Ararat,” and this is what Dawkins has a problem with.

In his new book, “Outgrowing God,” he wrote: “Bible-believing Christians in Kentucky raised the money to build a gigantic Noah’s Ark for people to pay to visit.

“But you’d think they might have given a bit more thought to the story.

“If the tale of Noah were true, the places where we find each animal should show a pattern of spreading out from the spot where the biblical Ark finally came to rest when the flood subsided – Mount Ararat in Turkey.

“Instead, what we actually see is that each continent and island has its own unique animals.”

Dawkins went on to point out how different animals originate from all four corners of the globe.

He added: “Marsupials in Australia, South America and New Guinea, anteater and sloths in South America, lemurs in Madagascar. 

“Do people think the kangaroos came bounding out of the Ark and hopped all the way to Australia without having any children on the way?

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“The lemurs – all 101 pairs of them – made a beeline for Madagascar and nowhere else?

“In fact, of course, all the animals and their fossils, are exactly where they should be according to the principle of evolution.”

He went on to make a loose connection to Darwinism, claiming the late biologist of the 19th century felt the same as him.

He continued: “This was one of the main pieces of evidence Charles Darwin used.

“Ancestral marsupial mammals evolved separately in Australia over millions of years, branching into lots of different marsupials – kangaroos, koalas, opossums, quokkas, phalangers, and so on.

“A different set of mammals evolved in South America, branching over millions of years, into sloths, anteaters, armadillos and their kind.

“Yet another set in Africa, and another set, and so on.”

In the Bible, the miracle stories include faith healing, exorcism, resurrection, control over nature and forgiveness of sins.

For many Christians, these are seen as actual events, but others, including many liberal Christians, consider the stories to be figurative.

In addition, there have also been some bizarre discoveries on Mount Ararat.

Amazon Prime’s “Mysteries” documentary revealed how one man scaled the huge rock formation.

The 2009 series revealed: “In 1955 French industrialist Fernand Navarra and his son scaled the northwest slope of Mt Ararat searching for the ark.

“They made their way into a deep fault in the glacier and discovered a five-foot piece of ancient wood. 

“It was not a part of a tree, but obviously something that had been cut. 

“Navarra’s book ‘Noah’s Ark: I touched it’ created an international sensation. 

Thoughtful Quotes About Parenthood From Joan Cusack

Joan Cusack has played many mom parts in films and TV shows, but it’s also a role she plays in real life.

The actor and her husband, Richard Burke, have two grown sons, Dylan and Miles. Since becoming a mom in 1997, she has shared snippets of her family life in Chicago during various interviews.

In honor of her birthday, here are 18 quotes about parenthood from Cusack.

On Raising Her Family In Chicago

“As my kids would say, ‘Chicago is awesome!’ It has rich culture and history, as well as some of the best museums, architecture and restaurants in the world. Plus, it prevents our family life from revolving around TV and the movies. In L.A. it’s easy to get caught up in what you look like or how much money you have, and those aren’t values I want my kids to adopt.”

On Her Hopes For Her Kids

“I want my kids to experience passion. I want them to see that I have things I feel passionate about because it is such a great feeling to really love something. My parents had five kids and we are all close. We were a traditional family. My mom didn’t have a job, she was just raising kids. My dad went out to work. He was a really funny man, very silly. He loved comedy. We would watch Mel Brooks movies and Monty Python and he would always find some humor in everything. He made home movies of us, and he would show them in the backyard. He was great fun.”

On Her Advice For Other Parents

“Don’t live vicariously through your kids or try to shape them into who you wanted to be, like the popular kid or an athlete. Children should be given the opportunity to be themselves.”

On The Traits She Wants To Instill In Her Kids

“Characteristics like honesty, integrity and compassion are important but I really want to foster each one’s sense of self. I want them to be able to recognize a challenge and meet it head-on without fear.”

On The Beauty Of Parenthood

“As a parent, you have to figure out how to shape your kid’s character. You want to have human beings who learn about good character. You have to be able to see your child with clarity, see the good side and the bad side of them, and work on the bad side and make them better so they fulfill their potential. You have to make them do stuff they don’t want to do, like take out the trash, while instilling in them all those difficult virtues that are not just about impulse gratification. Then there are those incredible moments when you see that they have learned or ‘got’ something. You see a quality in them that reminds you of your dad ― there’s all the joy of being a parent. It’s absolutely true that you would sacrifice your life for them.”

On Wanting To Raise Confident Kids

“I hope they’re never as shy as I am ― whether it’s around new people, big groups, or in a job interview. I want them to be able to relax without getting nervous. I think acting has helped me come out of my shell, because when I play a character I can’t be self-conscious.”

On Being Present But Not Overbearing

“I don’t want to be a helicopter parent, but I want to be there and help them grow. I can work … I love working. And I think it’s good for your soul to work, and I want to work. But I also want to be able to be there to help them.”

On Her Parents’ Influence

“My dad was a very funny man ― he’s the one who taught me life would be awfully hard without humor! I’m sure his Irish wit in some way influenced my decision to become an actress. And my mom was politically active, so I try to educate Dylan and Miles about what’s going on in the world.”

On What Impresses Her Kids About Her Career

“Being in ‘Toy Story 2’ with Buzz Lightyear when Dylan was younger. But now they’re more impressed that I was in ‘School of Rock.’ Their friends thought it was awesome that I played the principal.”

On The Timelessness Of Parenthood

“It’s a thing primordial. It’s a thing that’s timeless about life. They’ve existed forever and they’ll continue to exist forever. As long as there are humans, there will be mothers and fathers and children. And you’ll either be a parent or a child, or both.”

On Teaching Her Kids About The World

“I think children are naturally curious, and I try to just encourage that.”

On The Hardest Part Of Being A Parent

“Juggling parental responsibilities with those of being a wife and a career woman ― while also being a member of school and church communities ― is difficult. Every day I feel like I dropped the ball somewhere, but I’ve learned not to beat myself up over it because that won’t help. I try to be a role model to my sons by showing them that no matter what kind of mistake a person makes, she can always get back up again and give it another shot.”

On Stressing About College Early On

“I have friends that are going through that stuff. There are some parents whose kids are in grade school who do think about colleges, and fortunately, I don’t have that particular burden.”

On Teaching Her ‘City Kids’ About Nature And Science

“I heard once that if you just don’t worry about everything being clean all the time, and let them makes messes occasionally, or let them look at what happens with the milk that spilled on the floor, how it travels or where it pools, that all can be naturally scientific. Granted, you have to be in the right mood!”

On Her Kids’ Knowledge Of Her Career

“They know about it and about some of the stuff that’s been in it … We’ve had some really frank conversations where I’ve given truly Oscar-worthy performances of keeping a straight face when I was shocked and horrified about what they knew about.”

On Being A Parent, Not A Friend

“It’s harder to not be your kid’s friend but it’s more important. It’s another level of love that’s hard to understand. If you’re just their friend, you wouldn’t care as much as you do because you care at such a big level about your kids. You want to help shape them so you’re thinking about all aspects of them. A friend is really just a smaller relationship than what a mom really wants to do.”

On Keeping Her Family Grounded

“It’s that very laid-back Midwestern attitude that helps a lot! And recognizing when people are getting too stressed out and finding something relaxing and/or authentically fun to do.”

On Work-Life Balance

“My kids are my first priority always.”

Black Panther Spotted Roaming Rooftops Of Lille, France

PARIS (AP) — Emergency workers caught an unusual prowler lurking around rooftops in northern France: a black panther.

Firefighters and a veterinarian responded after residents of a neighborhood near Lille reported that a big cat had been spotted “strolling on residential gutters” on Wednesday night.

Photos taken after the fire brigade’s arrival captured the panther making itself at home above ground, perching on building ledges and pacing outside a closed window.

After firefighters secured a precautionary perimeter, the curious cat burglar slipped inside a house and workers trapped it.

The animal was put to sleep with a drug dart and put in a cage. It wasn’t clear where the panther came from or if it had escaped from a zoo.

Fotografía proporcionada por la Brigada de Bomberos del norte de Francia de una pantera en la canaleta de un edificio en Arme



ASSOCIATED PRESS

Fotografía proporcionada por la Brigada de Bomberos del norte de Francia de una pantera en la canaleta de un edificio en Armentieres, Francia, el miércoles 18 de septiembre de 2019. (Sapeurs-Pompiers du Nord vía AP)