Mickey Mouse Is In Deep With The Yakuza
Happy HumpDay! Do you love learning something new each week? Maybe your friends and family would like to learn some cool stuff too?! If you know someone who has a thirst for useless but entertaining knowledge, feel free to forward this email to them and have them subscribe!!!! As always, check out the HumpDay website at HumpDayNewsletter.com and follow the official HumpDay Instagram!
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Film & Television
Tom and Jerry, Bart and Lisa, Mickey and Goofy what do they all have in common? They can all only count to eight!
Next time you sit down to watch your favorite cartoon show, take a second to look closely at how the characters are drawn on screen. You will notice that most of your favorite characters only have four fingers on each hand (technically three fingers and one thumb).
Most cartoons are drawn with four fingers simply because a hand with four fingers is easier to draw than a hand with five fingers. Animators not only need to draw the hands, but they also have to animate the movement of each individual finger. By removing one finger, cartoonists can reduce the amount of hand animation by 20% while still maintaining a similar structure to a human hand; saving an incredible amount of time in the animation process.
Interestingly, cartoons drawn in Japan always have five fingers. That is because the Yakuza, the Japanese mob, has a history of cutting off the fingers of those who are unable to pay their debts. Having only four fingers makes it seem like someone is involved with the mob so, Japanese animators make the extra effort to give their characters five fingers.
Dancing is a sport. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It takes an incredible amount of strength, balance, and coordination to dance in elite Broadway and ballet productions. One example of the elite athleticism that it requires to dance at the peak of the sport is the legendary “Black Swan Turns” from the world-famous ballet, Swan Lake.
Swan Lake is a Russian ballet from the late 1800’s that tells the story of a princess that falls in love with a prince before an evil wizard turns her into a Swan and replaces her with a look alike. The look alike, known as the Black Swan, tries to steal the prince by enticing him with a beautiful dance. The dance includes one of the most difficult movements in all of ballet, the 32 fouettes (spins).
The ballerina playing the Black Swan stands center stage and begins spinning in a circle while standing on her tippy toes (sounds painful). The black swan spins, and spins, and spins, in a perfect circle an astonishing 32 two times in a row without stopping smiling the whole time and making it look effortless. In order to maintain the momentum to complete 32 consecutive spins, the talented ballerina must use incredible balance to stay perfectly vertical to not fall over and she must kick her leg with perfect timing to generate enough force to keep turning. The Black Swan fouettes require balance, strength and incredible precision that only the most talented dancers in the world can successfully pull off.
Spinning in a circle 32 times is enough to make most of us sick but for those who can manage it, it’s a great way to attract a handsome prince.
What do you think of when you see the color pink? What about the color blue? Do you think girl and boy respectively? Today, blue and pink are closely associated with gender and anyone who has had to buy a gift for a newborn knows that their color options are limited to gender of the baby. Why is that? How did blue, the color of the ocean and the sky, become strictly a boy color? What makes pink a girly color?
It turns out blue for boys and pink for girls is a relatively new thing. In the 1920’s stores began marketing color coded products to make them easily recognizable as boys or girls clothes. At that time, some stores marketed pink products to boys and blue products to girls while other stores did the opposite. This marketing tool set a precedent for using contrasting colors to separate products for boys from products for girls but there was no standard for which color was assigned to which gender.
Pink for girls and blue for boys went out of fashion in the 60’s and 70’s as more unisex clothing came into style. The colors only really became associate with gender as we know it in the 1980s when advancements were made in prenatal gender tests. Parents were able to find out the gender of their newborn well before the birth and began planning ahead for either a boy or a girl. Manufacturers of baby clothing stores capitalized on expecting parents’ obsession with knowing the gender by selling blue clothes for when the baby would be a boy and pink clothes for when the baby would be a girl.
The association between color and gender has since stuck and it has even grown in popularity. Gender reveal parties are bigger than ever, and our entire culture is built off the assumption that blue is for boys and pink is for girls.
This Week in History
On this week in 1986, the U.S. Space shuttle Challenger launched from the NASA base in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Seventy-three seconds after takeoff, the Challenger shuttle exploded in the air as people around the world watched in horror. The shuttle erupted because an O-ring on the shuttles fuel cells malfunctioned and caused a rupture in the fuel tank. On board was a New Hampshire high school history teacher named Christina McAuliffe that had won a contest to become the first teacher to go to space. There were no survivors.
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