Weird Al Yankovic Slides Into High School Crush’s DMs 50 Years Later

Weird Al Patrice Drawing
(Instagram/AlfredYankovic)

When it comes to romance, you gotta shoot your shot. Or, you can plant a seed you fail to check on for 50 years, but when you do, it’ll be a banger of a story for social media. Musical parody legend Weird Al Yankovic lands the latter category. In fact, he’s both the creator and sole member of that category, as he shared a quickly legendary story about a high school crush on social media.

The story starts simply enough, with Weird Al describing that he was also weird (well, awkward, shy and nerdy is how he described it) when he was 12. As an underage high school freshman, this is to be understood. But he had a crush on the girl who sat in front of him in math and wanted to let her know. Being painfully shy, his grand gesture was to draw a picture of her and give it to her. Of course, he didn’t want her to know why he made it, so he made sketches of EVERYONE in the class and handed those out too. But, he said he made Patrice’s picture a lot better, to be subtle about his pick-up attempt.

Predictably, she did not pick up on it.

Fast forward nearly 50 years. Now 61, Weird Al notices a woman on social media claiming to have sat in front of him in 9th-grade math class. So he DMs her to ask if her name is Patrice. It is! So he decided to ask; “hey, by any chance do you happen to remember that one time I drew pictures of everybody in class?”

A minute later, she sent this picture.

Nearly five decades later, and Patrice had held on to the picture from Young Weird Al.

“She had saved it all these years,” he wrote. “I just felt like telling this story because, well… 2020 was arguably a pretty sucky year overall, but there were some real moments of joy sprinkled in here and there – and for me, this was definitely one of them.”

It truly is a cute story.

Dad Has Colorful Solution To Crayon Waste: Repurpose Them for Hospitalized Kids

Dad repurposes crayons for hospitalized kids
(YouTube/The Crayon Initiative)

Waste in the food industry is no joke. Each year in the US, over 20 billion pounds of food go to waste from restaurants alone – but food isn’t the only resource rotting away in the backroom of your local Applebee’s. To keep kids occupied while their parents attempt to enjoy a leisurely dinner, many restaurants have taken to handing out little packs of crayons with their kids’ menus. But once your leftovers are boxed up, the crayon drawings are covered in grease, and the crayons generally meet their sticky ends among the stray noodles and splattered soda.

Most of us never consider the extremely short lifespan of restaurant crayons, and for a while, neither did father and entrepreneur Bryan Ware. One day while dining out with his kids, Ware had a strange realization. Every restaurant crayon is brand new when it first enters the hands of an eager kid – so what happens to them after their 20 minutes of use? Ware did some research, and what he discovered was alarming.

“More than a half-million pounds of crayons are discarded every year, turning into a waxy sludge that clogs our landfills and never biodegrades,” Ware explained on his website.

In response to the immense waste, Ware came up with a colorful solution that helped solve two glaring problems. Ware launched a program he called The Crayon Initiative, a brilliant organization that turns waste into something incredibly useful.

“The Crayon Initiative collects donated crayons from restaurants, schools and homes across the country, then melts them down and remanufactures them, reducing waste,” Ware’s Crayon Initiative website explains. “Better yet, the recycled crayons are distributed to art programs at children’s hospitals across the U.S., brightening the lives of young patients during their stay.”

One beautiful aspect of repurposing crayons is that after melting them down, they can take any shape. The initiative’s crayons are molded into thicker crayons that are easier to grip than the regular variety, especially for kids with disabilities or small motor problems.

A prolonged hospital stay is a time often filled with fear and uncertainty, but fortunately, many hospitals offer art programs to give kids something to look forward to. The Crayon Initiative has donated over 430,000 boxes of crayons to hospitalized kids, providing a bit of much-needed brightness.

Ware explains, “When the patients at our partner hospitals finally get to go home, they often take our crayons with them because they represent a happy memory during an otherwise uncertain time.”

NFL Star’s Alex Trebek Cleats Auctioned Off for Pancreatic Cancer Charity

Trebek Cleats
(Twitter/athielen19)

Alex Trebek was one of the most iconic TV hosts of all time, and his passing was truly one of the low moments (of many) in 2020. Fans and admirers of all stripes are now paying tribute to the legendary host, and among those is one of the most electric wide receivers in the NFL

Minnesota Vikings star Adam Thielen honored Trebek’s passing with a pair of FIRE custom cleats. And now, he’s auctioning them off to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the deadly disease.

“In honor of the last episode airing today of Jeopardy! with the late, great Alex Trebek hosting, Thielen Foundation is auctioning off my custom pre-game worn cleats,” he wrote.

In case you’re curious how much magic is in those cleats, Thielen did catch two touchdowns in the game after warming up in them.

The cleats feature Trebek in a halo and a Jeopardy! clue style image with “We will miss you, Alex” in the placard. Trebek was dedicated to raising awareness for pancreatic cancer prevention and charities during his battle with the terrible disease, and his advocacy will certainly make a difference in the lives of many.

Film Festival Wants Someone to Spend a Week Alone in a Lighthouse Watching Films

Lighthouse Films Challenge
(YouTube/GBFilmFestival)

The pandemic has changed a lot of things we’d normally do in person. Games, concerts, school, even restaurants…basically anything, where you’d be gathered with someone else, has changed. Some are moving to virtual experiences, others are canceling events or pushing them back repeatedly. One film festival is taking our social isolation era and really leaning into it, creating one of the most unusual experiences available during these COVID times. They are recruiting one person to spend an entire week in a lighthouse, alone, watching movies.

A Swedish film festival is putting out the call for volunteers for their “Isolated Cinema” experience of watching all the festival movies over the span of a week, while locked away in a remote lighthouse on a craggy Swedish island.

So, if you haven’t had your fill of watching movies or being completely, utterly alone, this could be a great chance for a break from your current nothing. The Gothenburg Film Festival artistic director said in an interview it’s truly isolated, the winner won’t be allowed to bring another person, a phone, or even a book (love that he listed that last, like reading, was some unfathomable thing someone would be forced to do out of desperation).

“It will be only this person and the sea, the waves, the sky, and the 60 movies we are screening at the festival,” he said. He said they really wanted to push someone in these extreme conditions to see how it affects their relationship to the films.

But, it doesn’t sound all bad, because the lighthouse was actually converted into a (small) luxury hotel, so the winner will have a “soft bed, warm room, very nice food and also some popcorn.”

After being stuck inside with my kids for most of the last year due to the global pandemic, I could really go for some random, bizarre week of watching Swedish movies in a remote lighthouse (a sentence I never would have conceived of in before times). You can apply here to win!

5-Yr-Old Raised Over $900 For The Humane Society by Selling Her Paintings

5-Year-old sells art to raise money for humane society
(YouTube/KTVB)

There’s a pivotal moment where kids realize that they aren’t just along for the ride in life. At a certain point, they begin to notice that the choices they make impact not only them but others as well. Even more amazing, kids may begin using their newfound empowerment to make the world a better place. Rather than simply accepting life’s challenges, watching others struggle becomes an opportunity to help.

Like many kids, 5-year-old Elliot Phillips-Hallock loves animals. When she learned that her beloved fuzzy friends at the Idaho Humane society needed dog and cat food, she knew she had to help. Being a 5-year-old, Elliot didn’t have much in terms of extra cash. She couldn’t exactly donate a percentage of her paycheck to cover some much-needed meals for the animals, but Elliot had something even better than cash – the 5-year-old had an idea.

It doesn’t take much to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit of a little kid. In order to buy my first gaming system, I held weekly garage sales filled with things I found around the house, none of which actually belonged to me. But Elliot had a more admirable goal and a far better method.

Since she loved to paint anyway, the determined 5-year-old decided to sell her art to raise money for the animal shelter. Once the decision was made, Elliot wasted no time at all. She slaved away over her printer paper and non-toxic paint and created over 50 masterpieces over the course of just a few days.

“Flowers, animals, from flamingos to outer space, she did it all,” Elliot’s mom told KTVB. “I posted them to my personal Facebook page and friends and family really supported her.”

Elliot’s art sold out, and the tiny philanthropist was thrilled. She raised over $900, all of which she spent on food for the Humane Society. A store called Zamzows even donated $100 to the cause, making this a shopping spree to end all shopping sprees. The best part? Dropping off the food, of course! Seeing the very animals she was helping solidified what an incredible difference she’d made.

“They gave us a tour and we all got to see all of the animals,” Elliot said. “A lot of people there were very, very happy.”

Father of Three Decorates Thousands of Lunch Bags With Dad Jokes

Dad decorates sandwich bags with dad jokes
(Instagram/sandwichbagdad)

Dave Blumenthal, a 44-year-old father of three knows how to make lunch memorable for his daughters. It’s not what’s inside the paper lunch bags that make his daughters’ school lunches special, but oddly enough, it’s what’s on the outside that counts. Though he has no formal training, Blumenthal is an artist – an artist that combines his love for his daughters with his never-ending supply of dad jokes. For over 8 years, Dave Blumenthal has been turning his daughters’ lunch bags into hilarious works of art.

It all started with a sandwich when Dave and his wife’s first daughter went off to school. “We had a newborn in the house at the time so my wife tried to make our first born feel special by cutting some shapes in her school lunch sandwiches,” Dave explained.

Dave soon took over the sandwich-cutting duty, carving the bread into shapes of cartoon characters and letters of the alphabet much to the delight of his daughter and her classmates. Once the bread-carving became too time-consuming, Dave decided to draw directly on the bags themselves – and he hasn’t stopped since.

 

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The bag reveal became a highly-anticipated moment in the school day for both teachers and students, sparking conversations, and even helping Dave’s oldest daughter overcome her shyness. Despite their success in the classroom, Dave didn’t have any intention of expanding his lunch bag project. That is, until his daughter’s teacher convinced him to share his hilarious jokes with the world. Shortly after, Sandwich Bag Dad was born.

 

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“I am honestly still amazed that my humble little bag drawings have attracted so much attention,” Dave marveled. “I seriously never expected to gain any followers – other than my family – when I first started posting. My kids still shake their head that there are so many people who voluntarily choose ‘the sandwichbagdad experience.’”

 

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It’s immediately evident why Dave’s sandwich bags have attracted almost 7,000 Instagram followers – between the unique take on dad jokes, the impressive art, and the fact that he does it all for his kids, it’s a truly wholesome undertaking. Though some people find it hard to believe, these entertaining sandwich bags do indeed fulfill their intended purpose.

 

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Dave explained, “The bags are absolutely and positively genuine lunch bags which my kids take to school! All my posts are just the ‘before’ pics. While some end up being hung up on their classroom walls, the vast majority end up coming home crumbled and very much worse for wear after holding a sandwich in them for a few hours. Most end up being tossed into the recycling!”

Though Dave is often encouraged to expand his “sandwichbagdad” empire, he has no plans to do so at this point in time. “At the moment, I’m just happy making people smile and knowing my dadjoke superpowers are being used for good not evil!”

 

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For a concentrated dose of dad jokes, follow him on Instagram.

Creative Dad Wins Halloween With Epic “Zoom Meeting” Costume for His Daughter

Dad makes Zoom meeting costume for his daughter
(YouTube/Greg Dietzenbach)

The leaves are changing color, the aisles of grocery stores are lined with last-minute costumes that seem intent on making your child look like one of the Village People. Bags of candy, both name-brand and generic, sit side-by-side reminding us what it truly means to live in harmony. Undeniably, Halloween is going to look a little different this year. Some towns have canceled trick-or-treating altogether, while some parents scramble to find bizarre and safe ways to deliver candy to their tiny costumed visitors. One crafty dad from Marion, Iowa was undeterred by this year’s unconventional Halloween, continuing his tradition of making the world’s most epic costumes for his kids.

Greg Dietzenbach is no stranger to creativity, especially when it comes to Halloween. He explains, “My kids challenge me every year to make a unique costume. Building a transforming sock robot for my son almost broke my brain so this year I wanted to make it a lot simpler. Due to Covid we didn’t even know if our town would have trick-or-treating this year.”

Before we move on, we need to give credit where credit’s due. To understand the full scope of this dad’s talent, take a look at the brain-busting sock robot costume Dietzenbach built for his son.

Understandably, Dietzenbach decided to simplify his kids’ costumes this year. The same amount of impressive creativity, just fewer moving parts. This year, Zoom has gone from virtually unknown (to most of us, at least) to the star of school days, work meetings, and even weddings. As a nod to Zoom’s increasing popularity and the very screen his kids see all day as they attend school remotely, Dietzenbach decided to costume-ize it.

Dietzenbach, who works for a company that builds museums and corporate environments, got busy with his office’s large-format printer. He recreated the Zoom interface, but with some Halloween-themed Easter eggs (Halloween eggs?). “Instead of ‘Share Screen’ it’s ‘Share Scream,’” Dietzenbach explained. “’End Meeting for All’ changed to ‘End Life.’”

The meeting had 666 participants, and each participant on the call was a photo of his 12-year-old daughter Ada transformed into a monster using Procreate, an iPad drawing app. As if it needed any more incredible touches, the costume has a camera that adds the candy-giver to a square of the world’s first in-person Zoom call. The end result was nothing short of extraordinary.

“I’ve created several unique costumes through the years,” Dietzenbach explained.

If you’re itching to catch up (it’s well worth a scroll), all of this artistic dad’s past costumes are on his website.

“They’re all a labor of love. I make them for my daughter and son every year. I’ve become known for my homemade costumes with family and friends and people tell me they look forward to seeing them every year but I really do it for my kids.”

Though Dietzenbach goes above and beyond on his kids’ Halloween costumes, he stresses that it doesn’t take a huge gesture to show your kids how much you love them. Dietzenbach told The Dad, “I keep seeing comments on this costume where people say ‘Dad of the year award!’ and ‘Greatest Dad EVER!’. They make me feel good and put a smile on my face but it’s not a competition.”

He continued, “You don’t have to do these big crazy things to be thought of as ‘Greatest Dad EVER’ by your kid(s). It’s all the little moments I share with my kids that make them (and me) feel special. It’s just being there for them and giving them all of your love. That’s what I’m most proud of.”

UPDATE: Dad Photoshops Kids’ Drawings Into Reality and the Results are Unreal

Dad photoshops kids art
(Instagram/thingsihavedrawn)

In 2018, we introduced you to Tom Curtis’s wonderful and occasionally unsettling world of “Things I Have Drawn,” where this talented dad brings kids’ drawings to life using Photoshop. In 2018, Tom’s art (inspired by his two artistic sons, Al and Dom) took off, accumulating over 120,000 followers on Instagram. Just two years later, Tom’s art is more far-reaching than ever – with nearly 800,000 Instagram followers, Tom has experienced a level of success he never imagined. But most importantly, he continues to inspire the creativity of kids around the world.

Originally, Tom had used art drawn by his two sons to create his masterpieces. Now, the Things I Have Drawn universe has expanded, thanks to Tom opening his heart and DMs to user submissions.

Tom told The Dad, “We get loads of drawings DMed to us on Instagram. Far more than I can possibly hope to ‘make real’ given they take so long to do. That said, if anyone fancies sending their children’s drawings, and won’t be disappointed if their kids’ picture isn’t chosen (sorry in advance if that’s the case) I’m interested in doing a sad polar bear, as well as an acoustic guitar, because Al is learning to play at the moment.”

After seeing Tom’s art, it’s immediately evident why companies are clamoring for his attention, and why one fan even got a tattoo of a Tom Original. His art is not only impressive, but it’s endearing. It showcases the incredible imaginations children have, and inspires creativity in kids and adults alike. Though some people who reach this level of success may try to turn the spotlight on themselves, Tom has never had that inclination.

“The main thing about Things I Have Drawn is that I love doing our funny little pictures, so I keep on doing them, and keep on sharing them,” he explained. “I’m very passionate about kids’ creativity and am worried about it being threatened by all sorts of things – from art education not being prioritised in UK schools, to a lack of funding in the arts in general in the UK, as well as the lack of opportunities for young people to enter into the creative industries.”

To ensure his page remains a place of inspiration, Tom makes sure kids run the show when it comes to Things I Have Drawn. Sure, he’s the wizard that brings imagination to life, but kids are the brains behind the operation.

“One day I want to use the platform I have to find a way to make a more meaningful statement about how we can encourage children to be more creative, and give them opportunities they might not otherwise have.”

Though he hopes to do more in the future, Tom is already doing a pretty stellar job of invigorating the creativity of anyone who stumbles upon his art. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.

 

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Artist Proves Famous Paintings Are More Beautiful With Bill Murray’s Face

Artist Recreates Famous Paintings with Bill Murray
(iamaguynamededdy.net)

Even if you’re not a fan of comedy, you can just as easily be a huge fan of Bill Murray for being an amazing dude. Murray has been in the spotlight for over four decades – it all started with a three-season run on Saturday Night Live from 1977-1980, and to this day, he hasn’t slowed down. For most, being a public figure for that long would probably deplete your patience for adoring fans, But Bill Murray genuinely seems to love making his fans happy.

Murray sightings are not uncommon, and almost always leave people with hilarious stories. Multiple times, this young-at-heart goofball has been caught stealing fries from fans, at one point screaming “No one will ever believe you” across Times Square. He’s crashed weddings, bachelorette parties, strangers’ birthday festivities, and even applied for a job at P.F. Chang’s simply because he deems it “one of the great places.” One artist named Eddy Torigoe Pellot struck a chord with Bill Murray fans everywhere by finding a fittingly absurd way to honor the lovable goofball – Eddy created works of art by photoshopping Murray’s face into classic paintings.

Though this talented artist didn’t originally set out to create such a perfect series of photos, the internet’s response makes it clear that this is the content people didn’t know they needed. Eddy told The Dad, “It was simply by accident that I made the composites using Bill. I stumbled upon an image of him on Reddit that looked so much like the famous Washington portrait that I couldn’t resist putting them together. And of course, it’s Bill Murray, the man has made the world a better place just by being in it.”

The one that started it all

Bill Murray Washington
(iamaguynamededdy.net)

Eddy didn’t stop after his Washington photo came to fruition – instead, he took classic painting after classic painting and added the beloved actor’s face to each one. One might even say that looking at these pictures one after another gives the viewer somewhat of a “Groundhog Day” vibe. The collection is eclectic, recreating portraits of Frida Kahlo to Grant Wood’s American Gothic. But somehow, every single one works.

Eddy quickly realized just how loved Murray was, with encouragement pouring in from unexpected places. “I was definitely surprised by the response, but what surprised me the most is how many fans Mr. Murray has around the world,” Eddy explained. “It was incredibly overwhelming to receive so many positive comments about him and it’s also humbling to see how far his celebrity reaches. He really is a beloved public figure.”

Though Eddy says he’s done with the Bill Murray collection, fans have requested similar series with other celebrities so there may be more in the future. Until then, enjoy the full Murray Collection on Eddy’s website, and some of our favorites below.

He’s beautiful.

Bill Murray Frida Kahlo
(iamaguynamededdy.net)

What a lovely family.

Bill Murray American Gothic
(iamaguynamededdy.net)

I would trust this man with my life.

Bill Murray Art
(iamaguynamededdy.net)

Whatcha thinkin’ about?

Bill Murray Art 2
(iamaguynamededdy.net)

Honestly, this would have worked on me.

Bill Murray Uncle Sam
(iamaguynamededdy.net)

Dad Shares 14-Yr-Old’s Comics and the Internet Loves Them

Dad Shares 14-Year-Old’s Comics and the Internet Loves Them
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

It’s a proud moment for parents when kids develop a passion for their hobbies and work hard to improve their skills. Hanging their pictures around the house or sharing poems with family and friends is a great way to encourage and support them, but it’s not often that thousands of strangers also take an active role in cheering on a kid’s creativity. When 14-year-old Jake started drawing impressive and hysterical comics on the whiteboard on his bedroom door every night, Jake’s dad David thought that others might enjoy them too. David began sharing Jake’s comics online, and anyone who has ever thrown content into the abyss that is the internet knows it’s not easy to win over the self-proclaimed content connoisseurs – but Jake’s comics clearly struck a chord.

With nearly 15,000 Instagram followers and counting, Jake’s comics are a hit. The 14-year-old initially used his whiteboard to share a “word of the day” with his family, but soon grew tired of searching for interesting vocabulary. Jake’s whiteboard soon became a place for doodles and comics, which caught his dad’s attention. These comics were not the scribbles and questionable jokes one might expect from a teen – they were delightfully funny, impressively drawn, and highly entertaining.

Jake told Bored Panda about the origins of his Instagram page. He recalled, “My dad took pictures of them, and once we got around 50, my dad asked for permission to put them on an Instagram page. I was reluctant at first, but I gave my dad the green light to put the comics up. The page got 10,000 followers in two days, and I drew comics on the whiteboard more frequently. And that’s how it all began!”

The comics are entirely products of Jake’s active imagination, and while the drawing process is quick, the ideas themselves take time to develop. Jake explains, “I’ll have an idea for a comic, think, ‘Hey that’s actually a good idea,’ and write it down on a sticky note for future use.”

Jake’s dad has posted over 150 of his comics so far, and his daily drawings are added frequently. Check out Jake’s Instagram for his full catalog of work, and enjoy some of our favorites below!

On wishful thinking

Jake comic 3
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

Finding loopholes

Jake comic 2
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

Incredible advertising

Jake Comic 1
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

And questionable decisions

Jake comic 4
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

Teen Helps Little Brother Travel the World Through Chalk Art

Teen Helps Little Brother Travel the World Through Chalk Art
(YouTube/WGN News Instagram/macairesmuse)

Being in the middle of what seems like year six of quarantine has left many kids grasping at straws when it comes to entertainment. Most camps, sports, and pools, have been closed indefinitely. With many parents still having to work from home, kids have had to become more self-sufficient at staying occupied for a lot of the day. Two kids in Illinois found themselves in this exact situation when their parents explained that due to their work schedules, the kids would have to keep themselves busy once they finished their classes for the day.

Unlike most teenagers who would have spent their spare time locked in their rooms making TikTok videos, Fourteen-year-old Macaire Everett took it upon herself to keep her 9-year-old brother Camden entertained while her parents worked in their provisional home office. Years ago Macaire dabbled in chalk art, and she decided that this was a better time than ever to design some new masterpieces. This time though, she had an extra spark of inspiration in the form of her eager little brother.

Not only was Camden supportive of his sister’s chalk art, but he was also the key motivation behind his sister’s incredible creations. Macaire told Today, “We have never traveled outside the United States. Cam really wants to travel, so he likes going places in the chalk. I’m giving him a little preview.”

Macaire has been taking Camden on the trip of a lifetime, right from the safety of their own driveway.

He’s traveled through the Sahara Desert,

 

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And done the classic Leaning Tower Of Pisa pose.

 

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He visited an active volcano but stayed a safe distance away thanks to his trusty jetpack.

 

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He lounged like a star in Hollywood,

 

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And even made it to the top of Mount Everest.

 

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Macaire and Camden plan to continue their chalky travels for 100 days. Follow them on Instagram to see where they’re off to next!

You Can Own This Ridiculously Cool AT-AT Barbecue

AT-AT Grill
(Burned by Design)

Pardon us for saying so by your grill is lame. Oh, you’ve got the Blazemaster 8000 Titanium Ultra Plus? That’s cool, is it an AT-AT? Because from now until forever if your grill isn’t an AT-AT then your grill is lame. That’s the stake Alex Dodson has thrown in the ground when he welded (with fire and his hands) a near pitch-perfect replication of an AT-AT only it’s a goddam grill.

AT-ATBBQ 5
Yes. That’s fire surrounding it. Badass. (Burned by Design)

Alex runs Burned by Design, a euphoria for folks who like grills to be shaped like things that aren’t grills. According to his site, the approximate size of this particular grill is L47 x W20 x H39 and is “handcrafted in mild steel using 4mm precision cut laser profiles to capture that movie detailing.” It’ll run you a cool $1,712.22 which really isn’t that bad considering it’s a grill that looks like an AT-AT! From Star Wars! It gives you full permission (it doesn’t really) to yell “Burgers will be ready at-at 2:00!” Or “Who wants some Hoth Dogs???” Those 2 lines are worth the price alone. Check out this in-depth video Sr Dodson posted to Facebook in which he gives us every possible angle we could ever hope for. He’s also included a cut in there to show off his sick editing skillz:

This isn’t Alex’s first foray into the Star Wars universe. Check out this ridiculously cool fleet of wood burners:

Darth Vader Wood Burner
(Burned by Design)
death star wood burner
(Burned by Design)
Falcon wood burner
(Burned by Deisgn)
stormtrooper wood burner
(Burned by Design)

Alex Dodson, you have our respect. Of all the innovations to modern grilling, this has to be our favorite.

Fan Artist Creates Baby Jar Jar Binks and All Is Forgiven

Baby Jar Jar Fan Art
(Disney)

Fandom is what makes a movie into something different. It’s more than a few hours of escape in a theater. It’s what turns a regular day in early May into a somewhat annoying day for amateurs to proclaim their love when you’ve been living the life for years. And one true marker of fandom is fan art.

Leonardo Viti has taken fan art into another dimension. He specializes in 3D character development and most recently made the loathsome gangster Jabba The Hutt pretty adorable as an infant. His latest masterpiece shows an even more reviled Star Wars character in a new light. You don’t have to be much of a Star Wars fan to know everyone hated Jar Jar Binks, the low-point of the much-maligned Phantom Menace. The middle trilogy had its many flaws, but even its devil’s advocates wouldn’t defend Jar Jar Binks.

But c’mon, he would be cute as a baby, right?


Taking an existing character and reimagining it as a baby is always a surefire success. “The Mandalorian” developed the template with The Child, the proper name for Baby Yoda.

And, by George, he’s done it again. It’s hard to look at Baby Jar Jar with the same venom many hold for his character. It’s simple to imagine the little guy without the weird walk, ludicrous accent, and questionable politics. We might even be able to accept Baby Jar Jar if he was voiced by Morgan Freeman.

It would’ve been hard to imagine any version of Jar Jar Binks that wouldn’t immediately elicit a sigh, but dangit, you can’t stay mad at a baby Jar Jar. It’s not his fault he’s going to grow up to leave a mark on one of the greatest space operas of all time. It’s not his fault George Lucas molded his destiny to become Space Goofy.

If anything could salvage Jar Jar, it’s the baby treatment that turned The Child into Disney’s biggest breakout merchandising hit of the year. At the very least, you have to admit he does look adorable.