How real historical intrigue inspires Game of Thrones

The Lancasters always pay their debts. In blood.
The Lancasters always pay their debts. In blood.
Photo: TED-Ed

You know nothin’, Jon Snow. Especially how much more full of shifting alliances and intrigue The Wars of the Roses was than your epic television series is able to show. Game of Thrones superfans may already know that 15th-century England inspired much of the structure of George R. R. Martin’s overarching book series, but having it all laid out — lovely animations and visuals to support the historical information — is our first exposure to that fact.

The short animated video, written by Alex Gendler and animated by Brett Underhill, even illustrates how Game of Thrones matches directly to historical facts with some fun Pop-Up Video-style flourishes. You’ll love it.

iPhone addiction destroys the world in this hilarious short film

The perils of smartphone addiction. Photo: Min Axel
The perils of smartphone addiction. Photo: Min Axel

I’m addicted to my iPhone. Aren’t we all? The addiction is so deep and universal that CultCast host Erfon Elijah spent a good three minutes yesterday convincing me it’s totally OK to cruise Instagram from a urinal.

“Just don’t don’t gram yourself,” he said.

Worse things could come of a smartphone addiction than an accidental nudie pic, and that’s exactly what happens in this hilarious animated short film. Cartoon characters, completely oblivious to the world around them, stay glued to their screens and continue to tap, tap, tap away while slamming into poles, getting stripped of clothes, and walking into burning buildings.

Check out the funny three-minute film:

Learn to make hot wet rice with a $2,000 gadget on the funniest cooking show ever

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The Katerings are ready for their close up. Photo: Lead Balloon TV
The Katerings are ready for their close up. Photo: Lead Balloon TV

If you’ve been longing for a cooking show with smart writing, attractive hosts and a ton of sexual innuendo, look no further than The Katering Show, where Aussies Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney smile for the camera while comparing too-expensive German multi-mixers to gangbangs.

“So, ‘What is a Thermomix?’ I hear anyone under the age of 33 ask,” says the perky McLennan. “It’s a blender, a microwave, an ice bucket and a set of kitchen scales. It’s a gangbang of kitchen appliances that’s created a futuristic robot saucepan. It’s the kind of appliance that your rich mother-in-law gives you as a wedding gift because she doesn’t think you can cook. Or something that you buy yourself because you’ve always wanted to join a cult, but you don’t have the energy for the group sex.”

Right? Now you need to watch the funniest cooking show I’ve ever seen, with the episode about making risotto (hot wet rice) in a gadget that looks like (and costs like) it might have come out of Jony Ive’s design shop.

13 hot new Super Bowl commercials getting their game on right now

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Danny Trejo stars with recreated Brady bunch actors and sets in this hilarious ad for Snickers. Photo: Mars, Inc.
Danny Trejo stars with Brady Bunch actors and sets in this hilarious ad for Snickers. Photo: Mars

It used to be that you had to wait until Sunday to see the hot, out-of-this-world-expensive Super Bowl ads during the big game.

In our modern, always-connected age of sneak-peek overindulgence, you can actually skip the game itself and watch the ads on your own time, via YouTube and your sweet iPad or iPhone.

Here are 13 of the most hotly anticipated short films that you can preview right now, and spend your commercial time during the game making snacks and taking bathroom breaks.

This Mac Pro-powered OK Go cart makes some awesome videos

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These wires and Mac Pro do some amazing work. Photo: Damian Kulash/Instagram
These wires and Mac Pro do some amazing work. Photo: Damian Kulash/Instagram

Just take a look at that beast above, posted by lead singer and guitarist for nerdtastic rock band OK Go, Damian Kulash. The Instagram photo, captioned “There is a machine that makes OK Go videos. This is that machine.”

Founded in 1998, OK Go consists of Damian Kulash (lead vocals, guitar), Tim Nordwind (bass guitar and vocals), Dan Konopka (drums and percussion) and Andy Ross (guitar, keyboards and vocals). They’re known for their extensive, quirky and technically complex music videos.

Here are a few of those awesome videos, made with the OK Go cart above.