- Mia Fitzharris at Trending Now15 hrs ago
Improv Everywhere, a group based in New York City, always seems to have something fun up its sleeves. For the past 13 years, the crew has been recruiting people from the Web and organizing them to participate in stunts of epic proportions. You probably know them from their in-your-face antics, such as “Frozen Grand Central Terminal” in New York City, the food court musical, and the famous yearlyNo Pants Subway Day!Well this time, Improv Everywhere decided to spread some holiday cheer by surprising a family with an over-the-top Christmas carol display. The 20-person brass orchestra and 13-member choir rehearsed at a studio in Manhattan the day before. Then, the group invited the Schreiber family to a rented home in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., under the guise that they were having their Christmas photos taken. Mom was the only one in on the act. What you see from dad and the kids is as genuine as a Christmas morning surprise. The surprise was carried out with five different families, but the Schreiber’s video was picked to be a part of the video because of their enthusiastic reaction. Improv Everywhere, a group of prank masters who have pulled off more than 100 missions, was formed in 2001 by Charlie Todd.
- Gwen Breitstein at Trending Now16 hrs ago
Licia Prehn suffers from a rare hereditary eye disease that causes near-blindness, but that doesn’t mean she’s putting her life on hold. She’s started a Web series to prove that “blind life is what you make of it.” The Pennsylvania-born woman, now living in Finland, has taken to YouTube to show the world how someone who is nearly blind can perform day-to-day tasks. Her first video tackles cooking, how blind people cook tortillas, to be precise. The video is part cooking lesson and part backstory into her eye disease and personal life, including her newborn, who is also afflicted with the condition. The video has only been up for two days and already has more than 40,000 views and many supportive comments, like this one from Blake Atkinson: “It’s hard for people who can see to cook, so keep being awesome. Good on you!” Before Prehn took on cooking, she posted a video to Reddit to show that people who are blind can still be part of the online community. Her original video garnered more than 100,000 views, but she took it down after receiving nasty comments. But when a group of Web developers reached out to her, expressing their support for her video, she reposted it and was inspired to show the world what else she could do. “Since these Web developers liked seeing how I used the computer,” Prehn told the Daily Dot, “I decided to show them how I do other things." In addition to her YouTube series, Prehn is using the crowdfunding website GoFundMe to help pay for her infant’s eye surgery in January. Until then, we eagerly await Licia’s next video, we can’t wait to see what she cooks up next year.
- Emily Scharnhorst at Trending Now1 day ago
Ryan Tricks has created somewhat of a magical public service announcement this holiday season.
To call attention to — and to generate a bit of compassion for — the plight of those who will be spending this holiday season on the streets rather than in a warm home, the London-based magician took to the streets to spread some holiday cheer using his craft.
In this video, which is a collaboration with LAD Bible as well as a promotion for his new show, “The Power of Magic,” Ryan approaches two people panhandling on the street to deliver a special gift of holiday wonder.
He removes change from the hat they are using to collect donations, and with sleight of hand, the hat is suddenly filled with many bills.
The couple is as overwhelmed as they are shocked. It just serves as a reminder that any bit of help can be magical to someone who is in need.
- Emily Scharnhorst at Trending Now1 day ago
With the end of every year come many year-in-review stories, but French director Luc Bergeron has placed the year 2014 in a video time capsule.
Squeezing 233 of the most clicked videos of the year into one almost 7-minute compilation, he has created a sizzle reel of all the videos that we found interesting and shared with one another over the past 12 months.
The video is broken up into categories such as daredevil stunts, dancing and entertaining animals. Bergeron posted the video to his YouTube page, but a Reddit posting, which has links to each individual video in the compilation, has really taken off.
A video compilation is a perfect way to remember the year that was and all the links that we sent each other.
- Emily Scharnhorst at Trending Now2 days ago
A social media campaign has been gaining momentum, reflecting the hope of many to maintain solidarity in the community which has been shaken by terror after the dramatic hostage situation that occurred at a café in Sydney. In an effort to thwart any intolerance toward Muslim Australians, residents have shared the hashtag “#illridewithyou” with the intention of spreading tolerance and supporting the safety of those in their community who fear that they will be the target of hostility. Tessa Kum, a TV content editor and writer living in Sydney, is credited with starting the hashtag. She told the Guardian Australia that she was inspired after seeing a powerful Facebook post by commuter Rachel Jacobs. After noticing a woman remove her hijab, Jacobs encouraged her to put it back on and offered to accompany the woman. Twitter users have joined in the gesture, offering up their support and assistance in coordinating with Muslims who may not feel safe commuting because they fear backlash. In a further display of how the hashtag is uniting the community, #illridewithyou has officially surpassed the #SydneySiege in Sydney Twitter trends, and many have tweeted about how the how the swell of the social media trend has made them proud to be Australian”
- Mia Fitzharris at Trending Now5 days ago
The Holderness family has had quite a year. You might remember the crew from Raleigh, N.C., from last holiday season’s viral hit video ‘Xmas Jammies.’ That YouTube videowas viewed more than 15 million times! Since hitting it big, the Holdernesses have been releasing fun parody videos for most holidays. And while some families will choose to send out a written newsletter, this family opted to go a different route because that’s in the Holderness DNA. They released an overview of their exciting year, performed to their own version of R.E.M.’s hit “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine).” The video chronicles the best-of moments of 2014 from mom Kim, dad Penn, and their son and daughter, Penn and Lola. Highlights include Lola’s birthday party and little Penn’s love for kayaks and waterslides. All of this attention is not only fun for the family, but its good for business too! Kim and Penn run a digital marketing company called Greenroom, which has seen a recent boom thanks to their viral hit videos. The company was also recently picked to be a part of a reality show! Did your family do something unique to mark the holiday season? Did you take a funny photo? A cute video? Share it with us on our Facebook page!
- Emily Scharnhorst at Trending Now5 days ago
For the past six years, John Couzens, who owns a roofing business, and his now 26-year-old son, Dan, have been working up to 12 hours a day in their backyard building a beautiful, luxury yacht. Dubbed Out of the Blue, the yacht is 38 feet long, weighs 8 tons, and is valued at more than $275,000. It has two bedrooms, a working head, and even two showers. However, the finished yacht was too big to simply wheel out of the backyard, so they had to pay to get a crane to hoist it out over their own home and that of their neighbors. It was quite the sight. The idea to build the vessel originally came from Couzens’s desire to give his son a project on which to focus his excess energy. Dan used to fix up cars, but he always finished in just a couple of days. The boat was intended to take two years, but six years later, they finally were ready to put it in the water. Couzens praised his son’s craftsmanship on the boat, calling it a “work of art.” After putting up with a boat in her backyard for six years, it’s mom who gets to decide the next family project. Something a little closer to land — like a new kitchen.
- Mia Fitzharris at Trending Now6 days ago
How did you get to work this morning? Did you take the train to the bus, and then have a 10-minute walk? Must have been grueling. Well, take into consideration the commute that the residents of a mountaintop Chinese village make every day. In order to leave the village of Yushan in Hefeng county, they must travel by a cable car that is suspended between two very high cliffs — 1,575 feet high, to be exact. Before the cable cars, the residents would have to make the journey by foot. Now it takes the villagers just a couple of minutes to ride the cable car about two-thirds of a mile. And they have been doing this for 15 years, ever since the car was made by hand and the cables were purchased from a European ski resort. The cables have to be lubricated once a week, a job that looks scarier than a New York City window washer's. And if you can believe it, there have been no reported accidents associated with the crazy cable-car commuting method, proving that even a treacherous cable commute is safer than riding in a car on the highway!
- Emily Scharnhorst at Trending Now6 days ago
If Santa’s watching, there is one woman in upstate New York who has definitely made the nice list this year. Jenny Karpen, a new employee at the Walmart in Rotterdam, N.Y., was working a cash register when an older man came to her to check out. She said, “He was an older gentleman. He was getting his groceries. Some of it was food, and some of it was for his pet.” When it came time to pay, the gentleman didn’t have enough cash, so he started to put some items back. Karpen wouldn’t have it, and took $40 from her own pocket to help him complete his purchase. She says that she didn’t want him, or his pet, to go hungry. After he left, the next customer in line offered to return the money to Karpen. She refused, saying she was unable to accept due to company policy. When Jenny’s manager heard about the incident, she was not disappointed, saying, “There should be more people like that in the world.… We just need to clone Jenny. We need to have Jennys one through ten.” The man remains a stranger to Jenny; she never asked for his name. But no doubt he will always remember her act of kindness.
- Emily Scharnhorst at Trending Now7 days ago
Beware! The fogpocalypse is here! Actually, this is justDallas, Texas, engulfed in a thick blanket of fogearlier this week. On Monday night at around 11 p.m., a simple fog bank began to roll into the city, and it grew thicker throughout the night. In fact, it grew so much that visibility dropped to nearly zero. People quickly leapt into action to document the phenomenon. Mike Prendergast took his drone out to photograph the fog, and others, of course, took to Twitter and Instagram to discuss the eerie miasma. One person on Twitter quipped, "Everything is bigger in Texas, even the fog."