Weekend Links: Hobbit Houses

Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit brought Bag End and Bilbo’s hobbit-hole to life in lush 3-D color, but these real-life houses that look like they belong in the Shire are actual livable abodes. Some of them are even for rent or sale to any Lord of the Rings­-lover looking for a hobbit-hole of their own.

*

Which Shakespeare Character Are You? I’m one of the ones who die! That should narrow it down for you.

*

The first-ever Star Wars movie will be dubbed in Navajo, adding to the over fifty languages A New Hope has been translated into since its 1977 premiere.

*

This window into Adolf Hitler’s artistic soul isn’t chilling or evil so much as just…average. Art historian Michael Liversidge calls Hitler’s portfolio as an aspiring art student “pretty marginal and mediocre.”

*

No one really needs a recipe for grilled cheese, but these creative adaptations are more than just cheese and bread. Bacon mac ‘n cheese sandwich, anyone?

*

And for dessert, the latest abomination in fast food: the Pop-Tart ice cream sandwich. Probably best to consult a doctor before consuming.

*

After learning about the number of animals with unfathomable superpowers, it’s a surprise that humans are the dominant species.

*

Winners of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards include shots of the 2012 Summer Olympics, New Year’s Eve in Romania, North Korean soldiers and civilians, Argentinian birthday girls, and South American prisons.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Living Room, Jaws Gets Its Own Board Game

Ravensburger
Ravensburger

Jaws made countless viewers terrified of the beach when it swam into theaters the summer of 1975. Luckily, you don't need to be anywhere near the water to play this new board game from Ravensburger.

Jaws the board game recreates Steven Spielberg's nautical thriller on a tabletop in your home. It features the cast of the movie as playable characters, including Quint, Hooper, Chief Brody, and the great white shark that stalks the waters outside the Martha's Vineyard-inspired Amity Island.

Like the film, the game plays out in two primary locations: on Amity Island and onboard The Orca. For the act 1 portion of the game, the human characters team up to take down the shark as it picks off Amity beachgoers. Flip the board over and it transforms into Quint's ship. For The Orca section, Quint, Hooper, and Brody try to defend their boat as the shark tears it apart. Players can either complete both acts or stick to one location for a shorter gaming experience.

The game is also a nostalgic collector's item for Jaws fans. Illustrations on the board and cards capture memorable scenes from the film, and the box itself is printed with the iconic poster art.

You can order the Jaws board game from Target for $30 in time for your summer celebrations (whether they're beach-related or not). Here are some facts about the film to read before you play.

Box of Jaws board game.
Ravensburger

Jaws board game.
Ravensburger

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Scamp the Tramp Named World’s Ugliest Dog

Scamp the Tramp won the World's Ugliest Dog contest at the Marin-Sonoma County Fair on June 21, 2019 in Petaluma, California.
Scamp the Tramp won the World's Ugliest Dog contest at the Marin-Sonoma County Fair on June 21, 2019 in Petaluma, California.
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

In a society overrun by fashion magazines, beauty contests, and Instagram models, it’s nice when the not-so-photogenic are appreciated. Take Scamp the Tramp, this year's winner of California's World’s Ugliest Dog competition. “[He’s] Scamp the Champ now,” Scamp's owner, Yvonne Morones, said of her pup's hard-won victory. “We had to change his name.”

Scamp, who was the 2018 competition's runner-up, came out on top of the dog pile against 18 other adorably ugly pooches. His winning looks are courtesy of matted fur that “no conditioner can calm,” a tongue that appears to perpetually hang from his mouth, and bat-like ears. According to his official biography, Scamp’s pastimes include partaking in various community service activities and serving as an uncle to numerous foster kittens.

UPI reports that Morones is experienced in grooming champions; she has claimed the World's Ugliest Dog title several times before with two of her previous pooches. Her dog Nana was even reigning champ from 1996 to 2002.

Morones rescued Scamp from a Los Angeles shelter in 2014, and the two quickly clicked. “It was on the way home that I knew I made the right choice,” she said in a press statement. “There we were, two strangers in a car on the way home to a new start. Bob Marley was playing ‘One Love,’ and I looked over and little Scamp was bobbing his head. It was like he knew he had found his forever home.”

First-prize winners of the World’s Ugliest Dog contest take home a trophy, $1500 in earnings that will also be matched in donations to animal charities, and validation that they’re certifiably good boys and girls.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER