’Tis The Season: We Want Photos Of Your Kid’s Mall Santa Claus Nightmare

It’s that time of year again, when parents inform their offspring that they’re being taken to meet a mystical bearded stranger who, if they’ve been good, has the potential to make all their dreams come true. Instead, these children find themselves face-to-face with a red-suited nightmare from which they want desperately to escape.

And when the often hilarious result is caught on camera, we want to give you the opportunity to share those moments with the world.

• Do your folks have great pics of that time you tried to rip the Big Guy’s beard off during a screaming fit?

• Did your child try to flee the premises immediately upon seeing jolly old St. Nick?

To send us your photos:

1. Send the pic as an email attachment to 863magazine@gmail.com with the subject line SCARY SANTA 2016.
2. Include your child’s first name & age in the email. If it’s an old photo, tell us the age at the time the pic was taken. You must be the parent or guardian of the child in the photo (or it must be a photo of you as a child).
3. Be sure to include any fun anecdotes about the experience.

Instagram Videos Can Now Be Up To A Minute Long

If you’ve been wishing for longer videos of cute cats, dogs, and kids saying the darndest things on Instagram, the social media gods have heard your prayers. Instagram users will now be able to post videos that are up to one minute long, adding 45 seconds to the previous video length limits.

Before this update, users could only post videos up to 15 seconds in length, which is awfully short when there’s an adorable cockatoo screeching funny things, or a dog and a raccoon engaging in some solid interspecies snuggling.

“In the last six months, the time people spent watching video increased by more than 40 percent,” the company said in its announcement, adding that “longer videos mean more diverse stories” from popular accounts.

The company says the update started rolling out on Tuesday, and will be available “for everyone in the coming months.”

Instagram is also bringing back the ability to make videos out of multiple clips from your camera roll — if you’re an iOS user.

This move to longer videos is interesting, in that it takes Instagram a step closer to YouTube, and a step away from apps like Snapchat, which limits users to videos that last a matter of seconds. Perhaps Instagram is just trying to carve out its own little spot in the crowded world of mobile video.

Here Are Astronaut Scott Kelly’s Awesome Photos From His Year in Space

After 340 weightless days, Scott Kelly is finally back on Earth. Strapped into a Russian Soyuz capsule, the NASA astronaut and his fellow crew member, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, landed safely in Kazakhstan just before midnight Eastern time on March 1.

Kelly and Kornienko lived aboard the International Space Station for a little less than a year. And now, as the American who has spent the most consecutive days in space, Kelly’s experience will, among other things, help NASA gain more insights into the effects of long-term weightlessness, a stepping stone to Mars.

During his year in space, Kelly conducted scientific experiments, exercised to keep his bones and muscles strong in zero gravity, and snapped photos of his celestial views and Earth’s wonderfully diverse geography. In honor of the Kelly’s historic mission and welcomed homecoming, here is a selection of the astronaut’s most awe-inspiring photos, some of which have been color-enhanced by NASA, from his year in space.

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It’s That Time Of Year Again: We Want Photos Of Your Mall Visit To Meet Santa Claus

‘Tis the season when parents pack their kids into the car, drive to the mall and deposit their offspring on the laps of mall Santas all around this great nation, which means it’s the right time for another of our favorite holiday traditions: seeing our readers’ photos of kids reacting hilariously to the bearded stranger their parents have forced them to hang out with.

Yes, we want to see photographic evidence of children freaking out with costumed mall characters, and we want you to send them to us to share with the world. Do your parents have great pics of that time you tried to rip the Big Guy’s beard off during a screaming fit? Did your child burst into instant tears when faced with that red, velvety expanse of lap?

To send in your photos (the larger the better!), here’s how you go about it:
1. Attach it in email with the subject line 863 SANTA 2015
2. Include your child’s name and age in the body of the email (or if it was you way back when, your name, age at the time, and the year the photo was taken) along with any fun anecdotes about the experience.
3. Send it to 863magazine@gmail.com for us to enjoy, watermark and share on the site on Christmas Day.

Please note, you need to be the child’s parent or the subject of the photo for your photo submission to be published, or we’ll have to get permission directly from the parents if you’re someone’s uncle or aunt. Gotta prove that stuff.

Reports Show That Selfies Have Killed More People Than Sharks This Year

According to media reports, at least 12 people have been killed in selfie-related incidents so far in 2015 and many more injured, while only eight have died as a result of shark attacks.

The latest selfie-related death was of a 66-year-old Japanese tourist, who reportedly suffered a heart attack while posing with a selfie stick at the Taj Mahal in India last week. Other deaths have been caused by distracted photo-takers falling off cliffs,crashing their cars, being hit by trains, and even shooting themselves while posing with guns.

In fact, the selfie craze has proven so dangerous that officials in Australia had to fence off a 16-storey high rock that looks like a wedding cake because people wouldn’t stop taking photos on it, despite fears it could collapse at any time.

Russia has also experienced its share of accidents: two men in the Urals were killed while taking a selfie of themselves holding a hand grenade with the pin pulled out (the photo survived as proof), and a teenager died in May while climbing onto a railway bridge to take a photo.

The incidents have caused the Russian government to launch a campaign to warn people about the dangers of selfies, which included the following poster:

selfie-poster

So what is it that makes selfie-takers so likely to put themselves in danger? Research published by Ohio State University last year found that men who post a lot of selfies score higher in traits of narcissism and psychopathy in online tests. While all the participants were still in the healthy range, this suggests that they may be more inclined to focus on personal gain in situations, rather than potential danger.

“It’s all about me. It’s putting me in the frame. I’m getting attention and when I post that to social media, I’m getting the confirmation that I need from other people that I’m awesome,” lead researcher Jesse Fox told Reuters. “You don’t care about the tourist attraction you’re destroying; you don’t care about annoying people in your social media feed … you’re not even thinking about the consequences of your actions, so who cares if you’re dangling off the side of the Eiffel Tower?”

And, yes, we know this news isn’t strictly science. But it’s an important and timely reminder that sharks aren’t the murderous beasts that the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week has made them out to be.

So how do the shark attack numbers stack up? According to the Global Shark Attack File, there have been 74 unprovoked shark attacks this year. Only eight incidents have resulted in death.

We’re not suggesting that people don’t need to be careful and aware of shark attack risks when entering the water. But not only does the likelihood of being killed by a shark pale in comparison to the deadliness of selfies, it’s also a lot lower than the number of deaths caused by dog attacks and home renovations. In fact, pretty mucheverything you do today (particularly if it involves a car) is more likely to kill you than a shark.

Of course, it’s hard not to be afraid of giant fish with teeth, but we need to keep the facts in mind so that we can make rational decisions about things like shark culls, which have no scientific backing.

Instead, maybe we should try to put a ban on the phrase “pics or it didn’t happen“. Because, statistically speaking, that sh*t is way more dangerous than a great white.

Only in Florida… Raccoon Chills Out on an Alligator’s Back

A Florida family claims to have captured a crazy photo of a raccoon hanging out on the back of an alligator in Ocala National Forest on Sunday morning. The picture quickly gained worldwide attention after a Redditor posted it and it hit Reddit’s front page.

According to local news station WFTV, Richard Jones and his family, who hail from Palataka, Florida, were taking a stroll along the Oaklawaha River when Jones’ son walked through some brush to take a photo. Jones claims that his son startled the raccoon, which then hopped on the gator.

“I snapped a lucky picture right when the gator slipped into the water and before the raccoon jumped off and scurried away,” Jones told WFTV. “Without the context, you’d think the raccoon was hitching a ride across the river. Pretty amazing.”

Mashable was unable to independelty confirm the photo’s authenticity — but hey, this is Florida we’re talking about. Anything could happen.

This also wouldn’t be the first animal to hitch a ride on an alligator.

Bring Your Instagram Photos to Life with Instacube

Getting lost on Instagram is easy to do – there’s simply enough incredible photography to last a lifetime. Instacube looks to enhance that experience, putting your entire feed on its LCD surface, at 3 times the size of your average smartphone.

Whether you want to put your own skills on public display, or enlarge photos from friends, family, and actual photographers, Instacube has got you covered. A successfully funded Kickstarter project, this device will stream candids and videos in real time, all done completely wirelessly. The large touchscreen lets users interact with their images, liking, saving and even favoriting with just a single button. You can swipe image by image or browse a grid, the 600×600 LCD touch display handles it all, putting your squinting days behind you. The device operates on a rechargeable battery and retails for $149.

TIME Magazine’s Top 10 Photos of 2014

TIME magazine has unveiled its annual list of the Top 10 Photos from around the globe. Much of the list recalls tumultuous ocurrances from 2014, not limited to the Ferguson civil riots, Ebola outbreaks in Liberia, and ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle-East. The set of provocative imagery is certainly impactful in its contextualization of current events, while reminding us that a visual record of history should always be kept, to ensure the gravity of certain events is never overlooked.
Photography credits and more information can be found by visiting TIME.com.

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