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Jim's Pancakes

Jim's daughter Allie is so lucky. Her dad makes ridiculous pancakes for her consumption. They even come in 3D and Yo Gabba Gabba builds. If you're interested in trying, he posts tutorials every so often on his website.

(pictures via Jim's Pancakes through Reader Play)

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50 Cent lost weight

Taking a break from practice LSATs to write this.

Personally, I don't care for 50 Cent much, if at all. It seems to me that all his raps are either about girls, money, or how he got shot 7 (or was it 8?) times. Given this negative bias, I'm not optimistic that his latest career move of losing 54 pounds (from 214 to 160) for a movie role (a starring role in Mario Van Peebles's Things Fall Apart)  was much more than a PR move. As EW notes, well-known and respected actors do drastically gain and lose weight often for movie roles: Johnny Depp, Renee Zellweger, Matt Damon, to name a few. But 50 is, in most senses of the phrase, not a respected actor. He's a rapper, and unlike Will Smith, I highly doubt that his skills will translate into Hollywood stardom. I mean, I guess it's to his credit that he's doing this to portray a college kid battling cancer (when did 50 Cent ever look "college-age" to you?). But I have a sneaking suspicion that this is a calculated move to get people to talk about him as a "serious" actor.

(via thisis50.com through EW)

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Bill Nye on Deepwater Horizon

CNN got everyone's favorite Bill Nye to take a look at iReports sent in about fixing the oil spill situation. Smart, and gets people to think twice about how easily their theoretical ideas could be implemented. I like when the last woman talks about her "media" to soak up the oil from the water, refuses to say anything more about what this "media" is, and Bill Nye just goes in and identifies it immediately.

(via Gizmodo)

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Also known as UNDERWATER HOCKEY.  I didn't even know that was possible.

(via DavidUnderwater through Wikipedia)

Pretty much the goal of this game is to move the puck on the pool floor across the pool into a goal using the hockey sticks (those tiny protrusions in the hands of the guys in the picture). But the more surprising aspect of this sport is that it's been around since 1954, currently enjoys "great popularity in... the USA", and yet I have never heard of it. In addition, I'm sure it's very difficult to play (you have to refrain from breathing if you want a chance at the puck, so that's already pretty bad), but 'octopush'? That is not exactly conducive to a sport being taken seriously.

A big contributing factor, I think, to its relatively unknown status (at least to me) is that you can't WATCH it. It's all underwater, and the only way you could ever really watch it is 1. get in the water yourself or 2. be a spectator of a tournament big enough to warrant live underwater filming. The observational aspect of it is probably much worse than watching water polo, because although there is a lot of splashing going on in water polo, making it difficult to see exactly what is going on, at least the players are above the water's surface. When the object you're putting around is on the bottom of the pool, however, there's really no point in keeping your head above water for any extended period of time.
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Macarons and macaroons are DIFFERENT

I am sick and tired of reading posts about macarons where the authors of the post mistakenly write "macaroons" to refer to the French confection 'macaron'. Even the people who write on Tastespotting sometimes confuse the two, and these people are, more often than not, supposed to be foodies. The two are DIFFERENT ENTITIES. Now I understand that they have the same root, but macarons are NOT macaroons. Case in point:

1. Macaroon (via georgie_grd through Wikipedia)

Above: the common American macaroon. Made of egg whites, sugar, and shredded coconut. Often dipped in chocolate. NOT referred to in France as a "macaron", but rather as a "congolais". Delicious and soft (I'm partial to coconut), but nothing special. VERY easy to make (I swear, all you do is beat up some egg whites with sugar and dump some coconut in). Flavor profile: coconut. Obviously.

2. Macaron (via roboppy through Wikipedia)

The French macaron. Made of almond flour, egg whites, sugar, and any creamy filling you can possibly imagine. Notoriously difficult to make; you have to make sure the cookies rise and become airy and chewy, that your macaron have 'feet' (those little ruffled things around each cookie), that your cookies are flat, that their delicate tops don't crack during baking, that they don't burn (the horror). All this has resulted in numerous and varied accounts online on how to ensure the creation of a successful macaron. People go to great lengths to make a good macaron (sometimes aging their egg whites for up to a week, unrefrigerated!) Flavor profile: anything you can think of (above, as you can see, are fig-hibiscus macarons). REALLY expensive, but SO DELICIOUS. I must go to France, just for the authentic version of these. These and croissants.

Here's a link to arguably the most hyped confectionary selling macarons in business today, Pierre Hermé. Too bad his stores aren't open in the US; I would totally go EVERY DAY. Ladurée is also pretty well known (and their macarons are HUGE), but most people seem to prefer Pierre's. Now I know that Ladurée's English version website refers to macarons as "macaroons", but I forgive them because they are French and "macaroon" is the English equivalent word translation for "macaron", even though it doesn't refer to the same food.

If that isn't enough to get you to Paris, March 20th is France's NATIONAL MACARON DAY, meaning that patisseries in France give out free macarons (or deeply discounted macarons). Someone come to Paris with me PLEASE.

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Hipster food round-up

Flavorwire has put together an entertaining list of "hipster" foods for their fictional Hipster Cookbook Table of Contents. It includes Appetizers ("Things you can wrap in bacon", "PBR-battered tofu"), Entrees ("Organic, free-range, locally-sourced meats you can eat raw"), and desserts ("Artisanal ice cream: Who wants vanilla when you could have lime-basil-chili pepper?"). But my favorite category is Brunch: Because breakfast is too early. A sampling:

Yogurt: The expensive, foreign, unsweetened kind. Try spelling it “yoghurt”
Oatmeal: The chunky, Irish kind that takes two hours to make. Hey, it’s not like you have a job to worry about
Huevos rancheros: Mexican food makes you sound gritty and cultured at the same time
Grits: An easy way to convince people you’ve been to the South
The high-end Egg McMuffin: All the blue-collar street cred, none of the indigestion

You know they're talking about Greek yogurt and steel-cut oats. See more here. (via Flavorwire)

(photo via Bart Lacks through Wikipedia)
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Hamster shows

There are plenty of people who bring their dogs to dog shows, their cats to cat shows, and their horses to horse shows. But there exists as well a niche for those who only own hamsters: hamster shows. For $2 (if you are not a member and you are entering your hamster into a 'standard' class), you can enter your hamster into the California Hamster Association's hamster show, and you will receive a large rosette or medal if your hamster wins any of 8 standard categories, which include "Best In Show Dwarf" and "Best In Show Syrian". There are rules for showing: for instance, you have to have your award-winning hamster housed in a standard show pen to maintain anonymity in the judging process, and you have to have standard bedding for them as well. Of course, if you live in the UK, you don't have to be constrained by this US show; there are plenty of UK shows to choose from if you Google it.

If you're interested in entering your hamster into the CHA hamster show, their website is here. Alternatively, if you have a turtle that you would like to enter into a turtle show, you can enter the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society's annual show. Yes, there are turtle shows too.

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Glee cast double surprise!

To quote Go Fug Yourself:

WOW Matthew Morrison's abs are OUT OF CONTROL.

So true. Who would have guessed it under the tweed.

(via Vogue's Mikael Jansson through Celebitchy)

Now onto the stranger news: APPARENTLY Puck from Glee may be dating PARIS HILTON. Celebrity gossip isn't exactly the easiest thing to confirm, but what is going on there?!
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Alec Brownstein

I read about this a while ago, but in case you didn't catch it:

Alec Brownstein wanted to work for a top creative director. So what did he do? He bought the names of his favorite creative directors on Google AdWords to get a sponsored search at the top of each Google search, which would show up every time these directors Googled their own name. This is what he wrote:

Hey, [creative director's name]: Goooogling [sic] yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too

Underneath this blurb was a link to his website, alecbrownstein.com. Because he was the only one buying these names out from Google, it cost him only 10-15 cents per click (depending on the source you read). $6 later, he got 5 returned calls out of the 6 directors whose names he bought out, followed by job offers from two of the companies. He now works for one of them. Don't you wish you thought of this first?

(via Mashable)
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Japanese train pushers

So we all know that Tokyo is a very populated city. How populated is it? Populated enough that they need train pushers during morning and evening rush hours.

What is a train pusher? Simple: they push people onto the trains. The trains in Tokyo are so crowded that some of them routinely have to serve significantly over 100% capacity. So these train pushers (apparently called "oshiya" in Japanese) pretty much stuff them into the trains by squeezing them in through the doors and making sure that the doors close without catching people's bags, jackets, etc. I though people were making this up as a joke, but then I looked online; it appears to be very true. There are Youtube videos of this in action (as seen on these comments on Gizmodo).

Is this a safety hazard? I feel like it should be, but I can't quite figure out how. I would say fire hazard, but they're stuck in an underground tunnel anyways; even if there was only one person on the train, he or she would still be unable to escape from a freak fire while riding it, so I don't know how much more of a fire hazard this would be.

(via Hon-ya through Wikipedia)
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Justin Timberlake on SNL

Justin Timberlake is HILARIOUS on SNL. I swear, if he wasn't already a well-known pop singer, I'd take him to be a member of the SNL troupe. Everybody knows his Christmas special "D*** in a Box", but fewer people are aware of his other skits, like his appearance as the mascot of "Plasticville", a plastic surgery clinic of some sort. He sings plastic-surgery-themed lyrics to songs like "Boom Boom Pow" and "Poker Face".

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Rima Fakih, Miss USA 2010

The media really makes a big deal out of nothing sometimes. The media along with the uptight people at Miss USA. Miss Michigan Rima Fakih just won the Miss USA 2010 crown last night, and already "controversial" pictures are emerging of her dancing on a stripper pole for the 2007 "Stripper 101" contest held by a Detroit radio show. Never mind that she is completely clothed in the pictures, and the most scandalous thing that is shown in these pictures are dollar bills in her bra WHICH IS COVERED BY HER TANK TOP. Honestly, pageant representatives, the bikini pictures that you guys put up of your contestants are much more revealing than any of the pole pictures from the radio show website (definitely SFW). Apparently she might even lose the crown because of this nonsense (pageant reps declined to comment).

Now I'm not a proponent of pageants in general, but this "controversy" ISN'T EVEN CONTROVERSIAL. They can't even say that it's because young girls will follow in their example, because let's be honest, what young girl in America today looks up to Miss USA for guidance? I didn't even know the crowning of Miss USA was this weekend.

(via Celebuzz)
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Mickey Mouses?

Thought of the day:

What is the plural of "Mickey Mouse"? Without the cop-out of saying "Mickeys", of course. So if you were to say that you bought three Mickey Mouse stuffed animals, would you say you bought three...

A. Mickey Mouse?
B. Mickey Mouses?
C. Mickey Mice?
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Flight of the Conchords

Sadly, the Emmy nominated HBO show "Flight of the Conchords" will not be returning for a third season. Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie were the stars of the show, which follows their hilarious and fictitious lives as they try to gain success as a band in NYC. While the two are a highly successful, Grammy-winning, New Zealand comedy duo in real life, their popularity is not reflected on the show, on which they sing ridiculous and strangely catchy songs such as "The Humans are Dead" (where they dress up as robots and sing in binary) and "Foux de Fa Fa" (during which they call out random French vocabulary).

I watched the first season a while ago, but I only recently started watching the music videos from the second season. This one is one of my favorites. The dancing is on point, and you can't beat the lyrics of the bridge:

My sugar lumps are two of a kind
Sweet and white and highly refined
Honeys try all kinds of tomfoolery
To steal a feel of my family jewelry
My cannonballs cause a kerfuffle
The ladies they hustle to ruffle my truffles
If you party with the Party Prince
You get two complimentary after-dinner mints!

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BP's new plan to stop up the oil leak

Now that the containment vessel has failed to stop the leak, BP has moved on to alternative steps to plug up the Gulf of Mexico oil well: garbage.

Or, in technical terms, a "junk shot", where debris is going to be shot at high pressures at the leak to clog it up. This debris has been strangely specific in name, and includes... shredded rubber tires and golf balls. I guess BP has to get some credit for being willing to try anything.

In addition, you know the situation is getting desperate when people start shaving their alpacas to try to soak up the oil. Alpacas are being shaved at this time of year anyways, and their wool is being donated (along with human hair clippings and pet fur), stuffed into pantyhose, and prepared to be set out to sea to try to soak up the oil and prevent it from reaching the coast. BP and the U.S. Coast Guard haven't approved of this measure quite yet, but it hardly seems any more far-fetched than shooting golf balls at the spill and hoping for the best.

SNL Weekend Update is actually very enlightening. Thank you, Seth Meyers.

(via CNN and National Geographic)

A lovely unshorn alpaca (via Kyle Flood through Wikipedia)
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Law and Order/Heroes CANCELLED

I guess neither one is really big news. I never watched Heroes anyways, and from what I've heard, the last couple of seasons have been a bust. And does anyone ever know if the episode of L&O they're watching is actually new? From my experience, Law and Order seems like a bunch of re-runs all the time anyways, so the future lack of new episodes doesn't really affect my perception of the show that much.

In AWESOME news, Chuck has been renewed! WATCH IT on Hulu/NBC if you haven't. It's funny mixed with 007, mixed with a leading man who reminds me of Zach Braff/Jim Halpert, mixed with a smoking hot blonde Yvonne Strahovski, a bumbling bearded best friend, and a burly yet surprisingly lovable NSA agent.

The adorable Zachary Levi, also known as Chuck (via watchwithkristin through Wikipedia)
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The 4 chords of successful pop songs

The small blond-haired man on the right claims to his comedy rock band that all great pop songs can be made with 4 basic chords, and then subsequently launches into a SONG MEDLEY which includes 3Oh!3, Beyonce, Journey, Green Day, and Lady Gaga. It's eerie how well it works.

(via the Huffington Post)
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The Google corporate headquarters is named The Googleplex

Google is SO WITTY. I can't get over it! Not only does the Googleplex stand for "Google headquarters complex", it's also a FUN PLAY ON WORDS, namely the word "googolplex", which is a very large number (1 followed by 10100 zeros).

The Googleplex (so fun to say) (via Renesis through Wikipedia)

And a fun picture of an Android sculpture next to a cupcake (representing their Cupcake Android OS, version 1.5)!

(via Wikipedia)
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The Pussycat Dolls broke up!

Old news, but I was completely unaware. What will we do without a dozen gyrating women whose names none of us know. With the exception of Nicole Scherzinger, of course, but she can't really be considered a Doll; after all, she was THE Doll, also known as the only Pussycat Doll anyone besides PCD themselves knew. But anyways, Wikipedia says they're broken up, with the possible exception of Melody Thornton, who seems to be hanging on to Nicole for dear life and her career.

I have to admit though, "Stickwitu" was a catchy song. And since I am on the topic of discussing favorite PCD songs, "Beep" is my ultimate favorite, if only because the entire song is an enormous cop-out on the part of the Dolls in that they didn't even have to try to rhyme the last words of each line, because it was replaced by a beep. Example:
It's funny how a man only thinks about the *beep*
You got a real big heart, but I'm looking at your *beep*
You got real big brains, but I'm looking at your *beep*
Girl, there ain't no pain in me looking at your *beep*
Try to fill in the blanks. Does ANYTHING that you put in there both rhyme and make sense? NO. It does not. I was going to put in the other quote that was funnier, but it was slightly raunchy. ("Imma do my thing while you're playing with your... racecar" is probably not the idea the song was trying to evoke). Here's a video for nostalgia's sake, as we reminisce on the good old days when PCD was at the top of the music charts. (Hah.)

(via Go Fug Yourself) -- which, by the way, is one of the most entertaining websites that I read. I want to be these girls' best friends. Someone please introduce me.
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How big, exactly, is the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill?

The answer: huge. Ridiculously huge. Ridiculously, horribly huge. We know that there's been more than 4 million gallons already spilled, but how does one visualize 4 million gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico? Paul Rademacher has made a Google Earth tool where you can place the size of the oil spill over any city in the world. Here it is over Ann Arbor.

And, over Hawaii. Note that the size of the oil spill is currently BIGGER than the Big Island.

Check out Paul Redemacher's website to morbidly try this yourself (you need to install a Google Earth 3D plugin).

(via Gizmodo and Paul Rademacher)
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Arizona and Arnold Schwarzenegger

"I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend. But with my accent, I was afraid they would try to deport me." - Arnold Schwarzenegger at Emory's 2010 commencement.

(via the Huffington Post)
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Peter Serafinowicz

Also known as the director for that lovely Hot Chip video posted earlier featuring Kyng, Mar'vaine, Octavian, Popeye, Cancer Jesus, and Disembodied Floating Black Man's Head.
He has a Twitter, where he answers people's questions about anything in their lives. For instance:

RT @colinbewley What is the sexiest font? #psqa Gill Sans Clothes
RT @IanHewett How do you remove stains from duvets? #psqa-- Anticlimax
RT @shaunkellett #PSQA Whats a must have in a game collection? -- A pheasant.

see more on his Twitter and on his website. Great fun!
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Justin Bieber vs. MSTRKRFT mashup

I'm going to shamelessly plug MSTRKRFT. They're electronic music masters from Toronto, and are probably best known for their remixes with big names like Usher, Metric, and Bloc Party. Their singles (i.e. "Heartbreaker" ft. John Legend) are epic as well. Epic enough, in fact, to stand up to a MASHUP with JUSTIN BIEBER.

JUSTIN. BIEBER. Justin Bieber is a lovely kid in many respects, but respected electro artist he is not. This kid sings about Eenie Meenie Miney Mo Lovers, dances in bowling allies, holds middle school silly string parties, and may or may not know what the word German means. Which is what makes this mashup so freaking awesome.

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how to fix a minor car dent

So this is relatively old news, but I just discovered how to fix cosmetic car dents (of small to medium size)! Apparently, this trick doesn't work on extremely small dents or any dents with creases in them. Nevertheless, I watched like 5 Youtube videos in which the people did it on legit dents (not like huge ones, but ones you can see) and it totally worked. I didn't believe it at first because the original video had bad English and slideshow pictures, but apparently people got it to work independently.

What you'll need:
- a hair dryer
- a can of compressed air

All you have to do is heat up the dent on your car for about a minute, and then blast it with the compressed air (upside down, so that the CO2 foam actually comes out of the can instead of just blowing cold air). And THEN THE DENT POPS OUT ON ITS OWN.

This is the best video I found on Youtube where you can actually see the dent in the beginning, and then you hear it pop out. SO GRATIFYING.

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Such Tweet Sorrow

I've been following this for a couple of weeks now, but you have to check out Such Tweet Sorrow. It's pretty much the Romeo and Juliet story, condensed and modified for Twitter and the 21st century. Friar Lawrence is now Lawrence Friar, a reformed drug dealer who now sells weed to the kids that come to his bookstore. Before he met Juliet at her Sweet 16 party, Romeo was head over heels for Rosaline, a girl he met over XBox360 playing Call of Duty (and who never returned his message when he said they should meet up, leaving him heartbroken). Mercutio has been killed, but his Twitter is still up with links to Upload that Load, a photostream featuring his secret pictures of girls' boobs.

As of now, Romeo has been exiled, and Juliet is pining away as her dad plans to ship them off to Australia. There's a link to the story so far on the site if you want to catch up. The site's worth it just to go back and look at Romeo's fleeting relationship with Rosaline and to see Mercutio's "Tybalt is a penis" mask (it's relatively detailed, actually).
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how to perform gummy bear brain surgery

Some of them are a little lame. After all, who hasn't chewed off a gummy bear head and stuck it onto a different colored gummy bear. But the heart transplant (step 6) and brain transplant ones (step 7) are genius.

Gummi Bear Surgery - More DIY How To Projects
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The last NASA space shuttle is launching May 31

On May 31, NASA is going to launch the last mission that a US space shuttle will go on in the foreseeable future. Now if we want astronauts in space, the Russians are going to take us instead, at least until private enterprises begin to take over the job.

In other news, LEGO is putting out a $99.99 set to commemorate the last shuttle launch. And this thing is LOADED. Not only does it have retractable landing gear, solar panels, a landing pad, a ground maintenance vehicle, but it also has a "detachable fuel tank and booster rockets"! When my brother had LEGOs, the biggest set he had was a Polar Expedition set with a plastic polar bear. But come on, detachable booster rockets?! No polar bear can mess with that.

What worries me, however, is the LEGO age suggestion of 16 years and older. What kind of people still play with LEGOs at 16 years of age?

(via LEGO)
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a site for the single and Apple-obsessed: Cupidtino

If you are a single man or woman looking for that special Macbook-hugging someone in your life, a site is about to be launched JUST FOR YOU.

Cupidtino.com (yes, a play on Apple's main town of Cupertino) is going to be launched in June 2010, to "help you find other Machearts around you" (Cupidtino). Pretty much this is a dating site which caters exclusively to Mac-loving singles. And this is serious business. There is actually a beta that has been launched (and that you can be invited to) which already has 12,000 users. THE FUNG? They're not kidding with this either; the story has already been picked up by WSJ, CNN, and Forbes. Apple knows about it too, offering help with any tech needs even though they aren't officially endorsing the product (WSJ Online).

Anyways, here's the link if you're interested, for whatever reason, in signing up. My X60s isn't exactly interested, but my Mini might be!

(via Gizmodo)
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I love Hot Chip

The Hot Chip video for "I Feel Better" is one of the best videos I have ever watched.

No, those aren't the real members of Hot Chip. But my favorite one has to be Popeye, who wears a rakish grin and a boldly striped blue-and-white shirt in memory of his namesake. Also you have to admire the fake Hot Chip's dedication to their dancing, as they do a dance-off against Cancer Jesus while he picks them off one by one with his laser beam.
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There are no commercial service airports in Delaware

As of Monday, May 10, 2010, there are no commercial service airports as defined by the FAA in the ENTIRETY of Delaware. And it is NOT because it is a tiny state, because Rhode Island has one (T.F. Green Airport)! All airports in Delaware serve less than 2,500 passengers a year, meaning that mostly private planes fly out of the state. So people in Delaware have to go to OTHER STATES in order to go anywhere besides Delaware!
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Disney hasn't had a white princess since 1991

30 Rock told me. The list of Disney princesses in order of production date:

Snow White (1937)
Cinderella (1950)
Aurora from Sleeping Beauty (1959) - worst Disney princess ever. She didn't even do anything. All she did was stupidly prick her finger, and then she fell asleep.
Ariel (1989)
Belle from Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Jasmine from Aladdin (1992)
Pocahontas (1995)
Mulan (1998)
Tiana from Princess and the Frog (2009)

(via wikipedia)

Ambiguously Arabian, NATIVE AMERICAN, CHINESE, AND AFRICAN AMERICAN. Non-white Disney princesses make up almost 50% of the entire Disney princess population!