’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 727mag@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.

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 727 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 social@727magazine.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.

Controversy Surrounds St. Pete Art Exhibit Featuring Bizarre Nude Portrait of Tom Cruise Linked to Scientology

Tom Cruise’s 25th year in the Church of Scientology will include a massive 14-foot shroud of the (apparently well-endowed) actor in the buff.

The “Pop-Up Church of Scientology” will take place in a showroom near the organization’s headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. There will also be a series of Cruise-related commemorative silver medals created for the occasion, which will be available for purchase through St. Petersburg-based gallery Cory Allen Contemporary Art (CACA).

The shroud, which in a press release is likened to the famed Shroud of Turin, is the work of sculptor Daniel Edwards, who is known for depicting celebrities in unconventional and unflattering ways. His oeuvre includes a sculpture of the disembodied head of baseball player Ted Williams, a life-sized statue of Britney Spears giving birth, and a sculpture of a dead Paris Hilton, wearing a tiara and still clutching a cell phone.

In 2009, the artist created a bronze sculpture of Cruise’s daughter’s first bowel movement for his show at Capla Kesting Fine Art in Brooklyn.

A spokesperson for the Church of Scientology denies having any involvement in the spectacle, telling Page Six it is a “publicity stunt and any claim to the contrary is false.” Edwards’s artist page proclaims that the sculptor “includes the idea of promotion and associative fame in his own marketing of his art.”

“It’s an acknowledgement to [Cruise’s] 25-year commitment to Scientology,” Edwards, who claims no affiliation with the religion, told Page Six about the work. “He hasn’t been able to stay committed to three different marriages so for him to be committed to something so deeply it must be pretty important.”

Edwards will not revealed who commissioned him to make the shroud and medallions.

Unsurprisingly, what people on the Internet are most concerned about seems to be the sculpture’s impressively-sized genitalia.

“Enormous bulge aside, we’re guessing the shroud’s junk isn’t an exact likeness (sorry, Tom!),” Brett Malec writes in E! Online.

But Edwards has his subject’s back, stating: “I felt that he’s being depicted proportionately and I’m not sure what to make of it.”

“Pop-up Church of Scientology” featuring the Shroud of Scientology will open to the public at Cory Allen Contemporary Art’s The Showroom, in St. Petersburg, Florida beginning on August 8, 2015.

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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