The Mundane and the Weird: British News Headlines

We are always looking for weird news stories to pass along to you. It’s an easy shortcut to check British news sites for that sort of thing -yet you have to sift through the many local stories that leave you with a feeling of “That’s it?” because no matter how small a British paper or it’s accompanying website is, they go with stories that would be passed over as "not news" in the U.S. The website UsVsTh3m looked at extremely mundane stories that make the papers, with a few truly bizarre stories thrown in to keep us looking -just like it happens when I surf the net. I still have to wonder if these headlines are really posted on sidewalk signs, or if there’s a British news sign generator somewhere. -via b3ta


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Crappy Winter Wonderland Forced To Close After Just One Day

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When families go out looking for a place that evokes that old time Christmas feeling, chances are they’re looking for something far better than the so-called Magical Winterland in Harrogate, UK, the attraction that was so bad it was forced to close after just one day.

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The Magical Winterland suckered people into buying presale tickets with promises of holiday fun for the whole family, including a Frozen singalong and photo-op with Olaf, but when guests arrived at the showground they found the saddest displays ever, all leading to the saddest live reindeer ever.

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And what about a meet-and-greet with Olaf? It seems Olaf would rather melt than be associated with the crappy winter wonderland!

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The company responsible for this Christmastime blunder of Grinchian proportions has since gone bankrupt, and they're currently under investigation by the North Yorkshire Trading Standards pending the forced closure.

I dunno- seems like a pretty accurate depiction of the holiday season to me!

-Via Dangerous Minds  (Images via Ross Parry)


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1782: The American Plot to Kidnap the Future King of England


(Painting of King William IV by Sir Martin Arthur Shee)

Prince William Henry was the son of George III, the King of Great Britain and Ireland and the man whom the United States Declaration of Independence called a tyrant who was "unfit to be the ruler of a free people."

At the time that the Continental Congress proclaimed those words, Prince William Henry was 10 years old. When he was 13, he became a midshipman in the Royal Navy. Accounts at the time note that he was good at that demanding job.

In September 1781, General George Washington was marching most of his army away from New York City, which had been under British occupation since 1776, to a great victory the following month at Yorktown, Virginia. At the same time, Prince William Henry's ship sailed into the harbor of New York City on HMS Prince George, the flagship of Admiral Robert Digby.

This was the cause of great excitement, as it was the first time that a member of the British royal family had ever visited America. Prince William could have become the center of the New York social scene, but instead he kept quietly on his ship or in his quarters in Hanover Square in lower Manhattan, which he shared with Commodore Edmund Affleck. 

Colonel Matthias Ogden, an American spy, watched and listened carefully for a few months. He learned that the prince was lightly guarded. This was a great opportunity. If the Americans could capture Prince William, they could improve their position at peace talks. So he pitched the idea to General Washington. Washington wrote back with his approval on March 28, 1782:

Sir,

The spirit of enterprise so conspicuous in your plan for surprising in their quarters, & bringing off the Prince-William Henry & Admiral Digby, merits applause; and you have my authority to make the attempt in any manner, & at such a time as your own judgment shall direct.

I am fully perswaded, that it is unnecessary to caution you against offering insult or indignity to the persons of the Prince, or Admiral should you be so fortunate as to capture them; but it may not be amiss to press the propriety of a proper line of conduct upon the party you command.

In case of success, you will, as soon as you get them to a place of safety, treat them with all possible respect, but you are to delay no time in conveying them to Congress, & reporting your proceedings with a copy of these orders.

Given at Morristown this 28th day of March 1782.

Go: Washington

Note Take care not to touch upon the ground w[hi]ch is agreed to be Neutral – viz from Raway to Newark & four miles back.

Colonel Ogden drew up a detailed plan, including the numbers and skills of the men needed, the equipment they would carry, the precise order of their actions, and the ideal weather conditions desired. This was an amphibious raid deep inside enemy territory, so everything would have to work perfectly.

Unfortunately for Ogden, General Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander in New York City, learned of the plot--or something like it. He immediately increased the number of guards around Prince William, Admiral Digby, and himself. As a result, Ogden never got the chance to attempt his scheme.

Shortly thereafter, the prince sailed away with his shipmates. He ascended to the British throne in 1830 with the name of King William IV. He reigned for 7 years before dying at the age of 71.


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Wooden Calvin & Hobbes Snowmen

Here’s a way to have some really cool snowmen even if you don’t have snow! Etsy artist Sean Daigle spent Thanksgiving alone, but kept busy by building a wooden cutout lawn ornament that recreates one of the famous snowman scenes from calvin & Hobbes. Then he made another, and another, until there were seven pieces in all. See more pictures at Daigle’s Instagram page.

Incidentally, if you're driving around Austin, Texas, it won't be too hard to figure out which house is Daigle's. -via The Daily Dot


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Gingerbread Borg Cube

Resistance is futile. You will be decorated. We will add your gastronomical and decorative distinctiveness to our own. Jenn Fujikawa of Nerdist will contribute to the Borg conquest of all life with this cookie assembly made of gingerbread. She used a square cookie cutter with Borg designs to make the 6 sides, then glued them together. There's a hoop on the top, so I'd guess that she plans to use it as a Christmas tree ornament.

-via That's Nerdalicious!


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Over 9000 - The Battle For Bananas


Over 9000 by Donnie

The minions were all involved in an epic dragon ball fighter storyline which had gone super saiyan, and one little minion was said to have the highest banana fueled strength score in the compound. Scans confirmed that spiky haired Gomiku had a strength score of over 9000, a fact which caused his fellow fighters to give up the game! Gru, however, wasn't told anything about the dragon fighter game his little minions were playing, and he made the fatal mistake of raising his voice at Gomiku, whose little yellow body was now crackling with banana scented energy...

Minions and anime fighters collide on this Over 9000 t-shirt by Donnie, it's the perfect thing to wear when you fly into battle or while you're watching your favorite anime series.

Visit Donnie's Facebook fan page and official website, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more mighty fun designs:

Red Pokehouse Traditional Fighter Got Beer? Wolvenion

View more designs by Donnie | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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The Craziest Fast Food Creations Of 2014

(Image Link)

2014 was a good year for adventurous eaters, especially those who don’t snub offerings from fast food restaurants.

The fast food inventions created in 2014 were quite unique, with original hybrid tastes we've never seen before delivered to our tastebuds by cross branded creations worthy of waiting in that long drive thru line.

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We were introduced to a breakfast food idea we can actually create at home- The Waffle Taco, and we got to see what a taco would look like on a bun thanks to Del Taco:

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Those of us lucky enough to have Australian stomachs got to try Pizza Hut’s Doritos Crust pizza and KFC’s Popcorn Chicken Nacho Box:

(Image Link)

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A Day in the Life of a Cartoonist

(Joel Watson/Hijinks Ensue)

To be an artist is to commune with the collective unconscious, giving to and sharing from the universal body of narrative which flows through the human experience. To reduce the viscosity of that flow, add coffee. It speeds up the communing process. You'll need that if you're going to make that afternoon appointment. Joel Watson, a webcomic artist, explains how he works.


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The Paper Mache Creations of Dan Reeder



Dan Reeder (featured previously at Neatorama for a Maleficent wall mounted piece) is an artist from Seattle who has been making these detailed paper mache characters for 40 years. His technique, shown in the video below, blends a structure of paper mache with a painted, cloth "skin." Reeder has authored several books on his craft, his latest being Paper Mache Dragons: Making Dragons & Trophies Using Paper & Cloth Mache, which is available on Amazon

See more photos of Reeder's paper mache pieces here. 

 

YouTube Link

Via: Laughing Squid | Images: Dan Reeder 



 


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Greatest Jenga Move Ever

(YouTube link)

Well, maybe the greatest human Jenga move ever. It’s hard to beat the video of a cat playing Jenga. Still, this young lady deserved 15 minutes of fame for this gutsy move that paid off. -via Daily Picks and Flicks


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Bizarre Hanukkah Gifts Found On Etsy

Hanukkah is in full swing, and that means it’s time for merchandisers and retailers to cash in on yet another religious holiday by peddling some cheap quality crap! But how can someone who doesn't agree with the commercialization of a religious holiday fight back?

By buying some totally unique, handmade Hanukkah crap on Etsy, like this amazing Raptor Menorah created by The Vanilla Studio:  

They make all kinds of different dinosaur menorahs, from the mighty T-Rex to the mighty large Brontosaurus, and each one is unique, hand made and costs less than a hundred bucks.

Looking to take Hanukkah back to the old school, but not so far back you see dinosaurs spinning dreidels? You need the new hot look for winter- the Jew Chainz Star Of David sweatshirt from wethouse, for that new jack swing bling.

But what kinda card does a straight up gangsta give out on Hanukkah, yo? How about one with a famous Jewish celebrity on it- the Drake Happy Hanukkah card by Instagrandmaw, which will make the giftee go "oh no he or she didn't!"

But what about something for the older folks, something with less street cred and more cute?

These adorable Terrier Hanukkah ornaments from Stanley and Stewart have got you covered, and they even make one which you can customize with a photo of your own pet, for that personalized touch of kitsch.

See more of The Soup's Whatsy- Hanukkah Gift Edition here


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Rejected Christmas Card Design

Killhouse was asked to design a Christmas card for his office. They nixed his first idea, despite the fact that it goes above and beyond to be all-inclusive and offend no one. He said,

This is the second, cleaned up, version so anyone can use it if they want to, so my hard effort doesn't go to waste.

They had me draw a Santa hat beside some cookies and a glass of milk instead. It was pretty boring.

I’m sure that your clients will enjoy a card with a Santa hat and cookies… while the internet enjoys the Bumble and his nonsensical holiday greeting.


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The Adventures of Ruuxa and Raina

YouTube Link

Ruuxa the cheetah and Raina the Rhodesian ridgeback (featured previously at Neatorama) have grown up together since they were six and seven weeks old, respectively. Raina was selected to be paired with Ruuxa by the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where the two reside.  Dogs are paired to be raised with chosen “cheetah ambassadors” in order to keep them calm and socialized. 

The video above shows Ruuxa restricted to limited mobility as he heals from surgery to repair a growth abnormality in his legs. Raina accompanied Ruuxa into surgery to keep him calm and happy throughout the procedure. The video below shows Ruuxa at seven months old, having recovered from surgery and gaining strength by exercising his legs and feet while running at full speed with Raina.  

YouTube Link

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Sticky Fingers: 6 Brazen Acts of Culinary Thievery

King Frederick inspects the potato crops.

1. POTATO PUSHER

The potato came to Europe in the late 1500s, but it wasn’t met with a warm welcome. Disregarded by most, it was first used only to feed livestock. But Frederick the Great of Prussia saw the tuber’s potential. Sure, potatoes tasted bland, but they were versatile, cheaper than bread, and easy to stockpile. He introduced them to his army in 1744 and later freely distributed them to peasants during famine. The people weren’t convinced. In fact, the town of Kolberg was so put off that it responded in a letter: “The things have neither smell nor taste, not even the dogs will eat them, so what use are they to us?” To change public opinion, King Frederick employed some reverse psychology and established a royal potato field patrolled by soldiers. Soon, curious citizens were slinking around at night with stolen potatoes to plant in their gardens -exactly what Frederick wanted.

2. THE RICEMAN COMETH

Thomas Jefferson knew how important healthy farms were to his fledgling nation, and he didn’t mind getting his hands dirty to keep his country strong. By summer 1787, the American rice industry was starting to crumble. The rice was mostly grown in swamps, and the stagnant water was a breeding ground for mosquitoes that made nearby workers sick. During his tenure as minister to France, Jefferson found the farmers’ solution: a dry, upland variety of rice grown in Italy. There was just one problem: Italian law forbade “the exportation of rough rice on pain of death.” Jefferson, however, used his power to declare the rice independent, secretly filling his coat pockets with the unhusked varietel before making for the border.

3. CROSS YOUR TEAS

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Li Hongbo's Carved Knives

No, not carving knives, but carved knives. We've previously featured Li Hongbo's flexible paper sculptures. More recently, he exhibited these unusual sculptures at Contemporary by Angela Li, an art gallery in Hong Kong. They are food chopping knives that are immediately recognizable in any Chinese kitchen. By pulling the steel for the raised images out of the blades, he has created mirror animal images of positive and negative space.

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New Mama Kitten Adopts Abandoned Pit Bull Puppy

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This video from summer 2013 is just starting to get attention. A pit bull puppy only a few days old was found abandoned and came into the care of the Cleveland Animal Protective League. Knowing the pit bull needed a mother's love, the staff experimented by placing the pup with a new mother cat and her kittens. The cat took to the pup right away and adopted him as her own. The tiny pup will never know how lucky he was, nor will the cat know how much her act of inclusion changed his life. -Via Viral Viral Videos

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Nes'y Christmas - Classic Console Holiday Cheer


Nes'y Christmas by Gordon Brebner Designs

Old school gamers remember the feeling of unwrapping shiny new game cartridges on Christmas, and spending the rest of winter break trying to beat your new games before your friends. The shape of the box usually gave away the contents of those NES related presents, but the big surprise was seeing which game was hiding under the paper. Sometimes it was a really good surprise, like when Grandma actually heard your pleas and bought you the newest, hottest game, and sometimes it was a total bust, like when you got Excitebike for the fifth time, but as long as it was a new NES console cartridge all was right in the world. We wish you a NES'y Christmas and a geeky New Year!

Celebrate the holiday season the classic console way- with this Nes'Y Christmas t-shirt by Gordon Brebner Designs, and start the new year with some old school cool!

Visit Gordon Brebner Designs's Facebook fan page, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

Metal Gear Miles

Invisible Plane Owners' Workshop Manual

Don's Pianos Beards and Bacon

View more designs by Gordon Brebner Designs | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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This Pizza Has 99 Different Types of Cheese

(Photo: Elite Daily)

Like the legendary Prometheus, Johnny Di Francesco stands before us, offering humanity a chance to boldly advance forward. He's a chef in Melbourne, Australia and the inventor of this marvel: a pizza that has no fewer than 99 different types of cheese.

To make the pizza, he melts together 94 different cheeses into one pot, which then cools. From this solid block of mixed cheese, he composes the cheese body of his pizza. Then Di Francesco adds portions of fior di latte, buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, raspadura, and goat cheese. It's so beautiful that I could cry.

-via Daily of the Day

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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The All-Star Musical Finale From The Final Episode Of The Colbert Report

(YouTube link)

The Colbert Report is no more. The final episode included a fitting tribute from his friends, a singalong to “We’ll Meet Again,” including everyone who is anyone, whether they were there or not. There’s Patrick Stewart, George Lucas, Gloria Steinhem, Henry Kissinger, Alan Alda, Ken Burns, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Willie Nelson, Cookie Monster, and a whole lot of other folks you may recognize. -via Uproxx


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National Geographic Photo Contest 2014 Winners

 Image: Christian Miller, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Australia | Honorable Mention, Nature category

National Geographic
judges have selected the winning entries in their 2014 Photography Contest. The winning entries were chosen from a total of 9,200 total entries. The competition is divided into three categories: nature, places and people. The grand prize winner received $10,000. Here are some stunning examples. 

See all of the captivating images selected by the judges here.  

Image: Archna Singh, Madhya Pradesh, India | Honorable Mention, Nature category

Image: Henrik Nilsson, Boundary Bay, BC, Canada | Honorable Mention, Nature category

Image: Brian Yen, Hong Kong | Grand Prize Winner and People category winner


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Rolling Droid Christmas Ornament

For a few seconds, the trailer for the upcoming movie Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens displayed an unusual droid with a rolling spherical body. It has been the subject of much internet fascination and speculation

The mysterious droid inspired redditor Budget_Raygun to make this Christmas tree ornament, which s/he planned to take to an ornament exchange.

-via Technabob


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Cthulhumas Cookies

Maika Keuben is busy with so many Cthulhumas preparations. She’s got her tree ready and a wreath for the door, and now she’s baked Cthulhumas cookies! Dozens and dozens of chocolate cookies with peppermint-flavored icing, all in the image of the dreaded elder god Cthulhu.

At first it just sounded like wind in the trees, but beneath that there's the guttural whisper of an ancient voice saying "Into the kitchen with you, there's unspeakable baking to be done." Now my throat is sore from the endless chanting, my clothing and hair covered in flour, sugar, slime and soot (don't ask), and I can't remember the last time I slept through the night, but I wouldn't dare complain. The Great Old Ones demanded Cthulhumas cookies, so cookies I did make. So very many cookies.

The process of making these cookies is documented in an imgur gallery with plenty of pictures and hilariously Lovecraftian narration. The confluence of holiday cheer and despair, of delicious and dreadful, is irresistible.  

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Vintage Holiday Ads With Celebrity Spokespeople




This collection of celebrities pitching products for Christmastime advertisements takes one back. Back to a time when cigarette ads were a dime a dozen and 33 LP vinyl was the norm. When Polaroid cameras and clock radios seemed like the latest things. From Jackie Gleason and the Lone Ranger to Dick Van Dyke and the Three Stooges, these ads harken back to familiar faces in a simpler time. 

See more vintage celebrity holiday ads here. 



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After 72 Years, Snubbed US Navy Captain Gets Credit for Sinking a U-Boat

(Photo of the U-166 by the Ocean Exploration Trust)

On August 1, 1942, the US Navy subchaser PC-566 was escorting the passenger vessel Robert E. Lee out of the mouth of the Mississippi River. 25 miles off the coast, the German submarine U-166 attacked the Lee, sinking it.

The PC-566, then led by Lt. Comm. Herbert G. Claudius, counterattacked. It dropped depth charges on the u-boat. An oil slick formed on the surface of the water, which was evidence that the Americans had at least damaged the German sub and possibly destroyed it.

Claudius's senior officers did not credit him with sinking the sub. To the contrary, they criticized his actions, relieved him of command, and sent him to anti-submarine warfare school for retraining.

Now, 72 years later, Captain Claudius's record is finally clear. The famous undersea explorer Robert Ballard located the wreck of the U-166, right where Claudius said it would be. The US Navy has responded by amending Claudius's record. Brian Clark Howard writes for National Geographic:

But on Tuesday, Claudius was posthumously vindicated at the Pentagon, as the U.S. Secretary of the Navy announced that his ship had indeed fired the depth charges that sank German U-boat U-166.

"Seventy years later, we now know that [Claudius's] report after the action was absolutely correct," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a small ceremony attended by members of Claudius's family.

"[Claudius's ship] did sink that U-boat, and it's never too late to set the record straight," Mabus said, as he presented the late captain with a posthumous Legion of Merit with a Combat "V" device, which recognizes heroism in battle.

Claudius's son, Gordon Claudius, accepted the medal and said that he wished his father could have known about the correction to a largely forgotten chapter in American history.

"He would have felt vindicated," Gordon Claudius said.


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The Deviant History of the Snowman

Documented snowmen go back at least as far as the Middle Ages, but we can assume that the art of building a human figure of snow goes back before recorded history. After all, snow is free and easily-manipulated, and human figures are our natural go-to art icon. The snowman in particular was often used as stress-relief, a structure we can abuse to our delight. They were often created as political statements, sinister beings, or ephemeral art illustrating taboo subjects. Or targets, as suggested in the painting above.  

In the Middle Ages, building snowmen was a way for a community to find the silver lining in a horribly oppressive winter rife with starvation, poverty, and other life-threatening conditions. In 1511, the townspeople of Brussels banded together to construct over 100 snowmen in a public art installation known as the Miracle of 1511.

Their snowmen embodied a dissatisfaction with the political climate, not to mention the six weeks of below-freezing weather. The Belgians rendered their anxieties into tangible, life-like models: a defecating demon, a humiliated king, and womenfolk getting buggered six ways to Sunday. Besides your typical sexually graphic and politically riled caricatures, the Belgian snowmen were often parodies of folklore figures, such as mermaids, unicorns, and village idiots.

Even in modern times, we get a kick out of putting snowmen in situations we would not abide for real humans, such as the famous snowmen in the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes and several traditional snowman-destroying rituals to summon spring weather. Read about the horrible ways we’ve used snowmen throughout history at Atlas Obscura.    


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A Collection Of Juggalo Themed Paintings By Lucy Owen

In the future Juggalogians will surely tell the tale of the art show that brought their clowny subculture into the fine art limelight, and the paintings which would shape the very landscape of what it means to be a Juggalo.

Future generations of Juggalos will have artist Lucy Owen to thank for shedding a humanistic light on their clown white crews and tearing down their painted walls, exposing the disenfranchised youth lurking within.

Lucy fully immersed herself in Juggalo culture when a conversation with a young Juggalo, who spoke of being ridiculed on a daily basis, inspired her to explore their fringe fan culture and see what makes them tick.

The result is a series of rather remarkable paintings called Where The Juggalos Roam, which not only capture the visual essence of the subculture but also succeeds in conveying the emotional state of the people wearing the face paint.

Will the first ever Juggalo themed art show at the Start Gallery in Detroit change the way people treat the Juggalos? Probably not, but now they can find work as art models!

-Via Dangerous Minds


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Where Are They Now? The Cast of Arthur

The hit children's television program Arthur debuted on PBS in 1996. The child actors on it have grown up. What are they doing now? Loryn Brantz of BuzzFeed tracked down 8 of them.

Francine Frensky is doing reasonably well. She starred in the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes. Other cast members, though, have struggled. D.W. Read, the brother of star Arthur Read, had a brief but tumultuous affair with Justin Bieber. She's now slated to star in an upcoming episode of Celebrity Rehab.

Read the rest of the updates at BuzzFeed.

-via Jeremy Barker

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Megatron Speaks the Truth

(YouTube link)

Alexandra Trew toured Universal Studios Hollywood, and took a minute to grab a selfie with Megatron. Megatron did not like the idea. Trew was lucky she escaped with her head. What she got was a lecture on social media vs. real life. As if Megatron knew anything about real life! -via Daily Picks and Flicks


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Technology Ads Then and Now



Today our lives are more hectic than ever; it seems many people are in a constant race against time to get things done. Holiday time exacerbates the problem. Being so caught up, it's not often that people stop and ponder the overall picture. How has our world changed in our lifetimes? One way to reflect on such changes is to look at vintage magazines and newspapers. Every news item and advertisement serves as a time capsule. These ads for video cameras and mobile phones are perfect examples.

Some critics claim that technology has left us more isolated due to less face-to-face and voice interaction. Yet would they choose to eschew today's technology in favor of that offered 20 years ago? 

See a collection advertisements that hammer home technological progress here. 




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The Sweater That Lived - Keep Warm And Carry On Being Magical


The Sweater That Lived by Mandrie

The halls of that old school of wizardry and witchcraft were starting to get mighty drafty, and many of the students were complaining about how hard it was to study in the cold, but one guy kept a cool head and warm bod at all times. His name is Harry and he is the boy who lived...in a finely knit wool sweater. The other students were mighty jealous of Mr. Potter and his fancy sweater, but they knew better than to upset the bespectacled spellcaster, for he had friends in high places...

Add the magical look of a sweater to your t-shirt collection with this The Sweater That Lived t-shirt by Mandrie, and expectorum complimentum!

Visit Mandrie's Facebook fan page, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

Kirbicron Chemical X-Girls Labyrinth Damask A Nice Cup of Tea

View more designs by Mandrie | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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