Although we've seen our share of sketchy Santas, we can all use a reminder that not every man who looks like Santa Claus has our best interests at heart. Can you tell by looking which of these men are employed as Santa Claus and which are convicted criminals? It's not easy -after all, there's not much difference between an employee identification picture and a mug shot. Take the quiz Kringle or Kriminal and let us know how you did. Good luck! -Thanks, Andrew Jordan!
Sculpt snow or do not sculpt snow, there is no try. That has to be the philosophy behind creating a snow sculpture this amazingly intricate. This great creation was made for the 2005 Sapporo Snow Festival.
Of course, that's not the only geek snow sculpture out there and you don't have to go to Japan to see something of this caliber. i09 has a great list of geeky snowmen and sculptures and these two are only the tip of the iceberg (or snow pile in this case).
This year-end mashup contains clips from 300 movies released in 2013. There were that many in one year? Yep, there's a list of them at a dedicated Tumblr page. No wonder we need multiplexes to show them all! Do you know how many new movies you saw in 2013? I am ashamed to say that I know. I saw two. Quite a few of these are on my "like to see" list, when they come up on TV.
The X-Men are such an iconic superhero group that it’s easy to imagine them in any time period or alternate reality, and the characters look good no matter what sort of garb they’re wearing.
From fantasy to Feudal Japanese, the styles have varied but the coolness remains, and no redesigns have ever looked as cool as these Medieval Order of the X drawings by Nate Hallinan.
There’s something so right about these designs, especially the monstrous Beast and the regal look of Lord Xavier, and if Marvel hasn’t created a medieval alternate reality for the X Men yet they should take note and get to work on a new series!
Via Rampaged Reality
A dispute between a building owner and a car dealer in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has led to a pickup truck becoming encased in concrete. The building owner ordered the concrete, while the man responsible for the vehicle refused to move it. A complaint was filed, but when a tow company arrived to move the vehicle, it was gone -but the truck was later returned to the same spot.
The car dealer claims that the area is a public street, and the building owner has no control over it. The building owner disagreed, and had the construction company pave the driveway on Wednesday while the vehicle sat there in the middle of it. The next words were about a lawsuit. The original story is in Portuguese. -via Arbroath
(Image credit: Henry Stênio/TV Globo)
As someone with practically no Photoshop skills, I try to take it easy on most designers because they're still doing a better job than I would. Of course, every now and again, there is a Photoshop disaster so bad that even my computer illiterate uncle would probably be able to avoid and this list of 23 of the worst Photoshop fails of the year features mistakes that are all pretty much all on that level. For example, where's that poor little girl's arm?
And how did the mysterious red carpet appear behind Christina and no one else? Trust me, the rest are all just as bad and certainly worth a laugh, even if you aren't a photoshop master yourself.
Christina Wald mashed up two movies of the Christmas season released ten years apart. It works well, because The Hobbit saga and Love Actually have one important thing in common- a huge cast with multiple story lines! You can enlarge this poster to a much more readable size at Pop Smoothie. -Thanks, Christina!
Jimmy Olsen feels like he is the least appreciated member of the Daily Planet staff, he’s the kid that everyone takes for granted until they need a fresh cup of coffee or some photocopies. Jimmy just wants to be one of the gang, but it seems all Superman brings to his table is heartache and a bunch of cursed gems.
Or maybe Mr. Olsen needs to stop taking Supes for granted, and realize that Supes shows how much he cares by saving Jimmy's life every time he's in trouble. Maybe Jimmy Olsen is an unappreciative little jerk, but I bet he’ll change his tune the next time he’s being strangled by a radioactive monster.
Via The Mary Sue
The holidays are here. Are you looking for the perfect gift for your favorite traveling tot? Get them the Toothy Ruthie Snuggle Duffle from the NeatoShop. This adorable bag looks like a pink polka-dotted hippo wearing a purple tutu.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Bags & Totes.
Pleasant Valley, Arizona, in the 1880s saw a feud escalate between cattle ranchers and sheep herders over the limited grazing area. Sheep were shot, then men were shot, and the warring families kept at it long after the sheep were gone. The whole sordid story is told in comic book form at Modern Farmer. -via Digg
We love the funny work of Viktor Hertz, a graphic designer in Stockholm. We've previously featured his honest brand logos and minimalist pictographic song posters. More recently, he made a few jokes with computer progress bar windows. You can view them all here.
So the bartender says, "Why the long wait time?"
-via Ian Brooks
2013 might not have been the greatest year of your life, but it was certainly the a great year when it comes to cutness. Don't believe me, well, remember the Shetland ponies in Shetland sweaters?
Or when Chris P. Bacon and Lentil Bean met for the first time? Those are only two of the ten amazingly adorable things that made 2013 pretty legendary in the realm of cute critters. You can find the rest of the precious list over at Cute Overload.
Bah! Humbug. There's one Scrooge in every crowd who hates the entire holiday season. But all of us have our moments when the pressure to be jolly and festive, not to mention the stress of cooking and shopping and attending functions and hosting guests and decorating and wrapping and trying to make CHristmas great for everyone else just wears us down. In movies, you are more likely to hear people just come out and say it, which they do in this supercut from Slackstory. -via Blame It On The Voices
Usually furniture designers wait until they have a solid design finished, perhaps even testing it out in a 3D program like Sketchup or CAD, before they begin the fabrication process and bring the idea to life.
This time around, however, designer Fukawa Daigo decided to go with the initial rough sketch as the finished design, and the results look like living scribbles, and are probably really uncomfortable to sit on!
They’re a bit of art brought to life simply for the fun of it, and while they aren’t the most successful furniture designs we’ve ever seen they definitely make for great conversation pieces.
[Ed note: There is a video at the bottom of the main article; you may wish to listen to the music while you read this story from mental_floss magazine.]
When Rhapsody in Blue premiered at New York's Aeolian Hall on February 12, 1924, most people couldn't wait for the evening to be over. The piece was scheduled near the end of a long program called "An Experiment in Modern Music." After two sluggish hours, the audience was bored, restless, and drenched in sweat due to the hall's broken ventilation system. But then, a lone clarinet pierced through the orchestra, fizzing upward like a fountain of champagne. Suddenly, everyone was riveted.
For the next 17 minutes, George Gershwin, an unknown 26-year-old composer, caressed and pounded the piano at center stage, chasing the orchestra through a thrill ride of skyrocketing notes. It was an unforgettable debut -one that brought new respect to jazz and helped redefine classical music. Today, Rhapsody in Blue is one of the 10 most-performed works of the 20th century, right up there with "Happy Birthday" and "White Christmas."
FROM BROOKLYN TO BROADWAY
When George Gershwin was 11, he overheard a friend playing Anton Dvorak's Humoresque No 7 on the violin. The music provoked "a flashing revelation" that hooked Gershwin immediately. He began sneaking over to a neighbor's house in Brooklyn to teach himself to play different instruments. A year later, when Gershwin's mother brought home a secondhand upright piano, the family was stunned to see George sit down and tear through vaudeville tunes. From then on, he was glued to the ivories. A few years of formal lessons followed, but his teachers could barely keep up with Gershwin's prodigious talent.
At 15, Gershwin quit school and took a job as a song plugger in Tin Pan Alley, New York's music publishing district. Song pluggers were basically pianists who sold sheet music by demonstrating the latest tunes for singers, dancers, and producers. With his outgoing personality, Gershwin was a natural, often weaving in his own musical ideas to liven up the pieces. Before long, he became a full-time songwriter, When he was 21, he penned his first hit, "Swanee," made famous by blackface entertainer Al Jolson. The 1920s equivalent of a Beyoncé single, "Swanee" spent nine weeks at No. 1, selling one million copies of sheet music and two million records. Soon Broadway came calling, and Gershwin became, in his own modest words, "a fairly busy young composer."
AN EXPERIMENT IN MODERN MUSIC
Science is a critical part of the booze-making process and how alcohol interacts with our bodies, which is why it makes total sense to express alcoholic drinks in a periodic table. This great chart is organized both by type of alcohol and the alcohol by volume of each drink. Plus, it includes what type of beverage the drink is, when it was created and what the main flavor of the drink happens to be. It's a perfect way to organize cocktails. Note that you will probably have to click through to see the whole thing in a size large enough to read it.
My favorite, the white Russian is #61. What about your favorite drink?
Via Food Beast
(USS Kearsarge vs. CSS Alabama by Xanthus Smith)
I’m exaggerating, of course. But proper grammar became a point of dispute in the negotiations between the United States and the United Kingdom that led to the 1871 Treaty of Washington.
American and Britain had a border dispute over the San Juan Islands in the Strait de Juan de Fuca as well as questions about fishing rights and access to the sea. But the most pressing issue was known as the “Alabama claims.” During the American Civil War, British companies built several warships for the Confederacy, such as the C.S.S Alabama. These commerce raiders damaged US shipping during the war. The United States held Britain partially responsible.
The British largely acceded to American demands (much to the frustration of Canadian fishermen). But there was one position from which Britain would not budge: proper grammar.
(Me Fail English t-shirt on sale at the NeatoShop)
At that time, British conventions of English grammar considered splitting an infinitive a serious grammatical error. Thomas R. Lounsbury, a professor of English at Yale University, wrote in 1904 that the British government insisted that the text of the treaty contain no split infinitives:
At last an agreement was reached. It involved certain concessions to the American demands to which, in the opinion of some, assent should never have been given.
There was one point, we are told, upon which the home Government was sternly inflexible. “For it,” says Mr. Lang, “much may by literary persons be forgiven them.” It telegraphed that in the wording of the treaty it would under no circumstances endure the insertion of an adverb between the preposition to (the sign of the infinitive) and the verb. Mr. Lang feels justly the heroic nature of the act. Much might be yielded on questions in dispute which all knew would ultimately involve the expenditure of money, and indeed implied at the time admission of previous wrong-doing; much might be yielded in the case of certain things which the biographer himself seems to regard as points of honor. Still, on these minor matters it was thought advisable to give way. So much the more must our tribute of admiration be paid to the English Government for remaining as immovable as the solid rock when it came face to face with the great question of severing the close tie that binds to infinitive the preposition to. “The purity of the language,” observes Mr. Lang, “they nobly and courageously defended.”
I cannot verify Prof. Lounsbury’s assertion from original sources. But if it is not good history, then it is at least a good story. Upon casually perusing the text of the treaty, I cannot find any split infinitives.
The treaty was duly ratified by Queen Victoria and the United States Senate. This event began the Great Rapprochement—an era of warming relations between the United States and the United Kingdom that was by no means historically inevitable.
In the spirit of that special relationship of shared language, culture, law and history, let both nations commit to not split infinitives in the future.
This is it: The Last T-Shirt Sale of the Year.
If you're waiting to get some neat T-shirts for yourself or your loved ones, here's your chance. Your last chance, actually, if you want them at as low as $11.95. How ridiculously cheap! Over 600 neat designs available.
Support your favorite indie artists as well as the blog, and get great savings! Hurry - it's a limited time offer. Once they're gone, they're gone.
Geophysicist David Prouty responded to a challenge from his teenage daughter and built a 1/3 scale TARDIS out of cardboard boxes -you sure can't tell it's cardboard by looking at it! Inside there are things going on that make you believe it truly is bigger on the inside: rotating disco balls, sound-activated lights, a fog machine, speakers connected by Bluetooth to his iPhone, or any other mobile device with music. It's essentially a party in a cardboard box, but what a cool box! Guaranteed to impress any Doctor Who fan. See pictures of the build process at imgur. -via Geeks Are Sexy
Are you looking for that perfect accessory to rock your holiday look? You need the festive Rockin' Reindeer Ears from the NeatoShop. This fantastic musical headband with antlers plays jingle bells when you push the button.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Christmas items.
When the Klingon leader General Martok (who was recently elected to public office in New York) wishes you a merry Christmas, you should at least try to respond in his own language. There's a limit to the Yuletide cheer that the universal translator can express.
Here is Mashable's handy guide to saying "merry Christmas" in 40 languages, including Farsi, Lithuanian and Korean.
Riding on the subway is a trying experience, whether you’re riding through New York or Paris, and just like any experience in life that involves being way too close to a broad cross section of humanity there are plenty of moments that will make you wish you were dead, or at least taking a taxi instead.
To make riding the subway trains a more tolerable experience the Paris transit authority created an illustrated book of subway etiquette, with twelve rules meant to make the entire experience better for everyone involved. The drawings are delightful, and so easy to understand that even the most mentally deranged rider will learn a thing or two about what not to do to their fellow riders.
Via Dangerous Minds
Empathy is when you make yourself truly available emotionally to someone when they need you. This video from the RSA features Dr. Brené Brown, who explains the difference between sympathy and empathy better than I ever could. You may recognize the bear as someone you know -you might also recognize the goat. And you'll certainly recognize all those folks who avoid you when you're going through a painful time, because they aren't in this video. This is actually an excerpt from a longer talk from Brown, which you can see at YouTube. -via Metafilter
(Photo: Lareina Tan)
Riley, a 3-year old corgi, has new friend. It’s a wild rabbit! Lareina Tan, Riley’s human, says that they met on a walk. She was initially afraid that Riley might hurt the bunny. But all they want to do is play together. The bunny has even waited outside Riley’s house for the dog to come out and play. Ms. Tan says:
The bunny ran around in circles around us instead of away, and jumped onto Ripley's front paw while she was sitting. I want to believe the bunny chose to hang with her.
Riley is quite gentle and, true to his shepherding roots, only nudges him along. You can see more photos here.
-via Ace of Spades HQ
Looking for a great Christmas gift for your pooch? Well, it's almost certainly not going to be on this great Mental Floss list of hilarious and strange dog products. From dog beer to perfume to a Twitter dog tag, the collection is pretty funny.
Even the handful of stuff that dogs would actually enjoy is still good for a laugh to us human folks -like the chew toy that gives your pooch giant red lips. One thing they almost certainly won't appreciate is the puppy nail polish though, so try to avoid simply torturing your pooch for the sake of fashion.
Neatorama readers already know about North Sentinel Island and Pripyat, but they are far from the only "forbidden" areas of the world. Oddee has ten more that you might want to see, but you cant. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see the cave painting as Lasceaux up close and personal? Ain't gonna happen.
The caves, which have been banned to the public since 1963, have been menaced in recent years by a series of unexplained, and only partially controlled, fungal invasions. Any human presence in the caves is regarded as potentially destructive. Normally, they are entered only once a week by one security guard for a few minutes at a time.
Walk up to the barista and say, "One coffee." That'll be 7 euros. Or say, "One coffee, please." That'll be € 4.25. But if you say, "Hello. One coffee, please" then all you have to pay is € 1.40.
At the Petite Syrah in Nice, France, it pays to display proper gentility. The manager, Fabrice Pepino, started it as a joke after encountering too many customers who dropped their manners when they were in a hurry.
So far, he hasn't had to enforce it. Mr. Pepino says that when customers notice the sign, they slow down and watch what they say.
-via That's Nerdalicious!
Talk about your mind blowing architecture! This impossible looking structure was constructed in the imagination of photographer Victor Enrich, who saw much more than a simple skyscraper when he looked at the NH Munchen Deutscher Kaiser hotel in Munich, Germany.
In fact, he saw 88 different versions of the hotel, each more impossible than the last, and his photo manipulation skills have improved quite a bit since we last featured his works on Neatorama (Link). Victor’s visionary buildings would make a great addition to cityscapes across the globe if we didn’t have that pesky thing called gravity keeping our architecture in check.
Via Laughing Squid
Savannah the cheetah and her companion Max the dog have a run in the snow at the Cincinnati Zoo. They've been friends since they were both babies. We first featured Savannah when she was just seven weeks old. We also featured her and Max together as youngsters. Now that both are full grown, they are still having the time of their lives together! -via Daily Picks and Flicks