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How the World’s First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, and the machine that bore the name is often considered the first true electronic computer, although that depends on how one defines “computer.” It weighed 27 tons, contained 17,468 vacuum tubes, and consisted of 40 huge interconnected metal panels. When ENIAC was deemed obsolete in 1955, it was dismantled, separated, and parts went to various locations, where the machine’s historical value was sometimes considered, sometimes not. Then in 2006, Ross Perot wanted a piece of computer history for his Plano, Texas, headquarters. Libby Craft was in charge of the project, for which her team decided to track down what was left of ENIAC. It was not an easy task.  

Craft was on the verge of ending her search when an Army functionary dug up documents indicating that some panels had once been shipped from the Aberdeen (MD) Proving Ground to Oklahoma’s Fort Sill, home to the Army’s field artillery museum. When Craft contacted Fort Sill to inquire, the museum’s curator was stunned to discover that he did, indeed, possess the world’s largest trove of ENIAC hardware—nine panels in total, all stored in anonymous wooden crates that hadn’t been pried open in years. Fort Sill officials are unclear as to how they ended up with nearly a quarter of ENIAC, pieces of which also came to Oklahoma from the Anniston (AL) Army Depot.
An ENIAC technician changes a tube.

Craft struck a deal to borrow eight of Fort Sill’s panels in exchange for a promise to restore the hardware to some semblance of its former glory.

Read the story of just how they did that, and what happened to the remains of ENIAC (hint: you can go see it) at Wired. -via Digg


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Jack Nicholson's Prep Before Shooting the Ax Scene in The Shining

YouTube Link

This clip shows Jack Nicholson preparing for a scene in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. In the scene, Nicholson's character Jack Torrance chops into a locked bathroom door to get to his wife, for whom he has a violent plan. To prepare for filming the scene, Jack gets amped up by jumping up and down in place like a boxer would, grabbing the ax and vocalizing. 

The clip is from The Making of the Shining, which was a short documentary film made during production by Stanley Kubrick's then 17-year-old daughter Vivian. The documentary is packaged with The Shining Two-Disc Special Edition as a special feature. Another documentary about the making of the movie is Staircases to Nowhere: Making Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' by Howard Berry, which is a fantastic series of interviews with people involved with the film. The aforementioned Kubrick-endorsed documentaries, as well as the (previously featured at Neatorama) Room 237, make interesting viewing for any fan of Kubrick's horror masterpiece.


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Bill Cosby And The Ultimate Crowdsourced Memes Fail

Bill Cosby recently learned a hard lesson about crowdsourcing when his social media people decided to invite the 'Net to take images of Bill and turn them into memes.

(Image Link)

Their site showed silly, and very gentle, examples of what they were looking for, but what they actually received was a torrent of rape accusations and bitter sarcasm in meme form.

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Bill has been accused of multiple counts of rape, for which he has yet to have been found guilty, so why would his social media camp open him up to so much online heat?

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My guess is they were trying to bring back that Cosby Show love and prove there's an audience for a new show, a gamble that backfired spectacularly, in other words in typical internet fashion.

So what's the lesson to be learned by Cosby's epic meme fail? Don't go fishing for compliments online, especially when you've got some (alleged) skeletons in your closet!

-Via New York Post


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The Dinosaurs of Jurassic World

(YouTube link)

Now that the trailer for the movie Jurassic World is out, let’s all find problems with the dinosaurs in it. It happened with the first Jurassic Park movies, I think there were three of them. Movies, that is, not problems. Since the first Jurassic Park movie came out, we found out that dinosaurs often had feathers and probably quite a bit of color. And scientists have already weighed in with their criticisms of Jurassic World.

But see, the filmmakers expected this, and did an end-run around such quibbles by giving us a “hybrid,” genetically-modified, improved dinosaur. That could be anything, not necessarily tied to any real dinosaurs that ever lived.  



In today’s xkcd comic, Randall Munroe references Jurassic World and its “improved” dinosaur, which looks strangely like the T.rex from Dinosaur Comics. Hey, it could be worse.


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The L.A. Locations Where Famous Horror Films Were Shot

Horror movies are rarely set in Los Angeles, preferring to use fake city names like Springwood and Cuesta Verde, and yet the vast majority of them are filmed within a hundred miles of Hollywood.

Making viewers believe that they’re seeing a location from Anywhere, U.S.A. is all part of movie magic, but when you discover the real life locations scattered around the City of Angels Google maps replaces magic.

Take a snapshot tour with LA Weekly as they reveal The L.A. Spots Where Your Favorite Horror Movies Were Filmed, including this famous bridge from a little movie called Stand By Me.

With a little storytelling, and an audience's willingness to believe, these everyday locales across Los Angeles transport the viewers to another place and time, but it's surprising how muindane most of these locations are in real life.


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Batman vs. Darth Vader

(YouTube link)

It’s the ultimate showdown of badass fictional characters in black! Never mind the odd crossover of the Disney and DC universes -at least there’s no problem with the style of music for these two. Who will win when the Caped Crusader goes against the Sith Lord with light sabers? Enjoy this Super Power Beat Down video from MachinimaPrime. -via Gamma Squad


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Classic Authors' American Houses on Google Maps

Mark Twain
351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut 

It's often said that writers' desks are important, in that they reflect their approach and routine. Thus, the homes of famous writers have always been of interest to people, particularly those immersed in the literary world, because they are an extension of that space. Short List assembled a collection of famous writers' former abodes, visible on Google maps. First they put together a list of Classic Authors' British Houses On Google Maps, and in a follow-up, they have a list of houses in the U.S., some of which are pictured here. 

Check out the rest of these former homes of classic writers here.  

 
Jack Kerouac
1478 Clouser Avenue, Orlando, Florida

Edgar Allan Poe
203 N. Amity Street, Baltimore 


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Is Your Flight Delayed? Siberians Laugh at Your Misery

This sounds like a setup for an “In Mother Russia…” joke, but it happened at the Igarka airport above the Arctic Circle. The flight to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk was in danger of being cancelled because the plane was frozen to the ground! Technicians said that the plane’s landing gear was greased with a lubricant that was not suitable for Arctic temperatures- and at 52 degrees below zero, that’s important. The airport’s tractor didn’t work, either, because its brake pads were frozen. What to do? The 70 or so passengers waiting for the flight were mostly oil field workers who wanted to go home, so they did what they had to do: they pushed the plane.  

(YouTube link)

Ivan Ivanov caught this footage of the procedure. They managed to free the plane from the frozen tarmac, and the flight to Krasnoyarsk was completed without further problems. Read the story and see more pictures at The Siberian Times. -via Digg


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Ten Facts About R.E.M.



Formed in 1980, R.E.M. enjoyed a lot of critical acclaim and success — particularly for a band whose roots were firmly in the alternative genre  before they disbanded in 2011. The referring article is a collection of ten facts about the band, the original members of which included frontman Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. 

One fact that, in my mind, is completely understandable is the detestability of Shiny Happiness. The band's 1991 album Out of Time featured the song "Shiny, Happy People," which featured vocals by the B-52s' Kate Pierson. The single was released the same year. Yet how long can one reasonably remain shiny and happy, particularly when proclaiming they are such is a regular part of employment? For Michael Stipe and the band, the answer was several years or less. By 1995, Stipe publicly pronounced that he hated the song, as did the rest of the band. 

Read more facts about R.E.M., including the origins of the album names Out of Time and Automatic for the People and an unfortunate tantrum of Peter Buck's on an airplane, here.

Image: Wikipedia 


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Black Friday: Then and Now

(YouTube link)

When did people start losing their minds over Christmas shopping? Maybe it was a gradual process. Thirty years ago, shopping centers promoted Black Friday as a good day to get your Christmas shopping done, and a lot of folks listened. Here are a couple of news reports from WLOX, on Thanksgiving Day and then on Black Friday in 1983. The money quote: “It  gets a little crowded.” People were happily enduring the crowds, and indeed, at least one shopper just wanted to join the crowds for holiday cheer.

Compare that with what we’ve seen in the past few years, as shopping has become a competition to see who can score one of those “limited supply” electronic gadgets at half price. Here’s a supercut uploaded last year.

(YouTube link)

The money saved on items we really don’t need does not justify the time, hassle, and danger of injury to oneself or others involved in the modern version of Black Friday. There’s still a month left to shop, smaller stores to visit, online sales that involve no hassle at all, and one’s sanity to consider. -via Uproxx


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Neverball - The Lightning Rat Guide To Grunge


Neverball by Wirdou

There were all sorts of fun games going on when Ash and his friends showed up at the Poke Master Mega Block Party, like pin the tail on the snorlax and bobbing for Poke balls, but Ash knew Pika would only want to do one thing- take a dip in the pool! Ash uttered the phrase "I choose you!" and tossed Pika and the Poke ball right into the deep end, and when Pika emerged underwater it felt like nirvana. However, the rest of the pocket monsters and trainers who were swimming in the pool didn't appreciate Pika's electric feel...

When your friends say "here we are, now entertain us" you can show them this clever Neverball t-shirt by Wirdou and watch them roar with laughter!

Visit Wirdou's Facebook fan page and official website, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

Daddy's Home Veggie Hot Dog Red Panda Thorium - Chemical Avengers

View more designs by Wirdou | 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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Optical Illusions Accidentally Created By Animals

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It’s only natural to see optical illusions in the world around us, and nature likes to unintentionally serve up some real mind-benders that force you to take a second look in order to wrap your mind around what your eyes are seeing.

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Some animals incorporate optical illusions into their body markings on purpose, but most animal based optical illusions are simply a matter of seeing things from the right angle at exactly the right moment.

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Little Things has put together a fun collection of 22 Optical Illusions Created Accidentally By Animals, an assortment of odd animal pics sure to make you think your mind is playing tricks on you!

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

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Seth Rogen’s Jewish-Canadian-American Thanksgiving

(Funny or Die Link)

Canadian filmmaker Seth Rogan grew up in a family that didn't observe Thanksgiving. They managed to explain that away to him in a manner that he didn't question -but sooner or later, children will find out the truth.


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Ten TV Episodes People Pretend Never Happened

When TV show creators get multiple seasons of a linear storyline under their belt the issues of continuity and retaining world integrity arise.

It's part of the creator’s job to keep track of everything that happened during the previous seasons in order to keep the storyline on track for future seasons.

This continuity is especially important in extremely linear genres like sci-fi, fantasy and drama, so what is a show creator to do when an episode goes against the show’s established storyline?

Generally they pretend that episode never happened and move on, and we’re left wondering what the creators were thinking when they came up with such a game changing episode!

io9 put together a collection of 10 TV Episodes That Everybody Pretends Never Happened, which includes the episode where Buffy is actually a mental patient and not a vampire slayer after all, my pick from the list for ultimate WTF TV moment.


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Tombstone: The Greatest Western Ever

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

Western movies, of course, start and end with John Wayne. Whether it is Rio Bravo (my favorite John Wayne Western), Red River, The Shootist, True Grit, Stagecoach, or any one of the dozens of other Western classics he made in his long and illustrious career, John Wayne remains the Michael Jordan of the Western film.

Films about Wyatt Earp, the most famous Old West lawman, also abound in film history, whether it be Gunfight at the OK Corral, My Darling Clementine or the scores of lesser cinematic tributes, Earp remains "the" Old West icon of icons. With all this said, in my own humble opinion, 1993's masterpiece Tombstone is the finest western ever made.

Filmed on a budget of $25,000,000, Tombstone was the first-ever Wyatt Earp film to deeply research and pay actual attention to the Wyatt Earp period in Tombstone. Ironically, when the film was released, a few critics panned the film's straying from the truth and indulging in "revisionism.” This statement couldn't be further from the truth.

Tombstone has unparalleled accuracy in detail not only with dialogue, but mustaches, clothes, guns (including long-barreled and nickel-plated weapons), and, especially, hats (which had a clearly southwestern flavor, particularly in the cavalier-style sombreros worn by Wyatt and Doc Holliday.) It is also the first and only Wyatt Earp film to be shot in the country where the actual events took place, the first movie to use young, vigorous actors as the principals, and the first to make the town of Tombstone itself look exciting.

Continue reading

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Ten Of The Most Outrageous Things Benjamin Franklin Ever Did

Benjamin Franklin has gone from sainted Founding Father to controversial figure, ladies man and America's original superstar thanks in part to the Isaacson biography Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, but how much of this information is overblown?

Apparently not by much, and if you think the book made him seem totally outrageous wait until you read the 10 Most Outrageous Things Benjamin Franklin Ever Did.

Ben was a thinker, a drinker and a real stinker if you got on his bad side, but there’s no denying that he is one of America’s most fascinating historical figures, someone who really knew how to live life to the fullest.


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Teddy Bear on a Treadmill

(YouTube link)

Munchkin is an adorable Shih Tzu puppy who dresses like a teddy bear. He was a hit at Halloween with his costume, but watch him walk on a treadmill! It honestly looks like we’re being chased by an Ewok. This is one of those videos you keep around for a pick-me-up when you're stressed out. It bet it would work like a charm! -via Laughing Squid

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

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The Internet Has No Love For Grandpa Joe From Willie Wonka

The internet is full of cute cat pics, hilarious memes, and hate. How can these seemingly incongruous elements exist in one place? With a little help from trending, post sharing and social media-izing.

In 2004 lucky old Grandpa Joe, who got to visit Wonka’s chocolate factory and discovered candy can cure crippling afflictions, became the target of internetter rage when his villainous nature was exposed.

(Image Link)

The blog Say No To Grandpa Joe started it all, created "To reveal once and for all the truth about the only real villain in the movie"- Grandpa Joe.

They cite his attitude towards women, his tobacco money stash and the fact that he stayed in bed and let someone else do all the work, until the chance to have fun arrived, as reasons to hate old man Joe.

In 2010 a Facebook community called The I Hate Grandpa Joe From Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory was created to keep the hate alive, and a few months ago they posted this vile mashup pic, proving Grandpa Joe is the villain after all:

(Image Link)

-Via BuzzFeed


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Don’t Assume Anything

Sometimes you think you know what’s going on when you really have no clue. People with children can babysit as well as anyone, even if you define that as caring for a baby that’s not yours. When I’m watching my grandkids, is that “babysitting” or “grandparenting”? And does it really matter? This comic is from Chris at Lunarbaboon.


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Hauntingly Beautiful Paintings By Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen

If we could actually capture the appearance of a spirit on film, like those ghost show guys claim to be able to do, we might end up with a result that resembles the hauntingly beautiful paintings of Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen.

Henrik’s subjects look like they're materializing out of wisps of smoke, or breaking down into an incorporeal and foggy form, the beauty of soft human contours emerging from the insubstantial.

His paintings are meditative, deconstructive and strikingly humanistic, sparking conversations about the fleeting nature of human life and the way elements converge to create the human form. -Via Beautiful/Decay


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Babysitting Monkey

Inexperienced babysitters really do need a little supervision the first time they interact with infants. That holds true even if you're a monkey. In this clip from the BBC One series Life Story, a juvenile langur monkey tries out her parenting skills for the first time -with less-than-stellar results. It's a good thing mama monkey wasn't too far away! Maybe she'll do better next time, but you can be sure that mama monkey will stay close by to make sure there are no shenanigans. -Thanks, Caragh Salisbury!

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

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Walker Grimes - Collect Them All, If You Dare...


Walker Grimes by StationJack

Kids will be kids, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, so when kids started looking for fun stuff to collect local living artists were happy to comply. They started drawing up trading cards featuring illustrations of what the survivors would look like as the walking dead, and although these gross cards turned the adults stomachs the kids just couldn't get enough of seeing how they'd look as a rotten walker!

Trading cards aren't just for the garbage pail any more, check out this Walker Grimes t-shirt by StationJack and see the ultimate fate awaiting the trading card industry after the zombie apocalypse...

Visit StationJack's Facebook fan page, official website, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more horrifyingly good designs:

Beast Power Griswold Christmas Egg Nog Say Doh Mr. Terminator

View more designs by StationJack | 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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Plush Toys Inspired by Childrens' Imaginations



The smiles and lights in the eyes of the kids shown here are the result of their youthful imaginings materializing into soft, huggable form. A company called "Budsies" takes childrens' drawings of their fantasy friends and transforms them into charming, nice sized (16-inch-tall) plush toys. This looks like something I would have coveted for Christmas when I was a kid. The cost is $69 and lead time is eight weeks. 

See more Budsies examples at their website and Facebook page. 



See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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“YMCA” by The Bottle Boys

(YouTube link)

The Copenhagen musical group The Bottle Boys play us a tune we all know and love, and let us in on one of their secrets to making bottle music look so easy -when we all know it’s not. From the YouTube page:

Sometimes people say, that it’s impossible to play that fast on bottles when they see our videos, because they are looking at just one persons head movements. But if you look closer you will see, that we share all the melodies by two persons. So if Philipp plays one part of the lead melody, Kaspar plays the other half, which combined gives you the complete melodic part that you all recognize:-)

We decided to shoot this video in our own studio, since it’s too cold outside here in Denmark and since we wanted it to have a more cosy look, without too much else going on in the frame. In that way you can really focus on what’s being played. We chose to play Y.M.C.A because it has some fast melodic parts and some really cool secondary melody lines.

-via Tastefully Offensive


See more videos from The Bottle Boys.

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Here's What Non-Human Cartoon Characters Would Look Like As Humans

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Animation fans often wonder what their favorite non-human cartoon characters would look like as humans, and artists who grew up loving cartoons can't help but give the transformation a try, just to see what happens.

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People present them in all kinds of styles, from realistic human to totally toonified, and yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen a collection as large, or diverse, as this list of 25 Non-Human Cartoon Characters As Humans, presented by the staff at Dorkly.

You get to see classic toons like Bugs Bunny, new school toons like Mordecai and Rigby from Regular Show, and this extremely strange envisioning of a handsome human Squidward. Okay, maybe we should leave these toons alone after all!

(Image Link)


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Celery and Olives Dominated Thanksgiving for Nearly 100 Years—Until They Didn’t

I just bought celery and olives yesterday. I always buy them for Thanksgiving, but rarely any other time of the year. Olives are a special treat, and the adults in my family love them. I use celery in my cornbread dressing, and the rest of the stalk is served alone or stuffed. However, I did not know that the two were traditional on everyone’s Thanksgiving tables for almost a century, and then faded out in the 1970s. It all started when fresh produce began to be transported across the country to be enjoyed whatever the season.

The pairing of the two was both a result of the fact that they were introduced and made readily available around the same time and they served a similar purpose: both celery and olives were palate cleansers, and ones that didn’t require a servant.

“People were looking for a palate cleanser in between Thanksgiving’s richer courses,” explained [Rick] Rodgers. “At a family meal where you don’t have servants, the tray of celery and olives could be put on the table and you didn’t need a servant to serve a sorbet course.”

Advertising played a big part, too. Celery and olives eventually became “traditional” at Thanksgiving. But what happened in the 1970s to change that? Read the entire story of celery and olives on the Thanksgiving menu at boston.com.

Will your Thanksgiving table have olives and celery?




We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Puppy Swims With Dolphins in Chance Encounter

YouTube Link

This remarkable footage shot by Arriane Christie captured her ten-month-old puppy Jackie enthusiastically joining several dolphins for a swim off the coast of Wellington's Bay in Whangarei, New Zealand. In her video description, Arriane said she thought the dolphins swam up to meet the pup. She said in an interview,

"I think she just wanted to know what they were. I think they were just wanting to play. Jackie was in the shallows and they came right up to her. 

I was a little bit nervous to start with because I thought one whack of their tails and she (Jackie) could be knocked out. 

The three dolphins swum around the area for about 40 minutes. They were a good size, probably up to two metres long. 



Jackie was in and out of the water, watching for when the dolphins came closer.

When she wasn't in the water she was fully focused on them. If I walked in front of her she dodged out of the way so she could see them again. 

They (the dolphins) were messing with her a little bit, going really slow and then when she caught up they would speed up and then circle around her."

What an exciting experience for all three species! -Via Arbroath

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

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Why People Keep Trying to Erase the Hollywood Sign From Google Maps

For decades, visitors to Los Angeles have tried their best to go see the famous Hollywood sign up close. It’s not easy to get to, involves quite a bit of walking, and the view isn’t great when you get there. But they keep coming, and the people who live there keep trying to stop them.

By 2011 the anti-tourist rhetoric reached a fever pitch, with homeowners mounting a vicious campaign threatening visitors, who, unsurprisingly, just kept coming. Some neighbors painted their curbs red (illegally) to discourage parking and tacked up more signs (illegally) warning against trespassing. In a vacant lot, someone took the time to build a full-on piece of land art that seemed to echo the large white letters in the distance: TOURISTS GO AWAY.

And now, although the location is correct on maps, if you request directions to the Hollywood sign from Google Maps (or several other services), you get directions to one of two “observation points” that are not near the sign. You can’t really blame the neighbors for being tired of tourists parking on and blocking their streets constantly, but the idea that a small number of homeowners have the clout to dictate policy to Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing, and the GPS service Garmin is a little unsettling. Get a rundown of how it happened in an article at Gizmodo.  -via Metafilter


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27 Fun Recipes Made With Tater Tots

Behold the almighty tater tot- the best tasting food product shaped like a tiny barrel.

Whether they’re fried, baked or microwaved they always end up tasting like hot potato goodness, and the fact that they’re easy to pop in your mouth by the handful makes them a big hit with the snack packs.

(Image/Recipe Link)

Nowadays people are going all fancy feast with their tater tots, piling cheese and other delicious stuff on top to make totchos supreme, or laying them on top of a casserole to add the perfect amount of tot-ness to an already delicious dish.

(Image/Recipe Link)

Tater tot fans are in for a treat, because BuzzFeed has put together a collection of 27 Tater Tot Recipes That Will Change Your Life, grab a bag of spud barrels and give your taste buds a treat!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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The 10 Commandments of the Cafeteria

(YouTube link)

Welcome to your college dining experience. Food Service Manager Brad Green has a list of rules that will make everything work, and if you follow them, you will also avoid getting punched in the face, or heaven forbid, being beat down by Wanda’s Army. This video is from Kentucky Christian University, but they apply to just about any cafeteria: don’t waste food, don’t be nasty, and don’t make life difficult for the people around you. These are things anyone old enough to go to college should know, but a little reminder doesn't hurt. -via Daily Picks and Flicks


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Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Om Nom - Twaggies by Twaggies
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