How to Build a Living Summer Shade Structure

There’s something very relaxing about a rose-covered arch, a pergola festooned with wisteria, or a leafy arbor. Here’s another way to make a shady place to sit and enjoy nature: a willow dome. The structure support itself is alive! Willow branches have a particular feature that makes building a dome or other garden structure fairly easy.   

Willow trees have an unusual trait: freshly cut branches will sprout roots and grow into new trees when merely plunked into the ground and watered. By taking cuttings from an established willow tree, “planting” them strategically and weaving the supple young branches together as they grow, any number of structures—such as a gazebo, pergola, play hut, party dome, sweat lodge, art cave or even a shady area for your livestock—can be created on your land.

Now I really want a willow tree! You can buy cuttings or a kit or even hire someone to build a willow structure for you, but you can also do it yourself with some guidelines from Modern Farmer.

(Image credit: Flickr user Steve James)


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Featured Designs from the NeatoShop:



Spoonstruck - I Said Cher, Not Chairface!


Spoonstruck by Matt Sinor

The Tick had become a big blue bug of happiness ever since he'd been introduced to his soulmate, the radiant beauty known only as Spoon. She was shiny all over, and curvy in all the right places, and when she took a dip in a bowl of cereal Tick couldn't help himself- he'd been Spoonstruck! He soon forgot all about fighting crime, as found he preferred to spend his evenings shining his sweet spoon and eating all sorts of yummy things with her. It was love at first bit!

Bring some superheroic ha-has to your geeky wardrobe with this Spoonstruck t-shirt by Matt Sinor, it'll have your fellow tick fans smiling like Arthur on laundry day!

Visit Matt Sinor's Facebook fan page, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more mighty geeky designs:

All The Butts Now I Know My BMO's Fistful Of Burgers Flyboys

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

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Ain't No Thang, Just Newborn Baby Goat Triplets in Sweaters




YouTube Link

Yes, nothing to see here except three adorable baby goats  a two sister, one brother trio  being kept warm on a chilly day in colorful li'l goat sweaters. Then they're snuggled together in a basket. Then they're getting a baby goat bath. So move along, lest you be temporarily paralyzed by the cuteness kryptonite that is bouncing baby goat triplets in sweaters, baskets and baths. -Via Laughing Squid


YouTube Link

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

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Taking the Plunge

A young man gets a little nervous as he prepares to propose to his girlfriend. Well, a lot nervous. He shakes so bad the ring falls into the sea! That’s when the real adventure begins.

(vimeo link)

Thaddaeus Andreades, Marie Raoult, Nicholas Manfredi, and Elizabeth Ku-Herrero made this as their senior project at the School of Visual Arts. -via Digg


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KITT the 'Knight Rider' Car To Be Auctioned (H)Off

KITT car with David Hasselhoff, aka Michael Knight

As part of the The Gumball 3000 motor rally, Christie's is auctioning off David Hasselhoff's personal K.I.T.T. car. Yes, that's right, his own black 1982 Pontiac Trans Am from the Knight Rider television series will be put on the auction block on May 30th, 2015.

Don't get your hopes up, this K.I.T.T. won't drive itself or talk like the one in the 1980s series. Also, it is expected to fetch six figure$ in auction. 

TIL: K.I.T.T. stands for "Knight Industries Two Thousand."

via Popular Mechanics


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Sweet Baby Rylai

Look at this adorable puppy! Except… she’s not a puppy, she’s a kit. Rylai is a red fox (Vulpes vulpes), barely a month old. She was selectively bred to be white, and is not an albino. Her owner Jennifer has an FAQ on Facebook that answers a lot of questions about Rylai and fox ownership in general.

#growingsofast #legsfordays #rylaithefox #fox #petfox #foxesofinstagram

A photo posted by Rylai (@rylaifox) on May 18, 2015 at 8:22am PDT

At such a young age, Rylai has drawn quite a following on Facebook and Instagram. No doubt she’ll grow to be a beautiful adult vixen. -via Scribol

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

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Eerie, Mysterious Island Tales

The beach at North Seymour Island in the Galapagos | Image: David Adam Kess 

There is a spellbinding story that is part of the history of the Galapagos Islands. The settlers who braved the mostly uninhabited islands during the 1930s were a colorful mix of flamboyant, private and eccentric personalities. Friedrich Ritter, a German dentist, was first. He fled to the islands after beginning an affair with a patient of his. Incredibly, prior to Ritter and his paramour departing for the islands, they removed most of their teeth and had them replaced with one stainless steel false set they shared!

Heinz Wittmer was another early Galapagos settler. Then there was the showy, bombastic Baroness Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bosquet. Not one but two lovers accompanied the Baroness, Rudolf Lorenz and Robert Philippson. She and her boy toys declared their intent to build the first hotel in the Galapagos. The Baroness, with her habit of traversing the tropical terrain in silk lingerie, brought worldwide attention to the islands. The international newspaper coverage incensed Ritter, who enjoyed the admiration he received for his public profile as a rugged settler. 

Wittmer, always the quiet, private one, lived without incident with his wife and sons as Ritter and the Baroness publicly feuded. If their fighting wasn't bad enough, the lovers of the Baroness began to feud as well. The Ritters accused the Baroness of stealing their mail and spreading false rumors about them.

This tropical soap opera continued unabated until March 1934, at which time the Baroness and her lover Philippson disappeared. The Wittmers claimed that friends of the Baroness had arrived and taken her with them to visit Tahiti, yet no sightings of a ship near the islands had been made on the day of the couple's disappearance. The Baroness also left behind essential personal effects, which was unlike her. The lovers never reached Tahiti and were never seen again. 

Ritter and his girlfriend maintained that the other lover of the Baroness, Lorenz, had killed her and Philippson. Lorenz left the islands after their disappearance; he asked a fisherman to ferry him to the mainland. Yet both he and the fisherman were found dead of hunger and thirst several months later on Marchena Island. A short time afterward, Ritter died of food poisoning; some believed that his lover poisoned him after their relationship grew argumentative. She returned to Germany, leaving the Wittmers as the sole settlers left. 

If you think this sounds like the basis of a movie, you're not alone. A 2014 documentary film was made about the settlers, the trailer of which is below. It's currently avaiable to stream on Netflix. While I haven't yet seen it, it seems to be generally well reviewed and I look forward to watching it. 

But this isn't the only story of intrigue taking place on islands. Read nine more such stories here.  


YouTube Link


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Street Artist Makes Building into Set of Wind-up Teeth

The building used to be the Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv, Israel, until it was the site of a suicide bombing in 2001. Israeli street artist Dede (previously at Neatorama) saw something promising in the shell of the structure- a giant set of of choppers, or wind-up teeth. He says,

30m wide x 10m high piece, The abandoned Dolphinarium, Tel-Aviv, 2015

Without any doubt the biggest art challenge I have ever had. This piece was hard to achieve.
Stormy nights, high rollers from the ground, the all deal. But it had to be done, I had this vision for almost a year now.

This landmark is found in the middle of continuing ownership arguments, another real estate bite in Tel-Aviv's view.

Note the wind-up key at the right. It’s not as big as it should be for the building, but that’s fixed with a little forced perspective. -via Laughing Squid


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Bilbo the Barn Owl Plays Ringbearer at Wedding

YouTube Link

Shaun Palmer planned a surprise for his bride by arranging to have Bilbo the barn owl fly down the aisle to deliver their wedding rings. Luckily, Bilbo complied and delivered the rings, unlike this barn owl featured previousy at Neatorama who decided to perch in the rafters of the church with the rings and take a nap!

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

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The Festival of Moros y Cristianos

The annual Festival of Moros y Cristianos in Alcoy, Spain, commemorates the struggle between the Christians and the Moors in the 15th century. Different groups dressed a Moors and Christians participate in elaborate processions for two days and re-enact a battle on the third day. The overtones of genocide seem a bit strange to Americans, and Mike Powell brought it up.   

Our Valencian friends were surprised by my concerns, and assured me that Moros y Cristianos is a positive event, honoring a shared history; that there’s no rancor or gloating sentiment behind the processions. And now that I’ve attended Alcoy’s festival, I suppose they’re right. There wasn’t any real difference between the groups dressed as Moors and those as Christians; both wear flamboyant costumes, both smile and wave at the crowd, and both are cheered equally. It’s just another excuse to get dressed up and have a party.

And what a party! Besides parading and fighting, there was music, dancing, confetti, and drinking. You can see the Moros y Cristianos festival in video and many pictures at For 91 Days.


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Can You Identify These Pop Culture Icons by Their Eyes?



Shouta Sanoda is a Japanese illustrator who, with this exercise, has created a series featuring the eyes of cultural icons. The series includes artists, singers and actresses. Can you identify any of them just by seeing their eyes? Check out all twelve illustrations here; nine of twelve names are provided for you to match with their corresponding images.




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A Windy Day in Iceland

Mark Tretter went to Iceland for spring break and was astonished at how windy it was. This video was recorded at Budir. He thinks he’s going to demonstrate taking a drink, but first he has to figure out how to stand up and stay in one place!

(YouTube link)

The wind was blowing at 75-80 miles an hour. -via Tastefully Offensive


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The Nuclear War Fun Book

Kids, are you bored? Try nuclear war. You'll have a blast! In 1982, back when a global nuclear war seemed highly possible, if not likely, Victor Langer, Walter Thomas, and Brent Richardson published this fun activity book for kids. It's a tongue-in-cheek guide to life after the end of the world that features games like Mark the Mutant and Radioactive Tag. There are fashion tips and bomb shelter supply lists that all of us 80s kids knew well. You can see more pages at Flashbak.

Content warning: a tiny bit of artistic nudity.


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Chocobro - He's Rushing Phi Beta Kweh


Chocobro by Versiris

Chocobos who stay out in the field transporting fantasy adventurers and earning some kweh like to keep things professional and polite. And then there are those chocobros, those lazy party birds who live under mommy and daddy chocobo's roof, blow off finals and spend all their time sipping Tonberry ale and trying to score with chicks. They're the most annoying type of chocobo you'll encounter on Gaia, and if you run into one you should treat them like a Shinra soldier and give them a swift limit break smackdown!

Add some final fantasy funny to your geeky wardrobe with this Chocobro t-shirt by Versiris, it's totally kweh and most bros you encounter in the real world will be totally confused by the design, earning you bonus XP!

Visit Versiris's Facebook fan page, official website, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

Guardian Of The Skies Monsters Rule The Spitter Solid Ekans

View more designs by Versiris | 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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Attempting to Load a Vehicle on a Ship

(YouTube link)

When you have to load a truck onto a ship, and all you have is a narrow pier instead of a cargo loading dock, you do what you have to do. I wouldn’t consider this for one second, but then, I don’t have to load a truck on a ship from a pier. This was recorded somewhere in Brazil. -via reddit


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Libretto: "The Jargon Opera"

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.

A jargon-free mini-opera in 4 acts
Words by Marc Abrahams

This opera had its premiere Thursday evening, October 3, at the 2002 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard's Sanders Theatre.

The Original Cast

Opera Director: Margot Button
Singers: Margot Button, Jane Tankersley, and Michelle French, accompanied gamely by Nobel Laureates Richard Roberts, William Lipscomb, and Dudley Herschbach
Pianist: Greg Neil (playing with a broken hand!)
Narrator: Karen Hopkin

ACT 1 -- Listen Up!

NARRATOR (spoken): The 87th First Annual Meeting of the International Jargon Conference is about to begin! The first scheduled event is a breakfast session. As the opera starts, the conferees are busy substituting food for thought. Let's join them now, as the secretary calls the conference to order.

[MUSIC: Prokofiev's "March From The Love of 3 Oranges"]

[NOTE: The CONFEREES are always munching on food, except at those few moments when they are actually saying something. So are the CONFERENCE SECRETARY and the CONFERENCE CHAIRPERSON. Some of the CONFEREES also are taking notes, or at least pretending to.]



CONFERENCE SECRETARY:
Listen up! Listen up! Finish eating -- listen up!
Listen up! Listen up! Listen up!

CONFERENCE CHAIRPERSON:
Listen up, now, Jargon Conferees!
I will shout
All about
How to say
In the most grand sort of way
Anything nasty or gray.
Just use a...
Cliché.

Continue reading

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Chess Pieces for Modern Times

(Wrong Hands/John Atkinson)

The Annoying Friend and the Hummer need to get together. But they'd be able to work well together only if Annoying Friend has a space large enough to park the Hummer.

The most irritating chess piece is the one that doesn't move, but expects everyone on the board to move around him.


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Evolution of the Bikini


Now that summer is unofficially here, you might be thinking about getting a swimsuit. Good luck! Summer clothing sold out a month ago. I tried to find a pair of good sandals and the local store had nothing close to my size.

(YouTube link)

Oh well, watch this video, which should be called The Evolution of the Swimsuit, as only about half of them are bikinis, and wish you could get one from the 1940s. (via Viral Viral Videos)


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If Movie Characters Said What Their Actors Have Tweeted

It’s a good thing most characters portrayed by actors in movies don’t act anything like the actors themselves, because if their characters spouted the inane lines celebs like Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin have Tweeted out to the world those hit movies would have bombed!

(YouTube Link)

CollegeHumor presents an animated portrayal of what it would look like if, say, Maximus from Gladiator gave a rally cry that included "Circumcision is stupid! Babies are perfeeeeeeect!"

It kinda makes you wonder what the heck those famous folks were thinking when they sent out such bizarre Tweets, but I think Fast & Furious would have been improved by the addition of Vin, Michelle and Tyrese's Tweets.


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Americans Heroes Buried in the Netherlands are Not Forgotten

On Sunday, people gathered at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten to observe Memorial Day, as they have for 70 years. Those buried there were the liberators of the Dutch in World War II. Each American grave was “adopted” by a Dutch, Belgian, or German family who has tended it ever since. There are people on a waiting list to became grave caretakers if they are ever needed to take over.

At the cemetery’s annual commemoration, 6,000 people poured onto the 65-acre burial grounds just a few miles from the German border, including scores of descendants of American war dead who had traveled here from all over the United States. They were eager to pay tribute to parents or grandparents who had died to defeat the Nazis. But they also wanted to thank the Dutch families who had been tending the graves of their loved ones, often passing the responsibility from one generation to the next.

The Washington Post has the story of the cemetery’s founding in 1944, and tales from some of the descendants of those buried there, and of the caretakers of the graves. You may wish to bring a hankie as you read about the way the Dutch feel about the Allies who saved them so many years ago. -via Metafilter (where you'll find even more stories)

(Image credit: © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA-4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)


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Minor Tweaks To Disney Movies That Change The Whole Plot

Disney’s animated features rely on paper thin plots to make the magic happen, and what they lack in believability they more than make up for in character appeal and emotional effect.

But a thin plot means the whole storyline can come crashing down with one minor change, like showing what led up to Bambi’s mother getting blasted.

Dorkly's Andrew Bridgman and illustrator Paul Westover demonstrate how easy it is to turn Disney movies into a completely different kind of movie with one minor tweak.

Kinda takes the feel good fun outta the whole thing, now don’t it?!

See 7 Tweaks To Disney Films That Would Change Everything here


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15 Things You Might Not Know About Thelma & Louise

Thelma and Louise was a 1991 road trip film with a difference: the two road buddies were played by women (Susan Saradon and Geena Davis). The adventures they found themselves in all followed from the fact that they were women in a man’s world, but it was far from what most people think of as a “chick flick.” Twenty-four years after its release, let’s look back into the making of the film. There’s a lot to learn, like how that astonishingly hot young unknown actor ended up in the middle of it. Credit Geena Davis.  

3. GEORGE CLOONEY AUDITIONED FIVE TIMES TO PLAY J.D.

Clooney was on the short list for the role that eventually went to Brad Pitt, and became his big break. “The funniest thing is, I didn’t watch that movie for a long time,” Clooney admitted during a Q&A at the Telluride Film Festival. “I was really stuck doing a lot of bad TV at that time. And I had auditioned and auditioned, and it got right down to Brad and I, and he got it. And I just couldn’t watch that movie for a couple of years ... When I saw it, I thought actually that was the right choice. [Brad] was really good in it, and I would have f***ed it up somehow."

4. BRAD PITT WAS PAID $6,000 FOR HIS WORK IN THE FILM.

That was in 1991. Just five years later, he earned $10 million for his work in Barry Levinson's Sleepers.

5. GEENA DAVIS HAD A HAND IN CASTING PITT.

Geena Davis admitted that she kept messing up her lines when auditioning with Pitt because he was so attractive. When Scott and the casting director were discussing who to cast, she reportedly jumped in: "The blond one. Duh!” Julie Strain was hired to play Davis’ body double in the movie, but Davis opted to shoot her sex scene with Pitt directly.

There’s lots more, covering the script, casting, and the ending they did not use, which you can see in the article at mental_floss.


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The Casebook Of Nips And Porkington

Nips and Porkington are pigs in every sense of the word- they’re cops and one is actually a pig, so he's a pig in two ways. I'm not sure if he's also a slob, but if he is then that makes three ways in which Porkington is a pig.

Okay, so Nips and Porkington are pigs in either one, two or three ways, if that’s not every sense of the word then please excuse my misuse of an idiom and let’s move on.

(Vimeo Link)

Nips and Porkington are the stars of their own animated short called The Casebook Of Nips And Porkington, which was created by an extremely talented individual named Melody Wang.

Hopefully Melody will share some more animated animal adventures with us in the near future, but for now we'll have to make do with this enchanting short.


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Halo vs. Call of Duty

We’ve seen plenty of “video game invades real life” videos, but this takes it up a notch with over-the-top violence and destruction, even though it all takes place at Grandma’s house. Contains a little NSFW language. And plenty of subtle references for hardcore players.

(YouTube link

It’s from Danny and Michael Philippou, twin brothers from Adelaide, Australia (previously at Neatorama), who do this for fun even though many of the stunts are really dangerous.  

The Philippou brothers refuse to put ads on their videos. They’ve now received funding from Screen Australia, Australia's national film support agency. If you liked this, you might want to check out their other videos. -via reddit


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Trek Boys - They're Beaming Up The Savings!


Trek Boys by djkopet

They're the three best friends your starship ever had- Scotty, Geordi and that other guy from Enterprise, what was his name again? Oh yeah, Charles Tucker, that's it. Scotty, Geordi and Tucker are always ready to perform their Federation duties by beaming the crew back aboard the ship, advising their various captains about any possible technical difficulties, and generally making sure those galaxy-class starships keep running smoothly. So if you're planning a trek across space make sure you bring the Trek Boys along for the ride!

Show some love for your favorite chief engineers with this Trek Boys t-shirt by djkopet, it's one great shirt you won't have to trek across the galaxy to get, because it's right here in the NeatoShop!

Visit djkopet's Facebook fan page, official website, Instagram and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more out of this world designs:

Pop Avengers Devil In Me It's Showtime, Folks! The Empire Business

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

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Whodunit: The Emery Emerald

The following is a Whodunit by Hy ConradThese mysteries are from The Little Giant® Book of Whodunits by Hy Conrad and Matt LaFleur. Can you solve the mystery before you read the solution?

(Image credit: Flickr user MAURO CATEB)

Mrs. Emery was disappointed. She had assumed that dealers at a gem exposition would know how to dress. But the room was filled with fashion mistakes. Rodney Dipp from Boston had on a polyester shirt; not the good, new kind of polyester, but something left over from the seventies. Julia Kidd from Atlanta wore sneakers and something resembling an upscale jogging suit. Even Klaus Braun from Diisseldorf, usually known for his style, was wearing one brown sock and one blue sock.

"Well, at least I'm maintaining my standards," Mrs. Emery huffed as she laid out her unmounted gems.

The display was not as impressive as it had been in years past. The only great gem she had left for sale was an exquisite emerald. She did her best, nestling the brilliant stone in an arrangement of loose gems—aquamarines, sapphires of poor color, lowly garnets, and a few bloodstones—hoping that the emerald's luster might somehow reflect into the lesser stones.

The theft took place during a diversion. A minor but noisy traffic accident drew the crowd out onto the street. When the insatiably curious Mrs. Emery returned to her display table, she found it all gone—everything from the almost worthless garnets up to the most prized gem at the show, her beloved emerald.

"The thief obviously had an accomplice," the police captain told the robbed gem dealer. "Someone who staged the diversion. Unfortunately, we don't know who that was. But we do have this."

Continue reading
Love games and puzzles? Visit NeatoPuzzles for more!

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These 30 Horror Themed T-Shirts Are A Real Scream! (And You Can Win One Too!)

Horror fans like movies that bring some bloody thrills and chills into their lives, and they can't get enough of the jump scares, the dark humor and, of course, the deadly terror.

Horror fan-atics should head to the NeatoShop for all their ghoulish gear, where you'll find a frightfully fun assortment of t-shirts featuring your favorite fiends.

But if you can't seem to scratch up the dough to buy a t-shirt then squirm your way to the bottom of this post for your chance to win your very own NeatoShop t-shirt!

Horror movie fans are a pretty wild bunch

King Of The Horror by Ninjaink

And they come in all shapes and sizes, even pill shaped!

Mini Evil by Chip Skelton

Some fans are squeamish and easily scared, while others soak up the scares and adore the gore

Appetite For Flesh by Letter-Q Artwork

Continue reading

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Towel Day on the ISS

(YouTube link)

Wherever you go today, don’t forget your towel! Today is Towel Day, a date set aside to remember author Douglas Adams and his works, particularly The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. For the occasion, the astronauts of the European Space Agency (ESA) show how they celebrate on the International Space Station. Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (previously at Neatorama) reads about the importance of the towel from The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while floating in space. Don’t panic!


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100 Photos of the Making of the Star Wars Trilogy

Image Link

Vintage Everyday recently assembled a great collection of behind-the-scenes photos from the sets of the Star Wars trilogy. There's a little bit of everything and everyone here, from George to Greedo, (bikinied) Carrie to Calrissian and Tatooine to Tauntaun. Check out all 100 photos here. 


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Mario Kart: Fury Road

(Image Link)

When everything goes to hell in the Mushroom Kingdom the denizens of that colorful land will have to kart for survival, or fall to the flying shells.

Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t meant to be a particularly funny film, but add a few visual effects, a few characters and silly sound effects from Mario Kart 64 and you’ve got a wasteland full of laughs.

(YouTube Link)

YouTube user sundbergkr doesn't rely on over-the-top gags or comically misspliced clips to deliver the comedy in Mario Kart: Fury Road, and the end result is a mashup that's simply funny!

-Via The Verge


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