Hey look! It's time for our collaboration with the wonderful What Is It? Blog! Do you know what the object in this picture is? It doesn't really matter if you do, because we are looking for the funniest guesses. You can win a t-shirt from the NeatoShop! But first, read the rules:
Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, please, though you can enter as many as you'd like. Post no URLs or weblinks, as doing so will forfeit your entry. Two winners who submit funny and/or clever (albeit ultimately wrong) answers will each win a T-shirt from the NeatoShop.
If you guess the correct answer, you'll get a big pat on the back.
For the carpenter in your life who has either a lot of enemies or some anger issues, there's the hammer nunchaku. Nimer Aleck, an artist in Austin, says that he developed these for display purposes only. But they could probably do some damage to your foes or current woodworking project as well.
Others, as you can see below, are probably strictly artistic.
You’d think the whole sword and sorcery thing would have lost its appeal by now, but creative souls keep coming up with original content, animated and otherwise, which manages to keep even the most jaded viewers glued to their screens.
Fantasy is a very compelling genre when it’s done right, and this CG animated short by Joeri Christiaen entitled 850 meters is a good example of how to deliver both visually and as an original story.
There’s plenty of humor, a damsel in distress and madcap adventure as the bumbling hero Roger Flambe discovers his heroic purpose in life. And even though it’s nearly fifteen minutes in length, there’s plenty of eye candy to keep viewers intrigued from beginning to closing credits.
I don’t know about you guys, but we here at Neatorama are thrilled about the second installment of Peter Jackson’s take on The Hobbit coming out this weekend, called The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. To celebrate, we decided to round up some of the great fan art based on the story. The cool thing about Hobbit art tributes is that creators have over 75 years of source material to pull from, so some of it is based entirely off of the books, some on the 1977 cartoon and some on the recent films. The end result is a vast amount of variety that expresses just how much impact this story has had throughout the years.
It’s also worth mentioning that there is a TON of artwork based on the story, so this is only a mere fraction of what’s out there. I had to leave out a lot of great creations just to keep this article from stretching on for eternity, so if you like what you see here, keep searching elsewhere for more because you’ll be thrilled with what you find.
Here’s another artwork depicting the full extent of the story, this one by Belgian artist Ian Escobar Loos. In the far right corner, you can see Bilbo’s end goal: the return to Bag End.
Framing The Lonely Mountain
This illustration by Daniel Haugnes may not reveal much about the story of the Hobbit, but it rivals the film in the spectacular beauty of its scenery.
The Serenity of a Hobbit Hole
Russian artist Andrei Pevukhin has illustrated many famous scenes from both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, but I’m particularly struck by the simplicity and beauty of this scene, showing Gandalf approaching Bag End in the beginning of the story. Impressively, this speed painting only took the artist two hours to complete.
To continue their quest to get folks to buy gooshy noms for their cats, Friskies has released a full-length song about cats and Christmas. The music video stars Oskar the blind cat, Grumpy Cat, Colonel Meow, and other internet celebricats. The song is available for download at iTunes.
To maintain the company's dignity at least a little, they use the term "wet cat food" instead of "gooshy noms." Friskies is donating one can of gooshy noms to pet shelters for each YouTube view up to 500,000. Of course, that means they were already prepared to donate a half-million cans, and the count will reach that easily before the end of the week. -via Viral Viral Videos
This is another one of his projects. Southern Comfort is a liqueur that originated in New Orleans. A marketing company working on behalf of the brand hired Mr. Cranmer to create sculptures to promote Southern Comfort. These 2 machines are the result. They’re built around instruments reminiscent of New Orleans’s place in jazz history. Insert a bottle and press a trumpet key. The machines play music and, most importantly, deliver alcoholic refreshment.
If George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy saga Game Of Thrones took place in the modern era the soundtrack would probably sound a lot like this song from progressive folk metal band Scythia.
The song is called "Bear Claw Tavern," and the video is full of raw Celtic energy and an equally rambunctious bar scene featuring drunken dwarves, badass warriors brawling, an epic keytar solo that will knock your britches off, and some wizardly geek trying to do some light reading while he drinks his mead. So hoist your tankards, sharpen your battleaxes and give a great big old Westeros hoo-rah to Scythia's fantasy inspired heavy metal sound.
The number of newborns given the name “Cheese” increased 450% during 2013. Now admittedly, there were not many Cheeses to begin with. There were only 9 Cheeses reported from a survey of 500,000 parents. For that, we should be grateful. But, as Dan Amira of New York magazine asserts, “the correct number of babies who should be named Cheese is zero.”
Christmas time is here again. Are you still searching for that perfect gift for your favorite promiscuous generous friend. Get them the gift of fresh clean breath with the Remember the Names of Everyone You've Slept With Breath Spray from the NeatoShop. This minty novelty product makes an easy present for any good natured friend who doesn't mind a little ribbing.
This new holiday-themed couch gag puts The Simpsons at the North Pole, getting ready for Santa's Christmas toy delivery. Watch for the Festivus Pole and Edna Krabappel as an angel. The sequence will be shown this weekend in the new episode "White Christmas Blues." -via Tastefully Offensive
Looking for something to keep you warm this winter but not really in the mood for plain hot chocolate? Then reach for some delicious eggnog and white chocolate chips and start heating them over the stove on low heat. Serve with some marshmallows, sprinkles and whipped cream and you have a great holiday beverage that is hard to top. Kleinworth & Co. has all the directions you need to make something amazingly rich and beautiful enough to impress any and all of your guests.
The denizens of Sesame Street are geeking out over The Lord of the Rings. You've already seen Cookie Monster obsessing over precious cookies. In this Vine video, Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf in the movies, wants to enter Hooper's Store. Muppet Gandalf seems to object, but only until McKellen asks politely.
In 1874, kidnapping was a misdemeanor under Pennsylvania law. Then 4-year-old Charley Ross went missing. Two men had picked him and his 5-year-old brother up, but the older boy was set free the same day. Christian Ross, the boy's father, went to police, who didn't take the case seriously -until the first ransom note showed up.
Somebody had written the message—ridden with errors in spelling, capitalization and punctuation—in black ink and an unsteady hand. “You wil have to pay us before you git him from us, and pay us a big cent to,” the note read. “if you put the cops hunting for him you is only defeeting yu own end.”
The second came five days later, stating the ransom amount: “This is the lever that moved the rock that hides him from yu $20,000. Not one doler les—impossible—impossible—you cannot get him without it.” (The sum of $20,000 in 1874 was the equivalent of about $400,000 today.)
With this demand, the letter writers recorded the first ransom kidnapping in U.S. history. They told Christian Ross to correspond with them through the personal advertisements of the Philadelphia Public Ledger.
The police then went into full investigation mode, asking the public for tips and eventually offering a huge reward. Newspapers covered the case and parents panicked. One lead led to the police hiring a spy to investigate suspects. Two suspects died during another crime and one was arrested, but the case was never truly solved. However, Pennsylvania made kidnapping into a felony crime.
Fast forward 139 years, when a librarian in Philadelphia uncovered a set of 22 letters among her family's possessions. They had found the original ransom notes, which were thought lost forever. But how did they come into her family's possession? Read the story of the kidnapping and those ransom letters at Smithsonian's Past Imperfect blog.
(Image credit: Freeman’s Auctioneers and Appraisers)
Whether it's Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter or another game in the genre, a new player has a lot to learn. I never got into the genre because there's such a steep learning curve. Your opponent knows all of the special moves and combinations, how to hit them and when. The noob is still trying to figure out what the A and B buttons do.
Freddie Wong, the great independent filmmaker whose work we've featured extensively, makes fun of the genre by acting out two characters and their corresponding players.
Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Mr. Wong here.
The hit Broadway musical Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz has delighted audiences worldwide with the story of the Wicked Witch of the West before she gave her soul to the dark side.
The musical is based on a novel by Gregory Maguire, and will most likely be made into a movie and television show before we see it realized as an animated feature, but visual development artist Minkyu Lee saw lots of cartoon potential in Wicked while attending CalArts.
Minkyu drew up all kinds of cool character designs, storyboards and other development art for Wicked, and hopefully someone will take notice of his designs and greenlight Wicked as an animated feature.
AsapSCIENCE has another collection of science facts and ideas that will "turn your brain to mush!" That's their words, not mine. But this video will give you something to think about, and possibly use to flummox someone else. -via Viral Viral Videos
He tasks me—and I'll have him. I'll chase him round the North Pole and round the Yuletide maelstrom and round perdition's flames before I give him up!
Share the vengeful spirit of the season by watching Star Trek II: The Wreath of Khan. Annie Shapiro made this beautiful wreathfor Christmas. Make your own and remember that Christmas dinner is best served cold.
There are plenty of ugly sweaters out there this time of year, but while most of them are trashy and tacky, it takes a lot to be downright offensive and terrible like this Santa spelling out Merry Christmas in the snow.
The vomitting reindeer above is even downright classy compared to some of the really bad ones that show reindeers making love, a gingerbread man's "jingle bells" and Santa in a seriously comprimising position.
Olivier Bolduc and Simon Lachapelle produced this stop-motion video featuring Étienne Desbois and Louka Boutin as Mario and Luigi. I almost lost it when Mario began leaving banana peels behind! Although the video is French, the sound effects are in English. Warning: this video might make your butt hurt. -via Time Newsfeed
The holidays are here. Add a little Sesame Street cheer to your hearth with the Zoe in a Pink Ballet Slipper Christmas Stocking. It is the perfect way to celebrate your love of this tutu-wearing, dance-loving, 3-year-old monster.
The Zoe in Pink Ballet Slipper features a 3-dimensional plush Zoe head popping out of a pink ballet slipper. The Zoe Stocking is sure to dance its way into your heart.
The Juno spacecraft flew by Earth on October 23, leveraging a bit of Earth's pull to catapult itself off to Jupiter. While it was close by, it took pictures. Engineers at NASA/JPL-Caltech put the images starting from October 9th together to show the sequence -and it includes the moon! What resulted was the first ever video of the moon orbiting the Earth -or at least a part of its orbit, as it passes between the spacecraft and Earth on its way around the planet. Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy tells us:
My favorite part of this is actually the Moon: Note how dark and gray it looks. That’s because it is. On average, the Moon reflects about 12 percent of the sunlight that hits it, while the Earth reflects closer to 40 percent. And while our planet is a lovely blue, the Moon is mostly gray rock.
Also, the video starts just when, from Juno’s point of view, the Moon happened to be lined up near the Earth. It actually orbits Earth more than 100 times farther away than its own diameter! The Moon is 3474 km (2150 miles) across, and orbits 400,000 km (240,000 miles) away. That distance gets magnified as Juno zooms toward the pair, so the Moon slides off the field of view to the right, not to be seen again.
The spacecraft came as close as 560 kilometers from the Earth as it passed by. It is expected to reach Jupiter in 2016.
Your body never stops aging, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your funky fresh style and cutting edge fashion sense when you join AARP and start ordering off the Senior menu. Rocking dope gear is always a good idea, no matter your age or how many of your original teeth you still have in your head.
Just ask photographer Dai Lyn Power what the age limit is on looking fly and she’ll tell you- if you’re still breathing you should be representing. She backs this statement up with her photo series Our Generation, which features senior citizens sporting streetwear like total badasses. Shuffleboard games will never be the same.
It looks tasty, doesn’t it? There’s Chihuahua cheese and chipotle mayonnaise with fresh lettuce, onion and tomato on a bun. Also crickets. That’s the heart of the flavor for the Grass-Whopper.
Antojeria Popular in Queens, New York, sells, among other dishes, the above Grass-Whopper and the below Cricket Tostada. They’re quite popular. Customers buy about 100 Grass-Whoppers a day. Artist Pedro Reyes conceived of the burger as a way to make eating insects a mainstream activity. The crickets are shipped to the restaurant dried, then fried in a skillet. They have a smoky flavor and crunchy texture.
Fear of the dark is a common and an almost universal fear for at least a part of our lives (usually some part of our childhood). Though it's not so much the dark itself that we fear, but the unknown -those scary things that might be hiding in the dark. At some age we figure out that what we can't see can hurt us! As we mature, we internalize the real odds of something dangerous hiding in the dark, and that calms us in appropriate situations, but that fear can come back when we are in unfamiliar places. The reason we are all afraid of the dark at times is because that fear gave us an advantage during our evolutionary history.
Remember, for a large portion of humanity's early days, we were far from the top of the food chain. Our ancestors quickly learned that many predators prefer the cover of darkness to hunt and over time that association strengthened into a subconscious absolute: stay out of the dark because that's where the danger is.
While fear of the dark can manifest itself as an acute reaction—like panicked screaming when someone suddenly turns out the lights, or as insomnia, as a recent study conducted at the University of Toronto suggests—it more commonly manifests as foreboding anxiety. The emotion of anxiety plays a specific role in our behavioral responses to stimuli just as the emotions of love, anger, and sadness do, acting to increase our ability to cope with stress and more fully exploit beneficial opportunities.
An article at Gizmodo dips into the specifics of what happens when we confront the scary dark places into which we cannot see, and how we learn to judge its dangers. -via the Presurfer
We've talked about cool secrets behind National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, but one thing that article didn't explore was what would happen to the Griswolds after they kidnap Frank Shirley. While he says he'll drop the charges, the fact that the police sent in a SWAT team means that Eddie probably won't be getting off that easy.
With the help of a San Diego criminal attorney and a series of tests by medical professionals, Eddie would have a very strong defense based on the fact that he does not have the mental facilities to understand his actions. Because Eddie already has a low IQ and has even been part of clinical drug trials that were likely to damage whatever intelligence he already had, charges against him would likely be dropped before the case went to trial and if it did go to court, the jury would likely find him not guilty on grounds of mental impairment.
Well, at least he'd be out in time for Vegas Vacation.
There are strange things happening in the news lately ..or are there?
Peter de Silva posted this screenshot and got arguments from all sides. Some languages do not use the Oxford, or serial, comma and take the series from its context. Others think that semicolons would be useful here, but I can't see it. Someone even suggested dropping the "and," which only makes sense if you add the comma, so that may be what they implied. Anyway, we now have an example to replace the strippers, Kennedy and Stalin. -via Doug Tyrrell
We just can’t get enough of that fresh popped popcorn smell, but until now if you wanted to carry that savory smell around you either had to douse yourself in artificial butter flavoring or strap a popcorn maker to your back.
Now, thanks to Pop Secret and their horribly named product the Popcorn Dongle, iPhone users can take that wonderful smell with them wherever they go, provided they are playing the game Poptopia.
The longer you play the game the more popcorn smell is released, and until some techie figures out how to hack the device so it emits that popcorn smell whenever you want, you’ll have to give in to Poptopia if you want that savory smell all around you.
Benjamin Franklin did not say that God gave us beer because He loves us and wants us to be happy -but he might have thought it! Beer goes way thousands of years and has always been an important drink. After all, for most of human history, water wasn't safe. John Green tells us all kinds of interesting things about beer, in the latest mental_floss video.
During the American Civil War, Confederate commandos and agents launched small attacks and engaged in clandestine activities from British Canada. Most famously, they robbed three banks in St. Albans, Vermont in 1864.
The Confederacy wanted to, whenever possible, strike deep into the enemy heartland. The industrial and economic centers along the Great Lakes were appealing targets. But reaching them was very difficult.
There was, however, an opportunity. In order to avoid an arms race on the Great Lakes, in 1817, the United States and Britain agreed to demilitarize them. In the Rush-Bagot Agreement, both nations agreed to maintain only a handful of small armed vessels on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. By 1863, there was only one American warship on the Great Lakes: the 14-gun steamboat USS Michigan, which is pictured above.
If the Confederate Navy could hijack the Michigan and crew it with skilled sailors, it could ravage American forces on the Great Lakes unopposed by the United States Navy.
That is precisely what Lieutenant William H. Murdaugh of the Confederate Navy proposed to do. Below is the letter that he sent to Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. Mallory detailing his scheme. I’ve added numbers to it and on an 1858 railroad map to illustrate his plan.