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The Mounties: They Always Get Their Man

The following article is from the book Uncle John's True Crime: A Classic Collection of Crooks, Cops, and Capers.

If the Americans hadn’t disrespected Canadian borders, we might not have the Mounties.

LAWLESSNESS IN THE WEST

In 1869, with Canada about to take control of its interior from the Hudson’s Bay Company, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald outlined his plan for a paramilitary police force to patrol the region. The idea didn’t really get going, though, until 1873, after the Cypress Hills Massacre. That year, American wolf trappers in Montana lost a lot of horses to thieves who appeared to be headed for the Canadian border. The trappers followed and lost the trail, but stumbled on a camp of 300 Nakota natives. In a tense standoff full of accusations and alcohol on both sides, the wolf trappers opened fire on the Nakota camp, killing at least 20 people.

The massacre outraged Canadians for a number of reasons, including the fact that Americans were invading their territory with impunity. And it wasn’t the first time either. Just a few weeks earlier, whiskey traders had started illegally selling alcohol at Fort Hamilton (nicknamed “Fort Whoop-Up” because of the whiskey trade) near what is now Lethbridge, Alberta, and rumors swirled that the traders had flown the American flag over the fort. They didn’t really, but the incident was enough to speed up the formation of Macdonald’s police force, which he named the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP), or Mounties. They got guns, horses, and red uniforms, in part to differentiate them from the blue of the American cavalry ...just in case the recurring border incursions turned into a full-scale war.

ON THE MARCH...WITH A TRANSFER IN CHICAGO



The first squad of 309 Mounties was assembled in 1874. Scoring an early point for multiculturalism, if not for sensitive language, Macdonald had specified that the new force should be a “mixed one of pure white, and British and French half-breeds.” Pay was 75¢ a day, and recruits had to be between 18 and 40 years old, physically active and able, and literate in either English or French.  

On June 6, the Mounties got their first orders to move out. They were headed for the wilds of Manitoba and were to be accompanied by Henri Julien, an illustrator/reporter from the Canadian Illustrated News. (Julien had been given an all-expenses-paid invitation to make sure the Mounties’ heroic march west received adequate public attention.) The police, dressed in their scarlet best, mounted their horses and prepared for a journey...to the downtown train station. There, they loaded their horses onto train cars—an effort that Julien called “long, tedious, and amusing” in its disorder. At 3:30 p.m., the train whistle blew, and “amid the cheers of a vast crowd, we glided out of Toronto.”

They headed across Ontario and straight into the United States. There was no cross-Canada train yet, so this police force, created in no small part to repel American incursions, headed for Chicago, where they transferred to a train that would drop them off in Fargo, North Dakota. After that, they boarded another train that took them to Fort Dufferin, Manitoba, the last outpost of civilization. From there, they marched 800 miles through plains, woods, rivers, and swamps on their way to Fort Whoop-Up in Alberta. Their mission: to clean out the whiskey sellers and horse thieves, keep peace between the Europeans and the people of the First Nations, combat general lawlessness, and enforce a firm border with the United States...by force if necessary.

TAMPING DOWN WHOOP-UP

It took three months for the Mounties to arrive at the fort. By then, the whiskey sellers, having heard the Mounties were coming, had cleared out. There was also no evidence of hostile natives or a gathering storm along the American border. It was an anticlimactic start for the NWMP, but for many, the best sort of anticlimax. Peace was established without a shot, and for their first few years, the Mounties had to deal with few crimes worse than horse theft. Since there was no judicial system set up, the commander at Fort Whoop-Up got himself sworn in as a justice of the peace so that he could judge civil and criminal cases there.

In 1876 the Mounties got their first real taste of combat when they defused a tense situation after 5,000 Sioux, led by Sitting Bull and pursued by the U.S. Army, fled over the Canadian border. The Americans were seeking revenge for the bloody defeat at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Mountie commander James Morrow Walsh was assigned to deal with the situation. He organized an ad hoc NWMP headquarters at Wood Mountain, where the Sioux had set up camp, initiated a close friendship with Sitting Bull, and managed to keep the peace.

GOLDEN AGE

Keeping peace in Canada’s Wild West continued to be the Mounties’ primary mission. In 1895, they headed over the Rockies for the first time to regulate the influx of Americans crossing the Alaskan border during the Klondike gold rush. They collected customs duties, confiscated guns, and required that each miner be equipped with at least a ton of food and survivor gear to prevent mass numbers of needy people overrunning Canada. During this time, the Mounties managed to maintain a reasonable amount of order in a chaotic situation, expelling troublemakers while sensibly not making an issue of popular illegalities like prostitution and gambling. Prospectors, not necessarily a law-and-order bunch, were impressed by the Mounties’ conduct, and their reputation spread across the world.

Around this same time, though, Canada’s government started talking about dissolving the NWMP. Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier thought the Mounties’ golden age had passed; they’d done a good job of keeping order on the frontier, but Canada was moving into the 20th century and needed smaller, regional police forces. Despite discussions in Parliament and Laurier’s push, the Mounties were popular, especially in the west, and the measure never caught on. Instead, the Mounties became the country’s official police force in 1920 and got a name change to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They also were becoming the stuff of pop-culture legend.

THEY ALWAYS GET THEIR MAN

Today, the Mounties are one of Canada’s best-known symbols, but it wasn’t just their crime-fighting ways that made it so. The chief culprit behind the Mounties image in pop culture was a Winnipeg writer named Charles William Gordon, who wrote uplifting frontier adventures under the pen name Ralph Connor. In 1912, he wrote a novel called Corporal Cameron of the North West Mounted Police: A Tale of the MacLeod Trail. It sold like hotcakes...in Canada and abroad. The book starred an uncorruptible Mountie hero, some satisfying fisticuffs, and the rescue of a pretty girl. It also launched a whole line of Mountie adventures.

Where books went, Hollywood followed. By the 1950s, America’s entertainment capital had made a total of 575 films set in Canada, and many of those—including the musical Rose-Marie, involved the Mounties. Hollywood’s love did not go unrequited; from the early days, the Mounties cheerfully supplied technical advice to filmmakers, and even officers in active service. There were Mounties on the radio—including the popular 1930s show Challenge of the Yukon—and when television arrived, heroes like Sgt. Preston made a seamless transition to the new medium (though its snowy outdoor shots were filmed in Colorado and California, not Canada).

These days, the Mounties still appear in entertainment, but they’re also a legitimate police force; they act as Canada’s federal police as well as the provincial police for everyone except Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador. (Those have their own provincial forces.) Not bad for a ragtag frontier police department whose first job was cleaning up a little fort called Whoop-Up.



MOUNTIE FACTS

• In popular culture, the Mounties’ motto is “They always get their man,” but that’s actually a Hollywood creation. That phrase comes from an 1877 newspaper story in the Fort Benton (Montana) Record in which the reporter wrote, “They fetch their man every time.” Hollywood producers read the story, jumped on the phrasing, and created the Mounties’ “motto.”

• The Mounties’ distinctive outfit—wide-brimmed hat, red jacket, black riding pants, etc.—is called the Red Serge because the red jackets were originally made from a type of English twill called “serge.” The Red Serge is only for special ceremonies and events, like the Musical Ride.

• Women became Mounties for the first time in 1974.

___________________

The article above was reprinted with permission from Uncle John's True Crime: A Classic Collection of Crooks, Cops, and Capers.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!


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Siberian Tigers Take Down Drone

These well-fed tigers live at the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park in Heilongjiang Province, China. A quadcopter was sent in to get some footage of the cats in the snow. But the cats chased the drone just like any prey, and actually caught it!

(YouTube link)

They soon found out it didn't taste good, and it wasn't quite dead, either. the staff was able to recover the drone and the footage. -via Gizmodo


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This Guy Ate His Own Hip As Part Of An Art Project

There are far too many people out there who want to become professional artists and far too few with actual talent, so the wanna-bes resort to gimmicks to sell their art rather than earning their success.

But Norwegian artist Alexander Selvik Wengshoel wasn't trying to capitalize on a gimmick when he ate part of his own hip for an art project- he was just trying to make his art project that much more personal.

First, here's a little background on Alexander- he was born with a deformed hip, which was a constant source of pain and left him in a wheelchair for much of his life.

Around 2010 doctors offered him the chance to receive a metal hip replacement, which he jumped at so long as the doctors would let him film the operation and keep his old hip.

After a bit of scuttlebutt the doctor agreed, and Alexander began The Body Project- the multimedia journaling of a life-changing event. So how did he end up eating his own hip?

Taking a piece of yourself home in a plastic bag is one thing. But how did you end up eating your own tissue?

Originally my meat wasn’t part of the project. I was just going to scrape it off and throw it away. As I gave the bone its first boil, in a little kettle, the flesh came off and I poured it into the wash sink. Then the shock hit me – I thought: "Oh my god, this is my flesh."

I quickly concluded that it was too personal to photograph and picked up a piece. I stared at it for a long time and then I said, "F@#k it." I put it into my mouth, tasted, chewed, swallowed and got to crying uncontrollably. It was happiness, anger and frustration combined.

Did you throw up?
No, after a couple of minutes of crying, it suddenly felt very natural and I didn’t think of it as human flesh anymore. So I continued boiling and scraping. Pulled out some chilli and garlic and fried it in a pan. Salt and pepper was mandatory and so was a good bottle of wine. Then I lit some candles and also whipped up some potato gratin. Sat down and ate it all – it became a ceremony, a ritual.

Read This Guy Ate His Own Hip For An Art Project here


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Andrew Huang's Midi Unicorn

Andrew Huang (previously at Neatorama) synched a drawing of a unicorn with his midi program and made some pretty music! How did he do that? There's no trick to it, and it's not an automatic program, just a lot of work and experimentation. He'll tell you about it.

(YouTube link)

Huang was inspired by the work of musician Savant, who has midi art on his Facebook page.  -via Laughing Squid


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Engagement Photos That Will Make You Want To Stay Single Forever

Engagement photos have become a big social media show, and people have asked for their partner's hand in marriage in so many creative and clever ways they've set the bar far too high for the unengaged.

But if you're feeling intimidated by all the amazing engagement photos you've seen online don't worry- there are plenty of fails posted online too that'll make you say "WTF were they thinking?"

In theory engagement photos should make you either feel happy for the couple, jealous of their love or both, but terrible engagement photos make single people feel like they've dodged a bullet!

See 18 Hilariously Awkward Engagement Photos here


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An Exploration Of What Made The Ren & Stimpy Show So Unique

The Ren & Stimpy Show made a strong impression on young minds (and probably warped a few too), but John K.'s incredible cartoon show wasn't made to be watched by kids alone.

And for the most part kids didn't get why Ren & Stimpy was such a special show, one that inspired the animation industry to give up safety for the sake of artistry and visual delight- they just liked the visual gags.

The Nerdwriter Evan Puschak grew up watching Ren & Stimpy in the 90s, but as he rewatched the series he started to appreciate all the amazing and groundbreaking elements that made The Ren & Stimpy Show super special.

(YouTube Link)

-Via Laughing Squid


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The Water Man

Kenya's Tsavo West National Park has seen no rainfall at all since last June. The waterholes have dried up, and wildlife is suffering. But Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua spends hours every day driving a water truck to concrete-lined waterholes in the park to make sure elephants, zebras, buffalo, and antelopes have enough water to survive. Mwalua is not a park ranger, but a pea farmer with a soft spot for animals. When he and his truck approach a waterhole, huge beasts make their way over to relieve their thirst.  

Between road trips, Mwalua runs a conservation project called Tsavo Volunteers. The 41-year-old also visits local schools to talk to children about the wildlife that is their legacy.

"I was born around here and grew up with wildlife and got a lot of passion about wildlife," he says. "I decided to bring awareness to this so when they grow up they can protect their wildlife."

Last year, Mwalua started renting a truck and driving water to several locations in Tsavo West. His mission would extend to several trucks, keeping him on the road for hours every day as he drives dozens of hard miles between stops.

A few Americans are raising money to help Mwalua pay for gas and truck costs as he delivers water to wildlife. See how his road trips help the animals at The Dodo. -via reddit

(Image credit: Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua)


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A Machete Martial Arts Master Shares His Secrets

Weapon based martial arts are exciting to watch, and fighters who train in these deadly styles are truly a brave lot, but there's something so cringeworthy about fighting with a machete.

Maybe it's because machetes are made for chopping through trees so they do nasty things to human flesh, or maybe it's because I associate machetes with Jason Voorhees and Central American drug cartels.

But in Haiti machete fencing is not only a popular martial art with roots in agriculture- it's an important part of history that dates back to the Haitian Revolution of 1791 to 1804.

(YouTube Link)

National Geographic spoke to machete fencing master Alfred Avril about Haiti's unique and deadly cool martial art, revealing how the machete became an important symbol of Haitian freedom.


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New World Order - Rule By The Bat, Die By The Bullet


New World Order by BuckRogers

You know what is one of the biggest problems people face after the world as we know it has ended? Any a-hole can take power for themselves, all they need is an army and a ruthless and murderous drive to do whatever it takes to shut down the competition and they will be allowed to rule. Problem is- some of us don't take kindly to dictators and fascists trying to keep us down, and while there's an ounce of blood in our bodies we will fight for our future and take down those who would start a new world order based on violence and hatred. And whether you're Negan, one of his saviors, or some other a-hole who thinks they can rule with absolute power know this- survivors don't stop until they're the walking dead, and you can still bleed out just like the rest of us...

This New World Order t-shirt by BuckRogers is great because it doesn't hit you over the head with the reference, it just sits there looking as pretty as Lucille, waiting for your fellow fans to give you their nod of approval!

Visit BuckRogers's Facebook fan page and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more dark and geeky designs:

Stranger Things Animated Series The Homer Specs (White) X-Toilets Zoidbergmind

View more designs by BuckRogers | More Horror 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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Five Moments That Prove Batman is as Insane as the Joker

Comic book heroes can be great fun, but when they are perfect, they can get boring over time (see: Superman). Batman has no superpowers, but all the money, gadgets, skills, and ethics he ever needs -which got boring over time. But sometime after I quit reading comic books, DC introduced flaws in Batman's psyche. Psychological problems made the character all the more interesting, although some may argue that the idea has occasionally been taken too far. His nemesis the Joker was always portrayed as criminally insane, but there have been a few times that Batman himself was shown to be more mentally troubled than even the Joker. Check out five of those times explored at TVOM.  


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This Parrot and Prairie Dog Are the Best of Friends

We've seen some adorable animal friendships over the years here at Neatorama, but I don't know if I've ever seen one as the one between this prairie dog and parrot.

(Video Link)

These two not only love to roughhouse (though pretty gently)...

(Video Link)

They also like to cuddle when they get tired. No matter what they're doing though, the action is always 100% cute.

Via Laughing Squid

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

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Leia Choking Jabba in LEGO

Ochre Jelly (Iain Heath) is back with a Star Wars LEGO creation from the movie Return of the Jedi. It's the scene where Princess Leia gets her revenge on Jabba the Hut.

Carrie Fisher had been scheduled to appear at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this year, so I decided to make a LEGO tribute to her character from Star Wars, for the Brick Nation display that I'm involved in at that event. I had already seen LEGO tributes showing a demure Princess Leia shoving a floppy disk into some poor hapless droid, but I wanted to reimagine a moment from the original trilogy that really captured Fisher's feisty character!

This image is captioned "You gotta kill a lotta frogs to find your prince!" See other angles and closeups at Flickr. -Thanks, Iain!

See more pop culture LEGO art from Ochre Jelly


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What's the Difference Between "Jr." and "II"?

We've all heard someone called so-and-so the second and others called blah-blah-blah Jr. but what makes someone a "Jr" as opposed to a "II"? Thanks to Mental Floss' Big Question, now we know. 

It seems a Jr. is generally the child of a living person they have been named for, while IIs, IIIs, IVs, etc. are all named for close relatives who may or may not still be alive. One particularly strange case that manages to combine both titles is that of George Foreman and his sons who are all named after him:

Of course, there’s always George Foreman, who has five sons named after himself. And since “Jr. Jr.” isn’t really a thing, George’s sons are George Edward Foreman Jr., George III, George IV, George V, and George VI. (Don’t worry; they all have nicknames.)

Learn more about jrs and IIs, including why women tend to not have these titles over at Mental Floss.


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Overflowing Glory Hole

The spillway at Lake Berryessa in California's Napa Valley works like a sink or tub overflow drain. It just automatically drains when the water level in the reservoir behind the Monticello Dam gets to a certain height. The locals call the round, accessible spillway the Glory Hole. Last week, after torrential rains, the water level got high enough to reach the Glory Hole for the first time in ten years -and this time, we have drones to record it. Bonus: AC/DC.

(YouTube link)

The concrete funnel is 72 feet wide, and goes to work when the water reaches 440 feet above sea level. In the video, it is draining at about two million gallons a minute. In case you are wondering, here's what the Glory Hole looks like when the water level is low.  -via Digg


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Sleep Paralysis Sufferer Recreates His Nightmares In Photos

Suffering from sleep paralysis must be a terrifying experience, especially when the unfortunate soul first learns they have the disorder the hard way.

Sleep paralysis occurs when we're about to enter REM sleep- the body becomes paralyzed to prevent the dreamer from acting out their dreams, turning the whole experience of sleep into a waking nightmare. 

Photographer Nicolas Bruno has been suffering with sleep paralysis since he was 15 years old, and as a teenager he thought he was "possessed by demons".

Now that he knows better Nicolas wants to share his nightmares with us through his photos, recreating scenes that have played out in his mind while he dealt with having no control over his body.

“This project has gifted me a sense of who I am,” he said. “It gave me the strength to persevere in life, to create art and speak to people. It gifted me art, and I don’t know where I would be without it.”

See 22-Year-Old Man With Sleep Paralysis Recreates His Nightmares In Photos, And It's Terrifying here


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10 Shocking (Mis)Uses for Electricity

(Image credit: Peter and Maria Hoey)

During the 17th and 18th centuries, people knew electricity was the next big thing—they just weren’t sure how to use it. So they tried it all.

1. RUDIMENTARY DENTISTRY

For most of history, treating a toothache was a matter of tenacity and creativity. The Aztecs sought to stave off pain by eating chilis. Native Americans chewed on mistletoe berries. Ancient Scots wrapped caterpillars in cloth and tucked them near the ailing tooth. In 1700s pre-dentistry England, people simply had the tooth extracted—by barbers and blacksmiths. So it’s no wonder that, by the late 18th century, those suffering from dental laments didn’t think twice about trying an electric shock to the mouth. Doctors would take a metal wire, encased in glass or strung through a feather, and apply it to the throbbing molar. Unfortunately, the jolting pain offered no relief, making berries and caterpillars seem like a tea party.

2. HIGHLY UNETHICAL ENTERTAINMENT

In 1730, an Englishman named Stephen Gray realized that electricity moves through some objects (like metal or people) but not others (like rubber). Today, we know this as conductivity. To demonstrate the phenomenon, Gray built a harness out of silk cords and paid an orphan boy to be his guinea pig. He strapped the 47-pound boy to the silks, suspended him in midair like Superman for an audience, and gave him a charge with an electrostatic device. The boy appeared to acquire mystical powers: Small objects floated toward him. He could turn book pages without touching them. When people tried to poke him, sparks flew. Gray was awarded a medal for his experiments. But, presumably, not custody of any children.

3. SHOWING DEATH WHO’S BOSS

Continue reading

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How An Old Camera Flash Became The First Star Wars Lightsaber

Most people are familiar with the iconic look of the side mounted Graflex flash, the one that's always attached to those bellow-bodied folding Graflex cameras in old movies and TV shows.

This bright flash was often used as a comedic element, something that would blind the characters and deliver a laugh, but did you know it was also used to make movie history?

(YouTube Link)

This video by DigitalRev In-Focus reveals how crafty prop builders used the battery tube from the Graflex flash to create the iconic lightsaber Obi Wan passed on to Luke and inadvertantly made movie history.

-Via Boing Boing


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Seven New Exoplanets Discovered, Three Possibly Habitable

NASA has announced that the Spitzer Space Telescope had identified a dwarf star about 40 light years away, with seven Earth-size planets revolving around it. Three of those planets are in the habitable zone, meaning they have temperatures that could support liquid water and possibly sustain life. The star itself has been named TRAPPIST-1, and the planets are named the same, with letters appended to denote their position.

Using Spitzer data, the team precisely measured the sizes of the seven planets and developed first estimates of the masses of six of them, allowing their density to be estimated.

Based on their densities, all of the TRAPPIST-1 planets are likely to be rocky. Further observations will not only help determine whether they are rich in water, but also possibly reveal whether any could have liquid water on their surfaces. The mass of the seventh and farthest exoplanet has not yet been estimated – scientists believe it could be an icy, "snowball-like" world, but further observations are needed.

"The seven wonders of TRAPPIST-1 are the first Earth-size planets that have been found orbiting this kind of star," said Michael Gillon, lead author of the paper and the principal investigator of the TRAPPIST exoplanet survey at the University of Liege, Belgium. "It is also the best target yet for studying the atmospheres of potentially habitable, Earth-size worlds."

The planets revolve closer to their star than Earth to the sun, because TRAPPIST-1 is smaller and cooler than our sun. The planets are also fairly close to one another. Read more about the discovery at NASA, and at the website dedicated to TRAPPIST-1.  -via The Daily Dot


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Interesting Facts About The Secret Of NIMH

The Secret Of NIMH might not be Don Bluth's highest grossing film (that honor goes to Anastasia), nor is it his most popular film of all time (that's split between An American Tail and The Land Before Time).

But the animated adaptation of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH was Don's first film after he, John Pomeroy and Gary Goldman left Disney in 1979 to form Don Bluth Productions, and it totally blew 80s kids away.

The Secret of NIMH had suspense, intrigue and mice in mortal danger. There were sword fights, an old wizard and a magic amulet, and the characters are so sympathetic viewers can't help but hiss at the wicked rats led by Jenner and root for the Brisby family.

Speaking of the Brisbys- their name in the book is "Frisby" but Wham-O, makers of the Frisbee, made them change the name because it was too similar.

(YouTube Link)

There's also the matter of Jenner's reluctant sidekick going nameless in the film, and since he's the one who puts an end to Jenner he deserves his name to be known, so here's to you Sullivan!

But what's up with the name NIMH? It stands for National Institute of Mental Health, which was only mentioned by the Farmer's Wife once in the film, but explains a lot about those rodents going psycho!

Read 12 Facts About 'The Secret Of NIMH' at mental_floss


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Meteor Mash! - Gotta Catch The Magic!


Meteor Mash! by miski

With a Clefairy on your squad, or even better a Clefable and a few Clefairies, you'll have the power of fairy magic at your disposal to take down your foes with a meteor mash! Clefables can be a bit hard to handle, and nobody loves playing tricks on a trainer more than the Clefairy, but with a little patience and understanding about their fairy ways you can train them to be the very best. Just keep your Clefairies and Clefable away from poison or steel type pocket monsters or you might be disappointed by the outcome...

Power up your boring wardrobe with this Meteor Mash! t-shirt by Miski, it's a brilliant way to show love for your favorite fairy type pocket monsters and is sure to get you lots of love from your fellow poke-fans.

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

Tropical Surge Summon: Light Aloluau Summon: Wump

View more designs by miski | More Cartoon T-shirts | New T-Shirts

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


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The Latest in Menstrual Products: Vaginal Glue

Wichita chiropractor Daniel Dopps has a patent and a website for a new menstrual product called Mensez. It a "Feminine Lip-Stick" use to seal the vagina until a convenient time. Women across the internet saw the obvious drawbacks of the idea and the marketing behind it.

An OB/GYN has more reasons why this is not a good idea. Mensez is not yet for sale, but the Facebook page for the product received such backlash that it was taken down. Still, one statement from Dr. Dopps was archived with a screenshot, which doesn't help his case at all. -via Metafilter

(Unrelated image credit: Brian Dys Sahagun)


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The New McDonald's Straw Dedicated To Optimum Milkshake Consumption

McDonald's has always tried to personalize the experience of dining at their restaurants in every way possible, from the (formerly clowny) decor to the food packaging to the little golden arches on every napkin.

They even have the largest drinking straws in the fast food biz, which some people feel are partly responsible for the rise of obesity in America, and now McDonald's is about to make history again with their new S.T.R.A.W.

It stands for Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal, and it's the most over-engineered straw ever created, made to optimize consumption of McDonald's new half-mint half-chocolate shake.

Since no-one wants their chocolate to mint ratio to be compromised by poor technology, mcdonald’s turned to two highly-qualified engineering firms, JACE and NK labs to create the STRAW.

The STRAW is a J-shaped, snorkel-like vessel that provides optimal flavor flow dynamics. the tube has side openings to suck in both layers at once, and is engineered to work just as well at the bottom of the shake as it did at the top.

(YouTube Link)

The fact that McDonald's hired two engineering firms to create a new milkshake straw may seem a bit crazy, but if you're a fan of milkshakes you know you wanna try one!

-Via Designboom

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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The Han Solo Story

The next movie in the "A Star Wars Story" series will tell the adventures of Han Solo in his younger days. The yet-untitled film is expected to be in theaters on on May 25, 2018, although that may change. Principle photography began this week, and Disney/Lucasfilm has released details and a photograph of the cast.



The movie will star Alden Ehrenreich as Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. The 6' 10" Suotamo played Peter Mayhew's body double in episodes VII and VIII. Mayhew may return for episode IX, depending on his health (he is 72). Suotamo posted a tribute to Mayhew on the official announcement of his Han Solo movie role.

-via Uproxx


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28 Facts about Internet Sensations

(YouTube link)

Some things become memes because they are funny, others because they were an easy target, and sometimes the reason is completely incomprehensible. Of course, the easiest way to produce an internet sensation is to have a funny cat. In this the latest episode of the mental_floss List Show, Mike Rugnetta has story after story about internet memes and the people behind them.


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These Donuts Come With a Shot of Whiskey Inside

We've posted a lot of crazy donuts in the past, but we've never seen them with a shot of alcohol inside. You can get a hold of these boozy, sweet treats at Denver's Habit Doughnut Dispensary and you can choose any liqour inside including rum, whiskey and vodka. Popular combinations include the Plain Jane and Blazed infused with Fireball, the new French Toast with whiskey, the Carbon (chocolate and espresso) with Kahlua, and the signature Habit Jumbleberry with vodka.


The alcohol comes in a pipette shoved in the donut so you can inject it into your mouth directly or eat a drippy, bite of booze-filled donuts. Adding a shot to your donut only costs $2, or $24 for a dozen.

See more pictures of the awesome donut combos on Thrillist.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Japanese Photographer Makes Action Figures Come To Life

Osaka photographer hotkenobi stages superhero action figures in comedy scenarios for our enjoyment. See characters from DC Comics, Marvel, and occasionally Star Wars interact with each other in a way you haven't seen before.



See a selection of hotkenobi's funniest images at TVOM.


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What Flight Attendants Wish Passengers Would Stop Doing

(Paper Airplane available at NeatoShop)

We've all been on airplanes and been driven nuts by people behind us kicking seats, people next to us leaning into our seats and babies screaming for hours on end. But flight attendants fly every day and they not only see these rude behaviors but also ones that only they are aware of. So what drives them nuts? This Travel and Leisure article features answers from over 25 different flight attendants. A few obvious ones include not reading the menu and then expecting the flight attendant to explain every available beverage or not saying how you want your coffee prepared.

See what the other attendants hate here.


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The Pineapple Pizza Scandal

Pizza is pretty universal, but it varies from place to place. People will argue all day about pineapple pizza, which was developed not in Hawaii, but in Canada, which caused a small kerfuffle in that nation when President Guðni Jóhannesson of Iceland dissed pineapple pizza.

President Guoni Johannesson recently told a group of high school students during a Q&A that he was fundamentally opposed to pineapple on pizza — and that's not all. He went on to say if he could, he would ban pineapple as a pizza topping.

Johannesson clearly did not know his opinion would offend or even make the news. He responded on Facebook.

I like pineapples, just not on pizza. I do not have the power to make laws which forbid people to put pineapples on their pizza. I am glad that I do not hold such power. Presidents should not have unlimited power. I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don´t like. I would not want to live in such a country. For pizzas, I recommend seafood.

Seafood? It's not all that uncommon on European pizzas, although it was pointed out that "fiskmeti" should have been translated as "fish" instead of seafood. Fish pizza? Like anchovies? Everyone has their own tastes. In Sweden, they use all kinds of fruit and other pizza toppings an American wouldn't consider. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Janine)

Which topping should never appear on a pizza? You can select more than one.





We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Stay In A Vacation State Of Mind With These Travel Themed NeatoShop T-Shirts

Travel Quote by Early Kirky

Everyone wishes they could vacation forever, roaming where they want to even if that means roaming around the world.

But between our jobs, domestic responsibilities and limited funding the dream of vacationing forever must forever remain a dream...or does it?

If you wear a vacation-themed t-shirt from the NeatoShop the travel fun never has to end, and now until February 26th all shirts in the shop are up to 20% off!

Vacationing is usually all about the destination

Titan Island by Andriu

And all about doing something you love somewhere you've never been before

Gorn Fishin' by Captain RibMan

But vacationing is ultimately all about being in a vacation state of mind!

Destination Unknown by SGMStudios

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Competitive Eating in the 17th Century

Competitive eating has been described as a particularly American thing, but showing off how much one can consume did not originate in the U.S. Nicholas Wood, the Great Eater of Kent, was a 17th-century Englishman who would demonstrate astounding gastronomic feats, often on a bet, and was sponsored for a time by poet John Taylor.

Wood was a self-made farmer when Taylor found him, but the Great Eater had already gained a reputation as a nearly superhuman feaster. Wood made a name for himself as a glutton by performing feats of feasting at fairs and festivals, as well as by taking part in dares and wagers with nobles. As recounted in Jan Bondeson’s book, The Two-Headed Boy, and Other Medical Marvels, Wood had, at various times, devoured such incredible meals as seven-dozen rabbits in one sitting, or an entire dinner feast intended for eight people.

Wood didn't care much about what he was dared to eat, and at various times consumed an entire mutton shoulder (bones included), a dozen loaves of bread soaked in ale, and 60 eggs. Read about the Great Eater of Kent at Atlas Obscura.


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