Wholock: The Musical

(YouTube link)

If you were going to mashup Doctor Who and Sherlock, you may as well make it a musical. It would have to start with a little number about one-upmanship before they can join forces. After all, neither one wants to be the sidekick! The lyrics are at the YouTube page. -via Viral Viral Videos


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Hide Your Conditioner Like A Pro -Literally

Central air conditioning is pretty much amazing -but the compressor units are one of the biggest eyesores on the backside of your house. That's why, over at Homes and Hues, we compiled two new solutions to hide those ugly units while still providing them with enough air flow to keep them running at maximum capacity.

While these are both professional designs, the top one looks easy enough for a particularly handy person to replicate, while the lower design could be great inspiration for a professional back yard redesign.

Check out more pictures over at Homes and Hues: Two More Alternatives For Hiding Your Air Conditioner


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The Holy Grail Redux

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

by Steve Nadis
Cambridge, Massachusetts

In an earlier paper ("In Search of the Holy Grail," AIR 2:2), I presented the first rigorous analysis of the meaning of the "holy grail" -- a term that is ubiquitous in science journalism and academic prose, ascribed, at one time or another, to just about every "big" scientific question in virtually every major discipline. Though inconclusive, that landmark study reached the definitive conclusion that the phrase holy grail is more or less impossible to define, having been used in so many different settings as to have been rendered almost meaningless. This latest effort carries my previous work to the next level, proceeding -- in the usual scientific fashion--one step forward and two back.

One of the best ways of determining what scholars mean by the holy grail, or variations thereof, is through "context." The basic strategy employed here was to apply my keen powers of perception to the body of evidence accumulated to date in the hopes that some kernels of meaning might emerge, if not leap off the page outright.

My investigation began where all good investigation begins -- at our nation's "jewel in the crown," the public library system. Like many a seasoned investigator, I called the reference desk at the New York Public Library to see if its knowledgeable staff could solve the riddle of the grail once and for all. Unfortunately, they offered nothing more than a textbook definition.

Next, I returned to the site of my previous triumph, my local branch library, where some years ago I first cracked the case of the grail. To my dismay, the card catalog upon which I had leaned so heavily over the decades was no longer in service. In fact, it no longer existed, having been removed and recycled for kindling years ago.

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Walmart: Home of Faux Ice Cream


YouTube Link

Dan Collins, a disc jockey at KIKN Radio in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, got a tip that Walmart Great Value Ice Cream Sandwiches don't melt. Sitting outside on a sunny, 80-degree summer day, Collins watched the ice cream sandwich sit on a plate. Next to the sandwich was a scoop of Blue Bunny ice cream on another plate. After over an hour, Collins recorded the sickening results.

All of a sudden, I feel like hijacking an ice cream truck and seeing what other "delicious frozen treats" are suspect. Via Viral Viral Videos.


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The Garbage Dress

Robin Barcus Slonina is an artist who creates novel items of clothing from unusual materials, such as a bikini made out of poker chips and a dress made of wiffle balls. For a while, she was composing "a site-specific, interactive 'dress' sculpture in each state of the union." This dress made of garbage bags represents New York.

Slonina is a native of Chicago. Her first visit to New York City was during a sanitation workers' strike. There were huge piles of uncollected garbage everywhere. They left a lasting impression. In her mind, "the sanitation workers that mange these tiny mountains every week are the true heroes of the city."

Slonina made her dress out of garbage bags filled with newspapers--specifically, The New York Times. The entire dress is thus recyclable. You can see more photos of it on her Facebook page.

-via Recyclart


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Dog Plays Waltz on Piano

(YouTube link)

Bella the German Shepherd plays piano, with the help of Dani Rosenoer. The ridiculousness of the piano playing dog is enough to make me laugh, but wait until Bella has a treat and then has to make sure every little crumb is found and consumed! -via Tastefully Offensive

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

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Creative Writing Prompt: "Oh God Where Is My Gun!"

That's the title of this compelling painting by Vitaly S. Alexius. There's more context available. But I'd like to leave it at just the title.

In the comments, write a bit of flash fiction. What can you do with this image? What stories spring from your mind as you look at it?


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Magic Numbers

(YouTube link)

Check out this amazing method for learning how to multiply! Well, it’s an amazing story for learning, specifically, what 4 x 9 is. Or maybe it’s not so much amazing as it is baffling.

Darren Michalczuk’s YouTube channel The Brick School has several videos along this line. They are a few years old, but Michalczuk continues to push his learning method at his website Brain Magic. You can even buy apps to teach your child this method! Michalczuk has written quite a few education articles about the magic of learning that are as incomprehensible as the Magic Numbers series.

Of course it’s satire, but it’s played so straight across the web for so many years that it’s a masterful feat. You have to wonder if anyone ever took it seriously. My guess is that it would be easy to take it seriously if you just read the ads for the apps. The articles, well, someone with less-than-stellar critical thinking skills might swallow them whole, but the videos area real WTF moment. -via Digg

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Thrift Store Paintings With Added Touches



Toronto, Ontario-based artist David Irvine thinks green in his life and in his art. In fact, his art, which is sold under the name "The Gnarled Branch," is based on the idea of repurposing and transformiing objects that might otherwise end up in landfills.  

The paintings shown here are flea market and thrift shop finds, to which Irvine has added humorous pop culture characters and references. That these augmentations are so strategically placed in the paintings only increases the fun. Irvine says via his Etsy profile,

"Taking cast off items and transforming them into something 'cool' that people love and want is a big thrill. Generally I like creating works of art that are creepy or edgy since I have a passion for scary stuff and Halloween. I do a lot of artworks that would be described as low brow contemporary but have worked on many commissioned pieces that were more traditional in nature. When I'm not creating I enjoy gardening, scary movies and anything Halloween."

In other words, he couldn't be more up our alley. See more of David Irvine's work on Etsy, Facebook and bookmark his website for future visits, as it's currently under construction. Via Twisted Sifter.

 
 
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Brilliant Pediatrician Knows How to Make a Toddler Laugh While Getting Shots


(Video Link)

Dr. Michael Darden is a highly trained pediatrician and allergist. But he's more than just a man of science. He also has a gifted bedside manner. Here he is in his D.C.-area clinic giving two shots to a toddler. This would normally cause a young child to howl in pain. But Dr. Darden is so entertaining that instead the little boy laughs.


(Video Link)

Here's another interesting video. It's an interview with Dr. Darden. At the 5:10 mark, he shares a fascinating story. When he was still in high school, he worked in a hospital. At the age of about 16 or 17, he had the opportunity to observe an autopsy. The body was that of someone that he knew well. It was, for Dr. Darden, an early encounter with the mysterious boundary between life and death.

-via Huffington Post

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Why Are Cans Shaped That Way?

The metal can is an amazing work of food packaging. They are tough, long-lasting, and convenient. But how did we come to agree on the cylindrical shape of food cans? Nick Berry at Datagenetics (previously at Neatorama) takes a look at the many aspects of a simple design.

* The ratio of packaging materials to the volume of food.
* Structural integrity and strength.
* The ease of packing, stacking, sjipping, and storing quantities of containers.
* Minimizing wasted space.
* The ease of manufacture.
* Usability for the consumer.
* Aesthetics.

Each of these aspects is studied, and since it is Datagenetics, there is some math involved. Who knew so much thought went into a can of soup? Still, everyone has something to complain about. My pet peeve is using my 1972 cook book that calls for 16-ounce cans of some ingredient and finding they are sold in 13- and 14-ounce sizes now. You’ll learn more than you ever thought you needed to know about food cans in this article. -Thanks, Nick!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Watch This Dog Faint from Excitement after Reuniting with Her Owner


(Video Link)

Rebecca Ehalt moved to Slovenia. For two years, her dog, Casey, lived with her parents in Pennsylvania. Their reunion was unexpected but joyful for the nine-year old schnauzer. He got so excited that he fainted.

Don't worry! Casey recovered. It was just an overwhelming emotion. Ehalt concedes that although it was only a two-year separation for her, "in fairness [that] is 14 years in dog years."

-Thanks, Wifey!

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

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Next Level Cosplay

Look who showed up at Comic Con! Or are they just the best cosplayers ever?

Underneath the clothing of Jules Winfield and Vincent Vega are actors Elliot Branch and Dave Cobert, who both appeared in the short Killing Tarantino (NSFW) as the characters who inspired Pulp Fiction. They occasionally do this act on the streets of Hollywood as well. -via reddit

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

YouTube Link

Another day, another movie trailer screened at Comic Con Los Angeles. Featured on Sunday, the final day of Comic Con, was The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The film is again directed by Peter Jackson, who made a comment to the press stating that this is merely a teaser trailer of the film, adding that the full trailer won't be released until October.

Jackson also said that this film is darker than those in the franchise that preceeded it. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Luke Evans and Evangline Lilly, is scheduled to be released on December 17, 2014.

 


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McGroarty Achieves Room Temperature!

No, you didn’t know Kevin J. McGroarty, unless you are lucky enough to live in West Pittston, Pennsylvania. But you might get to know him a little now, thanks to an extraordinary obituary he probably wrote himself. It begins with a headline: “McGroarty Achieves Room Temperature!” and covers his life from birth. An excerpt:

He enjoyed elaborate practical jokes, over-tipping in restaurants, sushi and Marx Brother's movies. He led a crusade to promote area midget wrestling, and in his youth was noted for his many unsanctioned daredevil stunts.

He was preceded in death by brother, Airborne Ranger Lt. Michael F. McGroarty, and many beloved pets, Chainsaw, an English Mastiff in Spring 2009, Baron, an Irish Setter in August 1982, Peter Max, a turtle, Summer 1968; along with numerous house flies and bees, but they were only acquaintances.

McGroarty leaves behind no children (that he knows of), but if he did their names would be son, "Almighty Thor" McGroarty; and daughter, "Butter Cup Patchouli."

You can read the rest at the Times-Leader. -Thanks, Kim Paladino!


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Video Compilation of Chemical Reactions

YouTube Link

This way cool video is a compilation of chemical reactions footage. Explosion. Disintegration. Deformation. Combustion. Whatever the reaction, it's all in the name of good, scientific fun. Via Geeks Are Sexy.


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Gentle Brain

“It’s a good thing you don’t have a brain, or you’d just take it out and play with it.” That’s a memorable line from a radio skit, but it applies well to Gentle Brain, an interactive web toy where you can play around with your brain. If you drop it, and you will, that’s okay, because there’s another one where that one came from, and it’s just as good. Gentle Brain was commissioned for MUDA, Museum for Digital Art, opening later this year in Zurich, Switzerland. -via the Presurfer


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Wheels of a Car Go Round and Round

Vimeo Link

Ryan Fox, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, attached a GoPro camera to a tire of his car for his Video Sketchbook course. The result is hypnotic and kaleidoscopic. (Warning: As you would imagine with a video of rapid rotation, the footage is dizzying.) Via Colossal. 


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Cat Stuck in Bird Feeder

We make jokes about how cats look at bird feeders as food traps, but this bird feeder trapped the cat instead of the bird. A cat named Butterscotch in Brandon, Manitoba, got his head stuck inside a bird feeder. The stray is wandering the neighborhood and evades attempts to catch him.

“He was meowing a little bit as if he wanted somebody to help him, but he’s a stray and he’s obviously afraid of people, so I wasn’t able to get near him,” said Colleen Gareau, who first spotted the distressed cat Wednesday morning.

Staff with the city’s pound have tried to catch Butterscotch. So have volunteers from a local animal group, who have been baiting traps with tuna, sardines and cat food.

The traps are ones used for larger animals because the cat wouldn’t fit into a regular cat trap because of the feeder.

So far, Butterscotch has given everyone the slip.

The cat can see around the feeder with one eye, and can even leap fences. No one has yet stepped forward to claim ownership of Butterscotch. It is hoped that he will enter a trap when he is hungry enough. -via Arbroath

(Image credit: Colleen Gareau/The Canadian Press)

Brandon & Area Lost Animals has a Facebook thread with updates on Butterscotch’s predicament.

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

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Surreal Chrome Shark Gun Sculptures

People are constantly unveiling their latest crazy gun mods online, but I have yet to see a mod that involves turning guns into shiny sharks, until now...

Christopher Shulz's chrome shark gun hybrid sculptures could be a biting commentary about the ongoing gun debate, custom made weapons for a flashy warlord who really loves sharks, or simply Christopher's way of playing with form and function.

According to the artist Shark Guns are "3D metal sculptures combining sharks and guns that are meant to evoke a prescribed reaction from misinformation."

Whatever the motivation behind the creation of these shiny shark shooters one thing is certain- nothing barks and bites quite like a shark-shaped gun!

-Via Laughing Squid


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Clootie Wells

(vimeo link)

There are several places in Scotland, England, and Ireland where the trees are wrapped with rags. These are clootie wells, forests with mineral springs that are believed to have healing powers. A relic of ancient paganism, the idea is that if you have an ailment, you should wash the afflicted area in water from these springs. Then you tie the rag you used around a tree, and as the rag rots, your ailment will disappear. You can see the problem here: Cotton and wool rags may take years to rot, but polyester can take centuries, which means more and more rags survive longer and damage the forest. But it’s terrible luck to remove them. Read more about this ancient practice at Atlas Obscura.


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Imperial Propaganda Posters

The posters pictured here were distributed by the Star Wars Rebels group at Comic Con San Diego with the following note:

"It is by Imperial Decree that you are requested to proudly display these posters on behalf of your Empire. As loyal residents of one of the Empire's most vital stations on the Outer Rim, your compliance is appreciated. Imperial Service is a noble endeavor which paves the way for your freedom and security.

Remember, it is the will of Emperor Palpatine to ensure the future of a stable and prosperous galaxy." 

Who will fall in line with this blatant propaganda? It remains to be seen. Via i09.



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D.B. Cooper

The man we know as D.B. Cooper has not been seen since he jumped out of an airplane in 1971. Or has he been seen by, uh, hundreds of moviegoers? Randall Munroe of xkcd has an intriguing theory that explains everything.   


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Sixteen Crazy Creative Versions of Batman's Cape & Cowl- Cape/Cowl/Create

(All Images Via Zeon Santos)

DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Vice Magazine invited twenty artists to come up with their own unique version of Batman’s cape and cowl for an exhibition called Cape/Cowl/Create, promoting the upcoming video game Batman: Arkham Knight.

The artist's interpretations ranged from Dark Knight approved deadly cool to uncharacteristically bright and cheerful, with a full LEGO interpretation included to round out the collection.

Here are some of the interesting, and extremely diverse, artistic interpretations of the cape and cowl found in this exhibition, which were unveiled at the Hard Rock Hotel- San Diego during Comic-Con 2014:

White tally marks, crosses and checks design by designer Justin Fines:

Glossy blue and black airbrushed design by tattoo/graffiti artist Mr. Cartoon:

 

Bright pink ice cream cone version by street artist/painter Buff Monster:

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View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Whodunit: Looking for a Lookout

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?

On a January night, one of the coldest of the new year, a foot patrolman was making his rounds of the downtown storefronts when a hissing cat ran past him into a nearby alley. Officer Greeley glanced after it, and the beam of a roaming flashlight caught his eye. It was coming from inside the alley window of Collins' Jewelry.

Greeley called for backup and a patrol car quickly arrived. With their guns drawn, the three officers covered the front and back exits. But it was already too late. The burglars were gone. A half-full display case made it obvious that the thieves had been alerted to the police presence.

"They must have had a lookout," Greeley said. Seconds later, his deduction was confirmed. A walkie-talkie lay on the jewelry store floor, right where the burglars had dropped it. "Quick," Greeley said. "I saw three guys loitering around. One of them has to be the lookout. If we hurry..."

The officers did hurry They spread out over a ten-block radius of the deserted downtown and brought in three loiterers. Greeley remembered each one.

"I was waiting for a bus," the man with the white cane and dark glasses told them. 'Tm blind. I work as an accountant next door to Collins' Jewelry. Tonight I stayed late working on taxes. I heard the usual street noise, but I obviously didn't see a thing."

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Love games and puzzles? Visit NeatoPuzzles for more!

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Beijing Based Artist Collaborates With Bees To Create His Sculptures

Bees are an intrinsic part of the natural world, and without them crops will fail, flowers won’t bloom and the human race will be in big trouble, but there’s another thing we’ll be missing out on if bees become extinct-their natural artistic gifts.

Beijing-based artist Ren Ri decided to collaborate with bee colonies to demonstrate their natural artistic gifts, a celebration to the beauty bees bring to our world.

Ren starts with a basic framework of wooden sticks mounted in a clear plastic case, then he places the queen in the middle of the structure and lets the worker bees build around her, rotating the box every seven days to help shape the hive "sculpture".

The final result is a totally organic sculpture that is more bee- than man-made, a home and handsome work of natural art in one.

-Via DesignTAXI


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Baby Raccoons

(YouTube link)

The Fabulous Mr. Pug put together a compilation of only the best parts of about a dozen videos featuring baby raccoons. The little bandits are so cute at that age! -via Tastefully Offensive

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

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Tricked by a Watermelon

How can you beat the scorching summer heat? Break open a watermelon and enjoy some cold, sweet, fruit. A friend of Twitter user @min18rff had that idea, but he bought the wrong watermelon. He could still turn it into a huge watermelon Jell-O shot. But only one.

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Can You Spare Some Rupees For A New Shield?

Link was spotted outside San Diego Comic-Con 2014 playing some sweet melodies on his ocarina, but he wasn’t looking for a badge or a recording contract- he was trying to gather enough rupees to buy a new shield.

His playing has improved quite a bit over the years, but you'd think a hero of his caliber would have enough rupees in his coffer to afford a spare shield!

I sincerely hope he wasn't living out of that cardboard box during his visit, because there were hungry zombies lurking around downtown San Diego during Comic-Con, and Link doesn't look like he's ready for a fight...


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Pie Man to the Rescue: 13-plus One-off TV Superheroes

It’s difficult to design a superhero that can sustain a series of comic books or his/her own TV show. But when they’re a guest star, any superhero can be interesting. The weirdest, dumbest, most obscure superpower will do for just one appearance. And TV shows have taken advantage of that tim sand time again. Do you remember Turkey Volume Guessing Man from MST3K?

Some heroes are born from tragedy, some are born from freak accidents, and some are born from watching a phenomenally stupid movie. In season eight of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the liberal use of “turkey” (twice) as an insult in the film Riding With Death led Crow T. Robot to realize his true potential as “Turkey Volume Guessing Man.” His power is the ability to take any given space and translate it to a poultry-based measurement system, guessing how many turkeys it would take to fill the room. It’s an ability he readily admits is completely useless in real life and that isolates him from the world at large, “although women are drawn to me, for my powers are fascinating.”

There are a lot more stories just as strange, from shows ranging from L.A. Law to The Simpsons in this list from the A.V. Club. 


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