Juergen Horn and Mike Powell are exploring Tokyo for 91 days, and bringing us reports on what they find. One thing that impressed them was the plastic food in every restaurant.
We love plastic food. When deciding between restaurants, we’ll always choose the one with the most plastic food in its windows. No, it’s not some strange new diet. It’s just that, in Japan, menus tend to be written in Japanese and only Japanese. (The nerve!) Frequently, the plastic foods in the window are the only way for us to know what’s being offered. They also provide a convenient way to order. Rather than attempting to mime “Curry Udon”, we can just drag the waitress outside and point.
Recently, they found a street called Kappabashi-dōri, where the restaurants buy their supplies, including plastic food of all kinds. Read all about it and see lots more pictures at Tokyo For 91 Days.
Hayao Miyazaki is the master filmmaker responsible for anime classics such as My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke. He has a fairly consistent style of storytelling and animation. If you watch a fair amount of anime, you'll easily notice the differences.
This College Humor video imagines Miyazaki's films as though he wasn't original and imitated other shows, including Naruto*, Voltron, Sailor Moon, and Pokémon.
*Or maybe Dragon Ball Z. I haven't seen either show, so I'm just guessing.
Little round-headed cartoon characters are usually pretty darn cute, but add just a hint of morbidity and a fall from grace backstory beloved by fantasy fic fans and the once cutesy character becomes something far more sinister.
Can't decide between your favorite bubble headed cartoon characters and your precious fantasy creatures? You can have them both with this Security Trinket t-shirt by Adam Koford, it's one shirt which will rule them all!
When you feel like the leftovers you took to the office for lunch aren’t the greatest, turn to the blog Sad Desk Lunch and see what other office workers are eating. It might make you feel better. Or it might make you feel worse, in which case, just snap a picture and send it in.
The again, you might be feeling pretty good about your work lunch, but you see that someone else, eating the very same thing, submitted it because they considered it sad. And it is, but not because the food is bad.
Sad Desk Lunch isn’t about how great your lunch is. And it’s not about how crappy your lunch is either. It’s about the fact you eat your lunch at your desk during your lunch break where you could roam free. Step outside. Breathe a little. Americans have a tendency never to take their lunch break and sit around, munch on their sandwich or carefully homemade bento box, at their desk.
A daily, ongoing project is great way to stimulate a creative mind. Paul Garbett, an artist in Sydney, Australia, gets creative every day by altering ordinary paper cups. He calls the project Cuppaday. On some days, his cups are opportunities for doodling. At other times, for model making.
Aww, all this hen wants is a little love! It just makes you want to run out to the barnyard and hug a few chickens, doesn’t it? Chicekens can be really neat birds -just ask Gonzo. Remember, these two probably know each other. Your mileage may vary. -via Daily of the Day
Boston Pizza, a Canada-based pizzeria company, is holding an online contest offering to produce one of several innovations that the company has developed. You can view the site here, which is currently loading slowly. Pictured above is one of the popular options available for voting: a pizza layer cake. This is something that we obviously need, so please throw your support and votes behind it.
You could also plausibly vote for the pizza slicer powered by a 4-stroke gasoline engine.
Or the pizza shirt pocket.
Or a lockable pizza security case to protect your pizza from thieving family members or co-workers, such as a certain managing editor who shall remain nameless.
There are plenty of different ways to sculpt the figure of a bunny, and they are all used for Easter cakes. But not all of those cakes come out looking like a nice, playful, innocent spring harbinger. In fact, there are plenty of horribly decorated bunny cakes (and a chick and a lamb) in this Easter cake post at Cake Wrecks. And there are even more here.
IKEA furniture is cheap, easy to assemble and therefore endlessly modifiable, which makes it the best place to shop when you’re looking for a custom furniture creation for your pad.
There are all kinds of ways different IKEA components can be combined, constructed differently and generally modified by adding or subtracting one little part of the overall build.
This list is, for the most part, full of things anyone can do with some basic tools and specific IKEA models, but the most insane piece is the custom arcade cabinet decked out in IKEA blue and gold, something that only the bravest furniture constructor will attempt.
Kevin Dorothy wanted to perform on the comedy club stage at the Pavilion Bar in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, he died at age 53 before he got the chance to do so. But his friends made it happen. Monday night, Stephen Mullan took an urn of Dorothy’s ashes to the stage where it sat while he read five years worth of jokes Dorothy had texted to his friends.
"Kevin had a habit of texting the most cringe-inducing jokes to all his pals," said another of Kevin's friends, Tom Sweeney.
"I always read them, groaned and deleted them right away - they were awful. Stephen, however, kept them - five years' worth. And that's what the audience was treated to.
"And do you know something? Kevin's jokes weren't that awful after all on hearing Stephen deliver them.
"Nobody had seen anything like it. You hear about comedians dying on stage. Well, Kevin jumped the gun."
As they say, no one appreciates an artist during his lifetime. -via Arbroath
Outlaw motorcycle clubs have been riding free and freaking out the norms since World War II, when a bunch of servicemen back from the war decided to take a ride on the dark side of life.
French photographer Yan Morvan has always been fascinated by bikers, and gang members in general, so it’s no surprise that he made these free-wheeling folks the focus of his photographic vision, documenting biker gangs from all over for a book called Gangs Story, which was actually banned by French court.
Yan is a bit of a badass, with a rebellious streak in him as wide as the open road, and a few years ago he gave VICE a fascinating, and eyebrow raising, interview about his exploits which you can read here.
It was ten years ago this week that Kill Bill Vol. 2 was released, completing Quentin Tarantino’s tale about a vengeful woman. The first movie came out in 2003, and was originally intended to be all in one part, but at four hours in length, the decision was made to split it in two. Any Quentin Tarantino movie has a lot of weird things going on both onscreen and offscreen, so at least some of these bits of trivia will be new to you. For instance:
3. Talk about doing Kill Bill started during Pulp Fiction. Quentin Tarantino came up with the idea of doing Kill Bill while talking with Uma Thurman on the set of Pulp Fiction. The two were discussing the types of movies they liked and he expressed his interest in ’70s kung fu movies. They then started hashing out what would become the opening scene of the beaten Bride in her wedding gown.
14. 450 gallons of blood were spilled. According to makeup effects artist Christopher Allen Nelson, over 450 gallons of fake blood were used over the course of filming both movies.
17. Many Bills were considered before going with David Carradine. Kevin Costner was considered for the part, but was busy with Open Range. Jack Nicholson, Kurt Russell, Mickey Rourke, and Burt Reynolds were also on the table as well. Tarantino was ready to sign Warren Beatty, but had second thoughts about the actor when, according to Michael Madsen, Beatty expressed that he “didn’t get what the story was about” to Tarantino.
There’s a popular misconception that nerd culture began in the 1970s with the rise of fandom conventions, adult comic book collectors and science fiction productions reaching a broader audience than ever before, but nerd culture as we know it today actually began around the turn of the 20th century.
Cosplayers are all the rage at the moment, but August Olson, the person often considered to be the first cosplayer, dressed up like a comic strip alien called Skygack to attend a masked ball in Monroe, Washington all the way back in 1912, so it appears cosplay is nothing new.
The fourth element of style is timelessness, but what's the fifth element of fashion? Why, wearing this Stone Wars t-shirt by Punksthetic, of course! With a timelessly modern sci-fi style, and a glorious twist on the old war in the stars poster art, folks from Dallas to Mars will appreciate your taste in far out films.
A Russian fire department found a unique way to pass the time. How many fire hoses does it take to levitate a flying carpet? And what could possibly go wrong? I have to wonder how many videos were recorded before they got this one. And how many bumps and bruises were involved in the research. -via The Chive
They say when you build a better mousetrap, someone will come along and build a better mouse. That seems to have come true, except in this case, the builders are the same company.
You are familiar with reCAPTCHA, the security system that makes you decipher a distorted word to prove you’re not a bot. One of the words is a security feature; the other word is one the software does not know the answer to, but is crowdsourced through reCAPTCHA to find out what it is. The purpose is to improve optical character recognition (OCR) in order to digitize printed books. So while one screwy word is there to deceive bots, the other is there to teach bots how to read screwy words. That in itself foreshadows the rest of the story. Google bought reCAPTCHA in 2009.
Google Street View has been working on improving its OCR to read house numbers, allowing it to map addresses better. You may have noticed that some of the Blogger sites (Google owns Blogger), you have to interpret a photographed house number to leave a comment. Those house numbers are from Street View. You can see where this is leading.
Advances in the house number recognition project are such that Google’s software can recognize a single digit in a photograph 97.84% of the time. Since most street addresses are more than one digit, the actual address accuracy is 90%.
To test the algorithm, Google also let it loose on its own reCAPTCHA puzzles. There, it is 99.8 percent accurate on the hardest reCAPTCHA puzzles. Given that the whole idea of CAPTCHAs is that they are too hard for computers to solve, that’s a pretty stunning number and the accuracy is likely better than that of most humans (at least I know I don’t get anywhere close to 99.8 percent accuracy when I try to solve CAPTCHAs…).
That’s obviously a problem for reCAPTCHA because developers who are less interested in the science behind this could exploit this to spam blog comments, for example. Google, however, says that its CAPTCHA system is now less dependent on deciphering the distorted text than ever before. Instead, reCAPTCHA now looks at a broader range of clues. Entering the text is just one clue, but Google now looks at it as “a medium of engagement to elicit a broad range of cues that characterize humans and bots.”
So while Google is working on helping its bots to read real-world words and numbers, they also have to scramble to find other ways to prove who is human and who is software. We don’t know what that “medium of engagement” really is, because if they told us, the bots would know, too. Read more about the research at TechCrunch. -via Digg
Selfie addicts should take note of this cautionary video when posing for pics near large moving vehicles, realizing that if you only get kicked in the head you got off easy.
The careless poser in this video had the bright idea to snap a selfie really close to the tracks as a train was about to go by, but the conductor spotted him standing too close to the tracks and took it upon himself to act like a human cow catcher-by kicking the guy in the head.
Some are speculating that the video is a fake, because why would you be shooting a video if you were posing for a selfie? Either way a smug selfie lover gets kicked in the head, yay trains!
You’ve seen plenty of pictures of marijuana buds, plants, and crops on the web. Ford McCann wanted a closer look, down to the microscopic level. Images at that level are amazingly otherworldly, artistic, and well worth sharing. The 170 images in the book were taken over the course of a year with both optical microscopes and electron scanning microscopes.
Some dads really like to get creative with their kids, either building stuff for them or doing fun stuff with them, and thanks to the internet they’re able to share their fun projects with the world.
Lance Underwood is one of these creative dad type dudes, and he spent some quality time with his two sons recreating classic album covers. Lance puts a lot of work into these covers, making sure they all have the proper wardrobe and poses, and the end result is pretty much spot on, and totally adorable!
The original design for the alien in the movie Predator was not the look that ended up in the film. It was not amenable to an actor actually walking around it, much less performing martial arts, as Jean-Claude van Damme thought he would. Ultimately, van Damme was replaced by 7’ 2” actor Kevin Peter Hall, not only because of his disgust with the role, but also because he was so much smaller than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers. Let’s get another look at that costume.
At the start of this month, we asked you guys to go on Pinterest and tell us what to write about for a chance to win $50 worth of NeatoShop merchandise. While we got some great feedback on Facebook, not too many of you participated on Pinterest which means that we might have to do this contest again only open it up to all types of submissions.
For the time being though, it's up to you guys to pick the winner of the contest from the four submissions. Whichever idea you vote for will result in the winner getting a $50 shopping spree and one of our writers tackling the subject submitted in an upcoming feature article.
By the way, if you tried to enter the contest on Pinterest and don't see your entry here, leave a comment with the link to your pin and we'll add you in.
Also, if you're on Pinterest and didn't enter the contest but periodically come up with ideas you think would fit the blog, feel free to join our new group, Should Be On Neatorama. We hope to see you there.
What Would You Want to See As a Feature Article on Neatorama?
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. 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.
The mind of a comedian works in very strange ways, and it takes a perfect level of functional insanity to stand up in front of a bunch of strangers and tell jokes. It’s a tough gig, and those who are able to make money at it know that they’re getting paid for the crazy things floating around in their heads.
So it should come as no surprise that many comedians have tried psychedelic drugs, getting their head on, so to speak, and really digging deep into the vaults to pull out good material.
Psychedelics are still a hotly debated subject in the world of drugs, but take it from comedians like George Carlin and Bill Hicks- psychedelics make you think of comedy in a whole new light!
Are you starting to feel like there are just too darn many androids lurking around the big city? Maybe it's time to board a runner for a vacation in the stars, or start a new life in the Off World Colonies, or maybe you just need this Off World t-shirt by Synaptyx so you can show the world you've been there and done that without leaving your planet!
270 square feet isn't much space to live in, but when we're talking vacation homes on the coast of Spain, it's just enough. And this gorgeous minimalist home isn't going to leave you wanting since it comes equipped with a toilet, a shower, a fireplace and a bed with an amazing view of your vacation space.
While it might not have a kitchen, you can always cook your freshly caught fish over your fireplace -or, since you're on vacation, go out to eat and treat yourself to something special.
Sadly, the passing of movie legend Mickey Rooney (on April 6th) truly brought the end to an era. Born Joseph Yule Jr. the Mick, all 5' 2" of him, was really the last of the genuine "movie stars" from Hollywood's golden age. He had, without a doubt, one of the most amazing career runs in the history of show business. Mickey kept coming back and entertaining us again and again.
His films numbered 340. Yes, you read that right, 340 movie credits, according to IMDb.
Of course, the Andy Hardy films (16 of them) and his legendary MGM musicals (with his beloved co-star Judy Garland) were his personal trademarks, but the Mick also had unforgettable roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), Captains Courageous (1937), Boys Town (1938), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), The Black Stallion (1981) and on and on.
Okay, let's take a look at a few facts you may not know about Mickey Rooney.
* He helped bring Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe together. In 1952, Joe and Marilyn were set up (at DiMaggio's request, after seeing the young starlet's photo) on a date. The date was dullsville and was dragging along, when Mickey, who happened to be dining in the same restaurant, spotted DiMaggio and (like any guy) started fawning over him, regaling Marilyn with stories of his baseball exploits and records. Marilyn was not a sports fan at all, but she had done a movie with Mickey just two years previously, The Fireball (1950). When she saw Mickey's awed reaction to DiMaggio, her interest immediately perked up and the date heated up too. Joe and Marilyn soon became an item and were married less than two years later.
* He was the first choice to play the role of Archie Bunker on All in the Family. When he met with producer Norman Lear about the role, he was told that Archie was "a bigot and a racist.” He replied, “‘They'll kill me in the streets,’ and turned me down flat,” according to Lear.
The hen they call Little Miss Sunshine was a egg-layer in an industrial egg farm before she was rescued and retired to Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary. Now she’s a star, having been selected as a “spokeschicken” for Animals Australia to show how intelligent hens can be. I have my suspicions that other chickens aren’t quite as smart as she is. -via Everlasting Blort