Never skimp on quality marketing. You may think that you can just do it yourself, but as John McNamee explains, terrible things go wrong when you don't think through product nomenclature.
Doctor Who TARDIS Hooded Bathrobe (front and back shown)
Father's Day is right around the corner. This Father's Day get your Doctor Who crazy Dad the Doctor Who TARDIS Hooded Bathrobe from the NeatoShop. This beautiful soft cotton terrycloth bathrobe comes with a hood and cinch belt. The robe features amazing embroidered details.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Doctor Who items.
Mount Pavlof, a volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands, is currently erupting. Astronauts on the International Space Station were in a great position to photograph it in action. Do you see that streak across the sky in the lower photograph? That's the cloud of volcanic ash.
Cracked goes where no one else has time for to find clues hidden in the backgrounds of movies that tell you what's going to happen or what twist will eventually be revealed. Since I now have the endings to three movies I have never seen, I won't give an excerpt here. But your mind will be blown by the tiny details in Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, The Avengers, Reservoir Dogs, and Fight Club. All contain spoilers, so you decide whether to jump into the wormhole. Link -via mental_floss
Fedoras are popular these days. I assume that's because Freddy Krueger, the demonic villain of the Nightmare on Elm Street horror moviee series, wore them. I never got into either the fedora craze or the movies that inspired it, but I could totally wear this sweater that writhes with the souls that Kreuger captured.
Content warning: horror.
There's my boys! Look good while you hunt for the Mandarin in this neat new shirt (no need to steal a poncho from a wooden Indian!) by Baznet. He's got a bunch of new T-shirts over at the NeatoShop you simply have to check out: Link
Your purchase helps support indie artists as well as this blog! Thank you!
Adafruit, which posts the geekiest, most wonderful projects I'll never understand, tells you how to make your own "chameleon scarf," an accessory that changes color to match your clothing. The scarf itself is incidental, because what blew my mind is a sensor that detects the color of an object -a piece of fruit or the shirt you're wearing- and matches its RGB code. Then there are LEDs that change color depending on the code sent to them. The possibilities are endless, if you know a little about electronics. Find a video that shows how it works, and links to pages of information behind this project at Adafruit. Link -Thanks, Becky Stern!
(Image credit: Johngineer!)
Redditor Hika-Tamari asked "Americans of Reddit, what surprised you when you visited Europe?" Here are some of the more interesting answers:
The Italian's way of driving. Never in anytime of my life was I more paranoid of being hit by a moped.
I first went to Europe as a twelve-year-old kid, and I was shocked by how OLD everything was. Here, a church that's a hundred years old seems ancient, but in Europe you really do have ancient structures. The sense of centuries and millennia of well-recorded history having played out everywhere I went was sort of crazy. Obviously, we have ancient Native American history, but where I'm from that part of our culture isn't always evident.
And nudity! It was often no big thing in advertisements and television. Not so in America, where a single stray nipple can practically bring down the whole television system.
I also also surprised how much of the landscape reminded me of home. I'm from the American midwest and sections of Germany and Ireland looked just like I was driving through home. But then I'd see some small stone wall that had been around for centuries and I'd be reminded how different the landscape is!
how everyone uses normal speaking voices, and how loud i am as an American.
People in Scotland (Specifically Glasgow) are the nicest I've ever met, seriously. People would have friendly conversations with you at bus stops, and one person even lent me £2 spare cash at a gas station for petrol. It seems to be 90% of people there are like that. Very unusual.
Neatoramanauts, if you've traveled in Europe, what surprised you about it?
(Photo: We All Have Baggage luggage tag, now on sale in the NeatoShop.)
Detroit is finally getting a statue of its legendary hero, RoboCop. But according to Wolf Gnards, there are other great pop culture heroes worthy of their own statues. For example, San Dimas, California should erect a statue in honor of Bill and Ted of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Well, they will establish a great new civilization.
You can read his other suggestions at the link.
Drusilla's Park is a zoo in East Sussex, England. On April 26th, there was a breakout when two raccoons escaped into the surrounding neighborhood. Turpin was found in another area of the park a week later and returned to her enclosure. But her sister Bandit remained at large until she suddenly was seen back in her enclosure when a zookeeper made an evening nose count. She has returned on her own!
Claire Peters, of Drusillas Park, said: “We were incredibly surprised to see Bandit return. Obviously we longed for her safe return but no one expected her to turn up. It is thought the sisters escaped after being spooked by a noise or unexpected movement, leading them to flee up the perimeter fence and through the electric deterrent. Thankfully neither appears to be injured.”
Bandit's identity was confirmed by a scan of her embedded microchip. She apparently found that the grass was not greener on the other side of the fence. Link -via Arbroath
(Image credit: Drusilla's Park)
Are you tired of your tardiness making you the butt of office jokes? You need the Uranus Wall Clock from the NeatoShop. This beautiful clock features a graphic of Uranus, as captured by NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft. Now you can gleefully tell people that Uranus helps you stay on time.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Clocks & Timers.
Did you lose your cats? Redditor thingsaintjust found a pile of them sleeping on the porch.
Tyler Marcum made a silly dance video in his underwear back in college ten years ago. Now he's turning 30 and recreated that same dance, side-by-side with the original, to mark the occasion. The song is "Landslide," originally by Fleetwood Mac, but this verso is by the Dixie Chicks. -via Viral Viral Videos
It's been a while since we last featured Worth1000, but their "let's photoshop celebrities into Renaissance paintings" contest is full of all sorts of win. Check out the rest of the winning entries: Link - via Co.CREATE
... and how could we not see this one coming?
Honey Boo Boo's Mama June
Another clever Google Glass spoof. This one featuring our friend Mark Malkoff as he walks around New York tricking people into thinking he's wearing Google Glass when actually it's a '90s video game.
Link: Via Mashable
Jason Criss's knuckles tattoo shows the Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He writes:
It took me a while to figure out what kind of Star Trek tattoo I wanted to get. I finally decided that the enterprise d on my knuckles was the best choice for me. It’s still a work in progress there will be more shading and colors after the initial outline heals. let me know what you think of them so far.
Note that he can perform a saucer separation by just moving his fists apart.
You don't have to be crazy to believe in conspiracy theories. In fact, 63 percent of registered voters in American believe in at least one political conspiracy theory. Scientists say that the belief that powerful people are manipulating things behind the scenes is the brain's way of making sense out of forces that the individual cannot control, sparked by the region of the brain called the amygdala.
Economic recessions, terrorist attacks and natural disasters are massive, looming threats, but we have little power over when they occur or how or what happens afterward. In these moments of powerlessness and uncertainty, a part of the brain called the amygdala kicks into action. Paul Whalen, a scientist at Dartmouth College who studies the amygdala, says it doesn’t exactly do anything on its own. Instead, the amygdala jump-starts the rest of the brain into analytical overdrive — prompting repeated reassessments of information in an attempt to create a coherent and understandable narrative, to understand what just happened, what threats still exist and what should be done now. This may be a useful way to understand how, writ large, the brain’s capacity for generating new narratives after shocking events can contribute to so much paranoia in this country.
“If you know the truth and others don’t, that’s one way you can reassert feelings of having agency,” Swami says. It can be comforting to do your own research even if that research is flawed. It feels good to be the wise old goat in a flock of sheep.
Read more about the research into conspiracy theories in an article by Maggie Koerth-Beker in the New York Times. Link
(image credit: Matt Dorfman)
YouTube user Charles Cook uploaded a video clip that captured the birth of the devastating May 20, 2013 tornado at Newcastle, Oklahoma. That tornado later moved to Moore, where it turned into an EF5 tornado, with peak winds at 210 mph (340 km/h) and width of 1.3 miles (2.1 km).
"The birth of the May 20, 2013 tornado," Cook wrote. "Moved from there to Moore where it turned into an F4. God be with its victims."
"Incredible video my Dad took of the May 20th tornado FORMING and destroying everything in its path near Newcastle," the user wrote. "He was out that way for work today and just happened to be in the right place at the right time. He was worried it was going to come back at him and was searching for a way to scoot out [of its] way once he was able to gauge how insanely close it was to him. He hung in there, though. Unbelievable."
Do you maintain a gluten-free diet? You might want to check out this blog I've just discovered: Mom, What's For Dinner? The author, Christi Silbaugh, specializes in creative recipes for that dietary need. Here's her scratch-made ice cream that combines chocolate with--oddly enough--avocados! You can find her recipe at the link.
A woman in Tasmania pled guilty to five counts of sex with a minor after she was caught in the act with her boyfriend's 16-year-old son. She explained that she mistakenly thought 16 was the age of consent. But the real kicker is how they were caught.
Crown Prosecutor Jackie Hartnett told the court in October last year the woman had gone to her stepson's room to discuss his driving lessons.
Although the pair had previously had a strained relationship, tickling led to kissing and then to intercourse, the prosecutor said.
The following day, the woman's de facto partner set up a video camera in a bid to capture evidence of paranormal activity in the house, but forgot to turn it off.
When he returned from work and reviewed the footage, he saw his son and the woman kissing and cuddling.
Are you looking for a night light that is strong enough to stand up to whatever boogie men lurk in the shadows of your home? You need the Captain America Night Light from the NeatoShop. This brave nightlight has his shield in hand and is ready to fight whatever darkness comes his way.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Night Lights.
There's a colorful train that carries visitors to the Asahiyama Zoo in northern Japan. It's designed to amuse and excite kids. Among its features are animal shaped seats. Please let me sit in one, too!
Undergraduate mechanical engineering students at Rice University built a shoe that recovers and stores energy generated by walking. This energy could be used to power small electronic devices, such as cell phones:
The Agitation Squad – Carlos Armada, Julian Castro, David Morilla and Tyler Wiest – decided last fall to focus their attention on where the rubber meets the road to create a shoe-mounted generator. Another device to draw energy from the motion of the knee had already been developed and patented and led them to analyze other sources of energy.
Working with the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Shriners Hospital for Children in Houston, the team determined the force at the heel delivered far more potential for power than any other part of the foot.
“We went to the lab and saw the force distribution across the bottom of your foot, to see where the most force is felt,” Morilla said. “We found it would be at the heel and at the balls of your toes, as you push off. We went with the heel because, unless you’re sprinting, you’re letting gravity do the work.” […]
The prototypes deliver an average of 400 milliwatts, enough to charge a battery, in benchtop tests (and a little less in walking tests, where the moving parts don’t move as far). They send energy through wires to a belt-mounted battery pack. A voltage regulator keeps it flowing steadily to the battery.
The PediPower hits the ground before any other part of the prototype shoe. A lever arm strikes first. It is attached to a gearbox that replaces much of the shoe’s sole and turns the gears a little with each step. The gears drive a motor mounted on the outside of the shoe that generates electricity to send up to the battery.
You can watch a video of their device at the link.
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.
An analysis of the world’s rarest and most expensive coffee
by Massimo F. Marcone, Ph.D., C.Chem., Chimiste (PQ) Adjunct Professor, Department of Food Science University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
[EDITOR’SNOTE: Kopi Luwak (sometimes spelled Kopi Luak) is a rare and prized variety of coffee. It was the subject of the 1995 Ig Nobel Prize in the field of Nutrition. Professor Marcone’s work, described here, advances our understanding of Kopi Luwak. Title image by Praveenp.]
No coffee is perhaps in shorter supply and has a more distinct flavor and history than “Kopi Luwak” from Indonesia. With an annual production of less than 500 pounds and a price tag of 500-600 dollars (Canadian) per pound, it commands the undisputed reputation of being the rarest and most expensive coffee in the world. This is indeed a unique coffee, as it is processed through the digestive system of a palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). This three-to-ten pound arboreal animal uses its keen sense of eyesight during the night to smell and seek out only the ripest reddish coffee cherries to eat. The coffee cherry fruit is completely digested by the civet, whereas the actual coffee beans are excreted in their feces, being deposited in civetries. These are ultimately collected and washed by local coffee collectors. The internal fermentation and action by different digestive enzymes add a unique flavor to the beans. This flavor has been described as earthy, musty, syrupy, smooth, and rich with both jungle and chocolate undertones.
The author displays some coffee beans.
Curiously, Kopi Luwak is not the first nor the only food that-- prior to human consumption-- makes a passage through the entire, or partial, digestive tract of an animal.
In the Star Trek canon, the United Federation of Planets was formed in San Francisco, California. Starfleet maintains its headquarters there. Starfleet Academy lies within sight of the bay. Much of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home takes place in that city. More than any other city, San Francisco is the center of the Star Trek universe.
Why San Francisco as opposed to, say, Lubbock? Or Dallas, Brownsville, San Antonio, Longview or other excellent options? Ted Trautman of Wired examined why that city was important to Gene Roddenberry and a symbol of Star Trek. San Francisco was a Navy town, a site of technological innovation and a diverse, international city. Trautman writes:
Plenty of science fiction is city-specific: it’s impossible to imagine RoboCop anywhere but Detroit, or Blade Runner outside of Los Angeles. What sets Star Trek apart is the attention it pays to one little city, barely seven miles across, when the other points on its journey are not cities or countries, but planets and star systems. Many of Star Trek’s struggles take place not long ago in a galaxy far, far away, but in a city we have already built, just a couple centuries down the road. And it’s a city whose culture of curiosity, craftsmanship and tolerance have left an indelible mark on one of the world’s most successful sci-fi franchises.
What other cities on Earth do you think would represent Star Trek well?
Photo: Francisco Mignorance
Francisco Mingorance snapped this photo of a fennec fox walking against the wind in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, and submitted it to the 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Link - via In Focus